I was thrilled to receive an invitation for a hosted bloggers dinner at The Naked Fig Restaurant one Friday evening. The creative and fun invitation arrived by post in the form of a carefully packaged bottle of vincotto and went a little like this – ‘join us for the feast, you damn sexy beast, and, here’s a kitten!’ Uber cool I thought!
The Naked Fig is situated on the serene Swanbourne Beach, 12kms from Perth’s CBD in Western Australia. In the fig family there is also the Pickled Fig in South Fremantle and Wild Fig in Scarborough.
DK and I have enjoyed a fair few morning espressos on the outdoor deck and I was definitely excited to see what the Naked Fig had in store for us.
We arrive at 7pm after sunset and as we walked towards the entry of the restaurant we talked about how nice it would be to wine and dine through a summer’s sunset into the cool night. Something we will definitely have to do this summer!
The evening mood of the restaurant relaxes from the morning cafe rush and lunch flurry of the day. The interior is lit up with glowing amber lights and the sand bucket chandelier is a creative and rather cute connection to the seaside location.
The evening unfolded around a finely dressed long table, our corner of the restaurant was cleverly partitioned off by two screens and semi private just enough to be able to enjoy the tunes of the jazz band and the restaurant ambiance.
The dinner was a prelude to Naked Fig as a venue for all styles of occasions. Our hosts Joel and Aoife were super friendly and entertaining as they circulated the table through the evening.
Our group were served a selection of appetizing entrees and main dishes to share by Chef, Chris May and his team. Dessert and a few surprises followed later on.
Entree Board One
- Spiced mince beef, cheddar empanadas, kasundi
- Rare beef, wasabi mayo, radish, crostini
- Smoked salmon, buckwheat blini, caviar
- Spiced gazpacho
Entree Board Two
- Grilled scallops with crispy chorizo
- Pea, manchego croquettes
- Lamb lollies with hoi sin and sesame seeds
Potato gnocchi, roast beets, swiss chard, candied walnuts
Potato gnocchi is a dish I love to order at a restaurant, it’s such a comforting meal. The gnocchi displayed the traditional ridges for catching the sauce, accomplished by a nifty wooden tool or with a skillful fork in hand. The soft gnocchi was served with roasted beets and swiss chards. The candied walnuts added a pleasant sweet taste to the dish and I hunted the caramelised delights each time I forked a gnocchi.
Baked leek nicoise, black olives, rosemary, poached egg, confit tomatoes
A leek may on appearance be an ordinary green vegetable however when roasted, it can stand alone as being absolutely delicious. The leek was served with black olives and cooked tomatoes in a confit style. A poached egg balanced on top.
Roast salmon, potato gratin, soy gem hearts
The roasted salmon was served on top of baked potato gratin.
Asian laksa, barramundi, bean sprouts, noodles, coriander
The barramundi was lightly cooked and served in a thin broth with fresh bean sprouts and noodles. The barramundi was refreshing to eat, it was soft and juicy.
1/2 spatchcock, zucchini, roast tomato, capsicum, cous cous
The roasted spatchcock was my favourite and it’s not something I would have ordered, for no particular reason other than as mentioned, I love gnocchi. I could and would eat this dish all over again. The baby chicken was served on a bed of tantalising cous cous. The flavour of roast tomato and capsicum in the cous cous was superbly delicious.
Lamb cutlets, cumin pumpkin, roast chickpeas
One of many wonderful things about living in Australia (the 2nd largest producer of lamb) is being able to eat lamb regularly and I adore the rack. The flavoursome lamb cutlet was tender and juicy, pumpkin spiced with cumin and roasted chickpeas accompanied the dish. I find Chickpeas easy on the stomach and they really satisfy a strong savory craving. With the incorporation of the chickpeas it is not a heavy lamb dish.
The menu at Naked Fig offers considerable options for a healthy meal and vegetarians are covered with the herbivore Tuesday menu. The incorporation of the restaurant favorites such as lamb and gnocchi means I could definitely return with my folks who tend to go for the old school dishes.
Dessert arrived on small boards, petite sizes of a white chocolate brulee, coconut panacotta and a cherry and nut brownie.
White chocolate brulee, Coconut panacotta, Cherry and nut brownie
The cuteness of the creme brulee in a jar drew oohs and aahhs in the room and it was my immediate reaction too, I may be a jar collector. A delicious smooth creme with a slight hint of caramelisation on top. Working my way right, the coconut pannacotta was sweet and strongly flavoured, quite different to the subtle white chocolate flavour of the creme brulee. The cherry and nut brownie was sensational and my favourite of the three delicate desserts. Thoughts of its soft chocolate texture and gooey centre are lingering with me now as I write this post!
White chocolate creme brulee
A tray of espresso cups circulated the table serving us Butter coffee. Grass fed butter + a shot of black espresso. I think most of us including this avid little coffee drinker experienced butter coffee for the very first time. The consistency was thick and creamy, the strong aroma of the coffee still present in the cup.
On retrospect, the way I butter my toast, I should not be trusted to make myself a butter coffee however I would certainly take pleasure in drinking it at a cafe. I have an inkling Perth will see more of the butter coffee in time to come.
While I thought the evening would draw to an end following the delectable dessert, our hosts surprised us all with a chilled glass of dessert wine, pieces of raw chocolate and a mouth-watering board of cheese and crackers! Blue cheese, preserve and crackers is my ultimate cheese board and I smiled when they were all presented in front of me. Despite being full at this point I did indulge with a few slithers of cheese.
Naked Fig as a venue has much to offer, the supreme seaside location overlooking Swanbourne Beach and views of a pristine sunset teamed with being able to manipulate the floor space to suite both small and large events. The theme of the venue is interchangeable from fun and funky to classical to casual long table meals. Flexibility, I think, is key to a successful event and I’ve done a few to know. The events team seem to have the rigmarole to jump into any situation and make the best of it and they are not afraid of the sinking wedding cake.
Handy venue insights
- Naked Fig is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Loads of parking
- Wheel chair friendly
- Venue can hold up to 150 people
- Private board room
- Fenced children’s playground in front and in view from the decking area
- Beach toilets next door, combine team building on the beach with lunch or dinner?
The evening seemed to disappear faster than I could acknowledge, we ate for a good three hours. The Naked Fig certainly exceeded in hosting a feast fit for foodies!
Many thank yous must be said to the our hosts Joel and Aoife and the Naked Fig for a stellar evening, we enjoyed every part. I do have one pressing question……. is the cherry and nut brownie available in the mornings? with coffee?