Walking into Purl Bar and Grill is visually pleasing and trendy with it's big glass doors, well lit room and shimmery wallpaper. Sunday's are always good nights to eat out in Subiaco since it's almost like a ghost town, and so we chose to have a quiet night out, which allowed us to have the restaurant to ourselves. The men who work there are pleasant, and the service they provide is satisfactory. The food, however, is another matter.
We began with a tasting platter of samosas, naan bread, wagyu meatballs, olives and chorizo. The samosas were decent, and the naan bread with nice and chewy, but you got mouthfuls of little burnt bits. The wagyu meatballs were moist, but I've had incredible wagyu before, and this wasn't close to it. The chorizo was decent, but I had had better chorizo for breakfast at The Attic. And there was just one raita (mint yogurt dipping sauce) for all of those, which got pretty boring by the end of the plate.
Tasting Platter $29.50
Onto the mains, I tried the baked red emperor fillet with wok cooked baby spinach. Unfortunately the red emperor just didn't cut it. While not completely dried out, thank goodness, it was overcooked. The spices used were quite nice though, and I really loved the spinach, although you don't pay $32 for a small side of baby spinach.
Same goes for the spiced rack of lamb with rajasthan corn lamb sauce. The lamb was overcooked, and my kiwi, even with his stomach of steel, spent the night not feeling so flash. And as I've said, we were the only ones there, so there was no reason whatsoever for any food to be overcooked by accident. For main meals over $30, these just weren't worth it. Worse, we used a voucher, and even if you considered that, I still can't say it was worth it!
Spiced Rack of Lamb with Rajasthan Corn Lamb Sauce $36.50
On a more positive note, they make great cocktails. I got very excited over trying the Hot Apple Pie, and it didn't disappoint (this is the cold vodka version, not the hot Tuaca and apple cider version though). But, $16, and this goes for all places in Perth, is just ridiculous. It's a pretty good justification for learning how to make them at home.
Hot Apple Pie Cocktail $16
Throughout the night, boppy 90's music was played, which was fun, but so not appropriate for what the atmosphere should be.
While writing this review, and after clicking through the Chutney Mary's website, it seems they've replaced Little Chutney's with Purl, possibly with the idea of broadening to satisfy a wider range of customers. Big mistake. I hadn't eaten at Little Chutney's before, but by the reviews online, they had a decent thing going. What's worse, with Purl, it seems they couldn't make up their mind on what type of place it's supposed to be, and so people's experiences are reflecting that. They've got the design right, now they need to work on the food. Either change the menu to something they can get perfect, or change they're cooking style. The place has potential, as a posh bar it works, but it's definitely not there yet.