Jazzy cuisine

I HAD not yet eaten at Madalenas, though South Fremantle is now my favourite part of town.

My friend Vivien was keen to enjoy the dulcet tones of the Danny Moss Jnr Trio. Who can say no to hot food, cool jazz and a glass of wine?

Madalenas is a boteco, Brazilian Portuguese for a bar, except that Brazilians don’t usually drink without eating.

In fact there’s not much Brazilians do without eating.

So Madalenas offer a far better wine list than I deserve and food which is equally good. While it is in the style of a Boteco, it doesn’t offer any Brazilian cuisine. 

Madalenas has an excellent wine list and plenty on offer by the glass. A good thing since my preference for rose is rarely shared.

Then there’s the share plate menu and the problem that I want to order everything. We ordered too much but this little piggy managed the clean-up.

Viv kicked off with oysters ($4.50 each), while I set to work on the Wagin duck parfait ($16). I’ve long accepted that pate is a thing of the past and has become parfait and in the process become significantly lighter and fluffier, and this was as light and smooth as anyone could want.

And I do like the aspic which they called vermouth jelly. Melted in the mouth, as a parfait should. 

It arrived with a dab of onion jam, and a generous serve of charred sourdough bread, which was just as well as the oysters didn’t arrive with those twee little triangles of white bread I remember from my youth. We shared.

Next up we were brought the golden beetroot with ricotta and pepitas ($18). So now I know there’s such a thing as yellow beetroot with a less intense flavour than the purple one, and none of the dire consequences, and so pretty on the plate.

Our serve of frites ($10) arrived next. It was a massive dish that we didn’t really need. There’s just nowhere to go after you’ve had duck fat chips at Bread in Common. 

Then the Torbay asparagus (20), which I have just learnt is asparagus from Torbay in the Great Southern, and was beautifully presented and prepared with plenty of crunch from toasted almonds and a little sweetness from the raisins. A stand-out dish.

Last to arrive was the swordfish meuniere ($38). I’ve not had any fish meuniere since the good old days when my dad would take me out for lunch to some old-school bistro.

This was a small serve of perfectly seared fish, submerged in delicious butter sauce with capers and did not disappoint. A joyful conclusion to our meal.

Service was excellent from being seated to leaving. Our waitperson knew the menu well, and kept a sharp eye on us all night.

We were offered dessert, but the choice was limited as were our stomachs by this time. Their cheese platter was extremely tempting. We may have to return for that and another go at the wine list. 

But I’d love to know what happened to the apostrophe Madalena.

by FELICITY NEWMAN

Madalenas Bar
406 South Terrace, South Fremantle

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