I WAS worried. Helm’s menu is predominantly vegetarian.
Dishes like potato gnocchi with truffle pecorino ($26) and cauliflower with hazelnuts ($18) sounded tasty, but would they satisfy with carnivorous cravings?
A closer look at the menu revealed a handful of seafood selections like Fremantle octopus ($22) and Albany sardines ($5 each).
Then I spotted the meaty motherload: the Stirling Range rump ($29) and Berkshire pork cutlet ($34) had me beating my chest like one of the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The accompanying goats curd, café de paris butter and bagna cauda were a robust Strauss symphony playing in my head.
Now my blood pressure has gone down, it’s fair to say Helm has an impressive, well balanced menu.
To kick things off, we ordered the Amelia Park lamb shoulder ($36).
The slab of meat is slow cooked until juicy and tender, then chargrilled for an extra smoky flavour.
A quenelle of goat’s curd is a masterful addition to the dish – it’s earthy, tangy and oh-so creamy. I was in my foodie Heaven.
The amberjack crudo ($15) is divine.
Thick slices of raw pink amberjack flesh are elegantly presented with citric avocado puree, fennel and buttermilk. The menu stated there should be horseradish, but unfortunately it was Missing in Action.
Dotting the plate were salty, fried capers that added a crunchy texture.
My dining companion Tegan was keen to sample the scallops ($6.50 each)
Sourced from the Abrolhos islands, the pearl-white mollusks are firm and sweet with an acidic bite courtesy of the olive oil, lemon juice and chopped-tomato dressing.
Perched above Fishing Boat Harbour, Helm’s dining room is vast, open and light.
It doubles as a bar with an extensive drinks menu that would make any booze hound swoon.
If I had to compare Helm to other local restaurants, I’d say it sits somewhere in between the casual Char Char and the high-end Manuka Woodfire kitchen.
42 Mews Road, Fremantle