It was with gusto that we all readied the beautiful space at Salt and Company Cooking school in West Perth for the very first RiverMint Dining pop up. The menu and the evening were inspired by the Noongar season of Djeran, and the images presented by Salty Wings complimented the colours of the orange berries and banksias in season which were displayed around the room. The season of Djeran is also known as the Season of Adulthood and falls in what the western world regards as Autumn. A change in the wind can be felt, and hot nights are replaced with cool evenings and dewy mornings. Here we see the Marri blossom in full flower and Banksia flowers line areas such as the Roe highway and Herdsman Lake in abundance.
Djeran is also the time when the emus are fat, so an emu flat rump was featured on the menu. This cut was marinated for 48 hours, cooked sous vide and then seared for service and served with a warrigal greens dumpling, fresh charred corn, rosella flower, pink berries and a game jus. Djeran is also the season of the salmon run, so it seemed only fitting to serve herring, after which the salmon run, as part of the canapés service. Combined with a native spice mix and potato, the herring potato bites were served with black garlic and ruby salt bush. We also featured crocodile which was served at room temperature with a spiced rhubarb puree and gwarl berries from the Kimberley region (also known as White Berry Bush).
Many greens were foraged for this pop up and included succulent pig face leaves, WA Samphire, dune spinach (also known as Crystal Ice plant) and sea rocket. These paired well with the seafood dish of smoked Kingfish, seared bush grapes and pepper berry and the zing of a favourite ingredient from Marvick Native Farms, fingerlime, cut through the smokiness.
It was with pleasure that the River mint from our garden became a sorbet in between courses. The evening ended with a bavarois made using Pandanus nut, with Davidson Plum and Northcliffe Blood Plum. This was paired with Garbin Estate's Muscat. A tea made using Marri blossom flowers and Southern Forests Honey alongside WA Sandalwood nut bites completed the evening.
We received plenty of feedback with regards to our first pop up and will endeavour to take all comments onboard when preparing for our Makuru pop up. Most importantly we learned a ton about the ins and outs of running a pop up restaurant and had fun in the process. If anything I would have liked to have spent more time outside of the kitchen and inside the dining room chatting about the ingredients that we should be celebrating as Australians.
Thank you to all our suppliers for some great produce and to those that attended. We look forward to cooking for you all again soon and will announce our next pop up in the weeks ahead.