Good Food Guide chef of the year, National chef of the year, a three-time winner of the WA chef of the year, Australian Culinary Federation chef of the year, voted Best BYO restaurant in Australia four times, a Gold Plate winner, two hats from the 2019 Good Food Guide – these are just a few of the awards that Stephen Clarke has garnered since opening his restaurant in 2003.
The restaurant, Clarke’s of North Beach, is a favourite of ours for special occasions. It is very modest looking from the outside and understated elegance is the theme for the interior design. Tablecloths and silver service are the finishing touches.
We decided, as we have done previously, to visit Clarke’s for a birthday dinner and once again we were not disappointed. The five-star food on offer, mainly local fresh produce, was beautifully presented and absolutely delicious.
Clarke’s offer a six-course degustation menu for $100 per person with wine pairings for $60 each. This time around, we decided to go for the a-la-carte menu.
To begin with I chose the scallops with elements of corn ($25). Only three scallops may not have been terrific value for money but the taste was superb. My husband opted for the Linley Valley pork belly with miso and apple ($25). The pork was moist and succulent and pork skin crispy – another winner.
For mains, I decided on the Black Onyx wagyu steak with different varieties of mushrooms and caramelised onions ($44) and my husband had the lamb cutlet, lamb shoulder and lamb rib with zucchini and asparagus ($43). We also shared some Royal Blue chips.
Where does one start in praise of these main dishes? My steak was tender and full of flavour, the sauce and gravy were excellent and I loved the caramelised onions. My husband thoroughly enjoyed all his lamb cuts and sauces and we were fighting each other for a share of the great chips!
After a suitable amount of time to digest our main courses, I ordered the coconut pannacotta with sorbet and chopped strawberries ($16) while my husband had the cheeseboard ($22).
The pannacotta was beautifully cooked and the sorbet totally melted in my mouth. A wafer-thin concoction of white chocolate was divine.
I was also presented with some mango sorbet on a plate decorated with a chocolate Happy Birthday, which was a nice touch.
My husband was slightly put out to discover his cheeseboard consisted of only three cheeses. It was served with crackers, fig and walnut bread and rye and caraway bread. However he was pleasantly surprised by the taste and quality of the cheeses and after he had devoured the excellent bread – he admitted that the proportions were, as Goldilocks might have said, “just right”.
We complimented our meal with a good bottle of NZ wine.
It is not a cheap night out but if you are looking for something special then I highly recommend Clarke’s.
Clarke’s is wheelchair accessible. Street parking is available right outside the restaurant, free after 6pm, and there is more car parking nearby on Lawley Street or Castle Street.
Address: 97 Flora Terrace, North Beach
Phone: 08 9246 7621
Opening hours: Closed Sunday and Monday. Open for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays 12-2pm and dinner from 6:30 pm (6pm Fridays and Saturdays) until 11pm.
Gluten-free options: Yes
Vegetarian options: Yes
Entertainment Book: Yes – 25% off the total bill up to a value of $45.
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