A heavy-hitting hotel restaurant that does clever and complex with a tone, and setting, that keeps things grounded.
The jewel in the crown of John Parker’s refurbished Royal Hotel, Fleur opened in January with a playful-yet-complex produce-driven menu showcasing executive chef Chase Weber’s intricate cooking style.
The Fleur that reopened post-lockdown is no less accomplished, but with the à la carte offer now condensed into a set menu of snacks and smaller plates, it’s more accessible, affordable and (whisper it) even more fun.
Weber’s preference for seafood and Japanese flavours are clear from the opening bites, with raw Abrolhos Island scallop and apple given depth with virgin soy and wakame. But his influence is wide: Shark Bay blue swimmer crab stars in a tartlet flavoured with coral cream and blood lime, while a sourdough crumpet is spread with sticky duck-leg “jam” for a serious umami hit.
With the à la carte offer now condensed into a set menu of snacks and smaller plates, Fleur is more accessible, affordable and (whisper it) even more fun.
Snacks make fine friends with the half-sized cocktails that now prop up the comprehensive drinks list, which features plenty of bottles chosen to go with mains built on just a few ingredients – grilled quail sauced with a rich kangaroo XO, perhaps, or top-grade Rangers Valley pillow steak served with burnt leek and baby onions. For those with the budget, caviar, marron and crayfish courses are available to add at their discretion.
A delicate steamed pudding ends things sweetly, the white chocolate and bay-leaf gelato bringing almost as much joy as would a (totally inappropriate) jug of custard. If that’s not sweet enough, Fleur’s Saturday afternoon take on high tea gives desserts the chance to shine (although the savouries are equally appealing), and serves as a gentle but genuine introduction to the restaurant’s concept.
Just a few months in, Fleur already has one of Perth’s most creative kitchens. Add the friendly, attentive service and a setting that’s at once intimate and relaxed, and this is a place that looks set to blossom into one of the greats.