Thursday, June 10, 2010

Modern Mediterranean on the Upper-Seaside

Slick with an old-school twist is how I’d best describe the newly revamped Gigi’s on George in what I like to call - the upper-seaside, East Freo.Tucked away at the end of funky George Street, Gigi’s has been around for a little while but has recently undergone a makeover and on the day we visited it seems I wasn’t the only one to notice with suits from all over the Fremantle area, too discovering my latest find.Greeted by duty manager Amanda Sullivan we were given their latest menu which was not only extensive but featured an array of local fresh produce including the Blue Swimmer Crab Cakes.As well as some fantastic menu options (including tapas) Gigi’s has a great drink’s menu on offer too, so to start us off bar manager Johannes DeWet organised a Mojito to whet our appetites.While we waited for our entrees I took a closer look at the changes at Gigi’s, which included the bar area great for tapas and drinks after work.Inside the polished look of crisp, white table cloths and black leather chairs combined with the contrast of the heritage listed building’s high ceilings and old style fire places added to the charm that is Gigi’s.But now onto the food because that’s what it’s all about – right?Sipping our Mojitos (which by the way was refreshing and the perfect way to start our dining experience) Amanda presented us with Artichoke Hearts, Blue Swimmer Crab Cakes and Japanese Seared Scallops.The scallops coincidentally reminded me of spring – light, so colourful and fresh. Topped with parmesan crisps and pepperonata they were nestled in a light tomato veloute’ and looked so good I didn’t want to touch them – but I did and boy they were good.On the other hand the Artichoke Hearts were very earthy, though not tough like some I’ve had before. Served with truffle infused breadcrumbs, herbs and Parmesan, it was another great starter.My colleague tried the Crab Cakes which were nestled on a bed of greens.He commented they were battered nicely without being greasy or too thick – delicious!Next up were our mains, the Pan Fried Gnocchi, Fish of the Day and Char Grilled Fillet steak teamed up with the Babo 2008 Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie (a versatile wine suited to all dishes).I tried the Gnocchi first. You see being married to an Italian you always compare freshly made pasta to the one your nonna or in my case mother-in-law makes.My verdict – to die for! And that’s saying something.Freshly made that morning head chef Ricky Lim did an outstanding job with my favourite edible fluffy pillows.Melt in your mouth pieces of gnocchi combined with the spring (I know there’s that word again) flavours of zucchini, eggplant, pumpkin, red pepper fondue, olive oil topped with shaved Parmesan danced around in my mouth causing a commotion I’m not quite used to – spectacular.The Fish of the Day – Seared Yellowfin Tuna was cooked to perfection and was not fishy at all. Served with a side salad of basil, tomato, potato and boccocini, it was absolutely delightful and great match for the Babo 2008 Pinot Grigio (not only versatile but crisp and one I could of kept drinking all afternoon). The Char Grilled Fillet Steak served on a bed of potato cake and field mushroom with a side of tomato and asparagus was cooked medium rare. Tender and juicy along with the gorgeous flavours of the potato cake this dish was a winner with my colleague. Magic, was all he could say!If you think we stopped here, you’re wrong (although we probably should have).Dessert can only be described as heaven on earth.Sharing the Chocolate Crepes and Lemon and Raspberry Mousse we took our time devouring these sweet treats.The Chocolate Crepes with strawberry jam were light and fluffy and the contrast of the sour cherries made it not sickly sweet and had me wanting to finish the whole thing. The Lemon and Raspberry Mousse, Citrus Curd, Italian Meringue, well that too was delicious and being a lighter dish should have been my first option - a great way to finish off such a wonderful dining experience.
Head chef Ricky Lim said he wanted to cook modern Mediterranean food and I definitely think he has achieved this here at Gigi’s. And speaking of - who is Gigi? Does she even exist? I don’t know but one thing I do know for sure is she’s funky, flavoursome, friendly and I’m going to get to know her a whole lot better!

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