Home ContentCatch Up with an Old Friend - Adelphi Bar and Grill, Parmelia Hilton Perth

Catch Up with an Old Friend - Adelphi Bar and Grill, Parmelia Hilton Perth

Published : September 15, 2016

Flourish food contributor Simon Owen visits the revamped Adelphi Bar and Grill at the Parmelia Hilton Perth.

Words: Simon Owen

 

Back in the days, there were very few places of note to eat and socialise.  The Parmelia Hilton was the first upmarket international hotel in Perth and it held on to that image for a very long time.

The Hilton had two ‘hospitality’ jewels; Juliana’s nightclub (renamed subsequently a couple of times) and the Adelphi Grill & Bar, as it was then known.  Anyone over the age of 50 probably has one story about Juliana’s, and I recall the Associates’ Rugby wind-up ending its night there around 1983.  A bunch of very drunk lads in Perth’s exclusive nightclub with very little romantic success, at least in my memory.

The Adelphi was another option altogether.  Probably one of the homes to the power lunch back in the day, perennial after-work drinks favourite and not too shabby for a steak and a party as the night wore on.  It stood just outside the hotel lobby in the associated retail’ arcade. 

In fact it was the scene of a whole bunch of colourful behaviour some years before I ever darkened its doors in the early 80’s as a suited hopeful. In the flamboyant 70’s it had seen another generation of revellers, some the fathers of my peers … behaving badly.  The legendary Paul Rigby, cartoonist and raconteur, created some signature artwork for the walls commemorating the Bacchanalian exploits of those times, and probably executed more that one of the apocryphal Limp Falls in that place.

 

The ‘front of house’ or signature restaurant of the Hilton has never really seemed to ‘trouble the scorers’ until around 2009 (ish) when the hotel enlisted a protégé of the legendary Cheong Liew of The Grange, the hotel’s Adelaide sister, to offer an AusAsian fusion menu.  It was good, and its chef went on to head up Print Hall’s mid range Asian ripper, The Apple Daily.

For those of us less informed, the space kind of fell off the radar after that, as had the Adelphi; sort of forgotten and seemingly dated, but for no apparent reason.  This is perhaps a little unusual given the fairly recent resurgence of the Steakhouse, a la Rockpool at Crown, which is nothing much more than …

Come some little while ago, the decision was made to marry to ‘dress circle’ spot at the Hilton with the time honoured brand of the Adelphi.  Given the trend to slightly less formal dining and the Hilton’s core business of caring for travellers, this seems like an intuitive decision.

So …… the Adelphi is back. 

It’s a bar, which every hotel needs, and a restaurant though clearly trending to the less formal.  It’s a quality hotel, so the service is professional and lovely and it has a team that clearly cares, with many, including Executive Chef, Chad Miskiewicz, having been there since time began, and with a younger enthusiastic sommelier there is no shortage of professionalism.

The menu has all of the things that such a venue in a major hotel chain should have including the burgers, snacks, a few mains that touch the pasta/vege/seafood/duck thing and a small ‘vanilla’ desert selection.

The real emphasis is on a selection of Starters, Tapas and the Steaks.  I can’t yet comment on the Tapas but the Starters whilst offering nothing revolutionary are quality and well executed.

 

The emphasis of the kitchen is clearly on the Steak offering and the selection has all the usual suspects, with the retro touch of the Surf ‘n’ turf (gluten free …. no kidding) and the trilogy of traditional 70’s sauces.  Against this backdrop, the kitchen clearly sources amazing quality meat in the best traditions of smaller shops and happily recommends that you don’t order the sauces!  If compelled to, Chef politely suggests that you enjoy the first half of your finely treated flesh ‘sans’ sauce, and then indulge.  Fine advice and delicately offered.

Personally, I would heed Chef’s advice and eschew all suggestions of sauce, none of which could possibly improve a reputable piece of meat, save for nostalgia.  The same cannot be said for the Fiery Fillet.  A fine piece of flesh rubbed in Chef’s signature blend which has demonstrable Szechuan and Cayenne, and two other elements which remain a mystery.  Its exciting but not intimidating and allows the integrity of the meat to remain.  Not a ‘sauce’. 

The booze follows similar lines with a range of obligatory options befitting the Hilton brand.  There is also some more interesting alternatives hidden in there and the ‘high end’ for those on the company credit card and perhaps slightly anesthetised to real value.

Beautifully, the original (or some of as memory fails) Rigby murals have been preserved and transposed to the dining room.  Having spent many years as close compadre with the equally talented scion of said Rigby, the whole experience was a lovely trip back down memory lane on a number of fronts.  More to the point, this is a quality offering in sophisticated but user-friendly environs.

Moreover the Adelphi offers a range of promotional regulars; Wine Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays and a Reserve for functions, that deliver value and relevance in an increasingly competitive City market (which it wasn’t when the Adelphi reigned supreme in the late 70’s). 

So, forgotten, maybe but unfairly and for any number of reasons, and in the flush of newer more specialist ‘dudes’, the Adelphi is returned.  Resurrected and still carrying comforting reminders of its former glory. 

It's not necessarily going to be the cradle of formative memories as it was for some of us, but it is worthy, on any level, of catching up with an old friend even if it’s the first time that both of you have been there.




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