A dinner for 5 at one of Northbridge's flagships, the Old Crow, on Newcastle Street (just a few houses down from another Northbridge favourite, the Tuck Shop). For this visit we had three newcomers to Perth Food Blog, being The Double Pork Belly and Preggers McGee (a couple) and the Pretty Shit Farmer (a sexy third wheel).
How did the Old Crow do? Let's find out..
Disclaimer: This is the second (of four) backed-up reviews that we are getting to long after the meal was held. As a result, my memories of the Old Crow experience are a little faded. My apologies.
- We began with some Spicy Hush Puppies, Crispy Piggy Bits and the Brussel Sprouts dish.
- The Brussel Sprouts were very different, and praised by Madam Rabbit and Preggers McGee. I'm not a fan of brussel sprouts and even I thought they were ok.
- The Spicy Hush puppies weren't all that spicy, which I was thankful for as I'm not one of those that chase the Guatemalan-pepper-style spice experience (see below), and the mayo/aioli/sauce they came out with was a delicate offsider. Overall we thought they were a solid starter.
- The Crispy Piggy Bits are what it says on the tin, crispy (although one or two were more chewy than crispy) bits of pig. It's not clear what parts of the pig these bits come from. It's probably better not to ask.
- For mains we had the Angus Beef Flank, some kind of pork dish (sorry - didn't note this down and it's not on the receipt/menu?), some 'dirty potatos' (i.e. their spin on chips), smoked corn and the sausage dish.
- Each of the Flank, the potatos, the pork and the sausage were extremely rich. They all come out with very big servings and deep, gluttinous flavours so that the already generous sizes can get a bit overwhelming. All of our dishes were enjoyable, but perhaps a bit heavy handed. Salty. Creamy. Saucey.
- The corn was quite nice and not as overwhelming as the other dishes. A smokey sweet flavour that cut through the richness of our other choices. Highly recommended for any visit.
- I was the only person who wanted to order a dessert and so I shamelessly picked up a Choc Crackle and Peanut Butter Caramel dish to go as we left. Again, though, the dessert was supremely rich and a bit overwhelming. The salty peanut butter came through strongly on every bite, and although there were some sweet hits with the occasional cherry whisper, and the odd rice-crispy surprise, to be honest it wasn't all that great.
- It's a nice touch though that the Old Crow will box up the food you don't finish for you to take with you, and not all restaurants will do this. I half suspect it's because people might be inclined to over order, and given the rich flavours and the generous portions be left with a lot on their plate at the end of their evening.
No comments on drinks again.
- We were seated outside and it was cold, cold, cold. They gave us blankets for our laps but these did little to stop the breeze running down Newcastle Street. They can't be blamed for the weather, but it is a bit of a shame that we had booked a table and they decided to seat us outside rather than where we would be more comfortable.
- The cold was definitely responsible for us cutting our evening short, which, had it resulted in me missing out on dessert, would have been unforgivable.
- Another downer was that one of the other tables that was seated outside was a lot less subtle about being seated in the cold, and complained loudly. They complained so much that the staff actually brought some of the heaters from one side of the courtyard over to their table. Lucky them. Not so lucky us, who were (quietly) also freezing and sad to see our only heater go.
- Aside from the blistering cold ([winter is coming joke]), otherwise the Old Crow has a pretty funky decor inside and I reckon the courtyard would be excellent in summer for some after work beers. It's on the to do list and I will report back in six months' time.
- Although perhaps the food and the amenity was a little bit disappoiting, the service at the Old Crow was absolutely top notch. In fact, I'm going to say the service at the Old Crow was the best we have received at any place we have visited in the last twelve months, and perhaps ever.
- Our waitress was attentive without being annoying, funny, kind enough to laugh at our jokes, all over us with blankets but wiley enough to know that the Double Pork Belly might have wanted a blanket but secretly didn't want to admit it, and so might need to be asked a few times, was a master of the menu and had wine recommendations up her sleeve to pair with whatever we ordered.
- The best of all though, as soon as our waitress worked out that Preggers McGee was with child, she was quick to let us know which dishes were pregnant-lady-friendly and made sure that wherever possible the dishes came out with pregnant-friendly condiments (e.g.chutneys vs mayos etc).
- She was the best. The best, Jerry, the best.
I was a little bit disappointed by the Old Crow, but only because perhaps I went in with the wrong expectations. The Old Crow isn't a place where you come in and order one of everything and then complain about still leaving hungry. The Old Crow knows how to feed you.
I would recommend it for a visit, but make sure you don't over order and prepare yourself for some very rich, salty, smokey flavours. Don't go at night in the middle of winter, and if you do then make sure you sit inside. Ask for the waitress we had and then give her a cuddle (she was so great). Ask for a doggy bag when you inevitably can't finish your meal. Bring homies.
I'm looking forward to going back - not so much because we had a great first experience but because I think now that we have learnt a few lessons we're primed to have a wonderful second go at it.
7 crispy piggly bits out of 10
re the Guatemalan Pepper --