Wildflower is The West Australian Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year, 2017.
It is a standard-bearer for fine cookery, stunning wine service and a cohesive and seamless offering. In a febrile hospitality world where so-called fine dining has become an endangered species, Wildflower is a beacon of proper dining at the highest level. Make no mistake though: this is not stuffy, old school, white glove dining. It’s posh, but 2017 posh.
Wildflower’s stellar menu is short, contemporary and elegant. The dishes are works of art and plated with restraint and the sort of minimalism pioneered by the Scandinavian food movement.
The big story at Wildflower is its dedication to the Aboriginal calendar of six seasons and its up-front showcasing of native vegetables, herbs, seeds and berries – all done as part of an acceptably western menu resplendent with technique and cooked with aplomb. The Aboriginal theme is not “native” window dressing. Wildflower is the only restaurant in the country taking aboriginal foods and food culture beyond the realm of bunya nut cheesecake and witchetty grub foam.
The menu changes often, but scallops are always on offer, albeit with different garnishes and flavours as the Aboriginal calendar dictates, A popular version is Rottnest Island scallops with sour Geraldton wax cream and frozen fennel and apple juice. It is composed in a bowl with a fan of finely sliced raw scallops, seasoned with fennel pollen. The frozen juice is completed at table with liquid nitrogen.
The kitchen has an open woodfire grill fuelled by jarrah which lends a uniquely Western Australian flavoutrto the meats. Jewel-like roast lamb is consistently on the menu, but is replaced by Margaret River Wagyu when not in season.
The wine list is superb; the wine service is informed, helpful and polished. Jed Gerrard is the executive chef for all the Treasury Buildings’ dining venues, and it’s to his credit that when not on duty Wildflower head chef Stephen Black’s cooking is as spectacular as that of his young boss.