Last week I arranged on a whim to go to a concert on Saturday night with my sister and a close friend. We didn’t make any plans around it other than that we would eat afterwards and decide on the night. Eventually, after the soothing sounds of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony, we left the Perth Concert Hall and, at the suggestion of our friend, Miss K, we moved that party on out and up to Mount Lawley, where we would meet at Enrique’s School For To Bullfighting.
I’d heard of and walked past Enrique’s many, many times. It seemed the sort of place I’d always like to go but never actually thought of it when planning outings. And, as mentioned above, it wasn’t even my idea to go this time! Tell you what, though – I won’t be forgetting it any time soon!
My sister, Miss H, and I arrived first, not having to navigate the maelstrom that is leaving the carpark behind Perth Concert Hall. Upon entering, we were bidden to table by not a staff member but a fellow patron. This old and angry American expressed to us his disdain for the fact that one may not be served in Enrique’s without being seated, to which I replied, *charming shrug* “That’s Perth!”. Thanking him for pointing out the table, we proceeded to ignore him, and he us, and instead looked at the menu. Pro-tip: the food menu is on the back of the clipboards. Miss K arrived not long after and we began to get stuck into the things that matter – primarily, what would we alcohol? And food, of course. I’m strongly in favour of a balanced diet.
Orders for drinks were taken fairly swiftly, and soon our waitress returned with a tray loaded with a Custard Vintage Cider and stein (Miss H), Strawberry Hill Cobbler cocktail (Miss K), and a Beefeater Gin and Elderflower Tonic (with Lemon, and Rosemary) (this writer). All were well received, though unfortunately Strawberry Hill was abandoned unfinished in favour of not being arrested for driving drunk. As for me, my drink looked hella poncey but I gave it a 10/10 Would Drink Again.
Enrique’s is very much a tapas-style experience. From the relatively small menu, you have the option of selecting from a few small bits and pieces, as well as larger, mains-size items. My fiscally-conscious parents may wish to ignore the numbers following the upcoming dollar signs. Being the glutton I am, and wanting to try several things, I ordered a Duck Liver Parfait “mini sandwich” ($6), Squid Slider ($9), (as did Miss K), the Cone Bay Barra ($35). Miss H ordered the Beef Ribs with Enrique’s BBQ Sauce and Chipotle Slaw ($36), and Miss K also had a Crumbed Mussel & Chorizo ($4.5) and a Lamb Cutlet with Preserved Lemon and Chermoula Dressing ($6).
There was a very short turnaround between ordering and being able to stuff our faces, which was either down to the excellent service or the fact that the other patrons of the bar, which was chock full, finished eating long before we arrived and head settled in for just more excellent cocktails. Given the efficiency with which our drinks were delivered, I’d like to say it was the former. In any case, all the food was fresh, and delicious. Indeed, the barramundi, served with caper chimichurri, manchego aioli, and baby fennel, was one of the best pieces of fish I’ve yet eaten that wasn’t smothered in batter (that sort of fish is in a class all its own), and its accompaniments complemented it beautifully. I was also lucky enough to have one of the ribs, and it was spot on. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and didn’t need a knife to help pull it apart. I also enjoyed the duck liver parfait sandwich, though I thought perhaps a little more bread wouldn’t have gone astray. Good reviews were also given for the lamb cutlet, and the mussel. Indeed, the only bum note in the whole evening was the squid slider, which, while delicious, lied to me about the squid being crispy. Indeed, it was untasteable under the creamed corn and coleslaw also in the bun.
Despite the filthy, lying squid, our meal was a most enjoyable one. The venue itself is straight out of the Melbourne Small Bar Design Annual, but this is no slight. It was a functional setup with a large and well-stocked bar, and even our little corner had enough space for my gigantic legs and shoes. The staff were as attentive as one could expect in a packed house, and remained friendly throughout. Miss H and I regaled Miss K with our knowledge of every single song that was played by Enrique’s Spotify playlist, leading us to conclude that it may well have been assembled by our parents.
As usual, I don’t have any photos, but instead you should go and experience Enrique’s School For To Bullfighting live! I’ll certainly return, and by taxi, so I can experience the full breadth of “Gintonica” on offer.
Enrique’s School For To Bullfighting
484 Beaufort St
Highgate WA 6003
0438 248 414