Two girlfriends and I have been eating out to celebrate our birthdays for at least 20 years, and after visiting Co-Op Dining in East Perth last week, have decided it is our best-ever dining experience. From the sophisticated yet friendly service of Kelli, who is an owner, to the cascade of amazing tastes and exquisite food combinations, we were in awe for the entire evening. And, as a bonus, the decor was modern yet luxurious, so we could hear each other speak, which at our age is becoming an issue. That is not to say the Co-Op is for oldies - the food is sustainable and contemporary, and the presentation impeccable. My personal favourite was the marron presented on a salt block. The restaurant was established last year by husband and wife team from the well-known Dear Friends Restaurant in the Swan Valley, Kelli and Kiren Mainwaring. They pride themselves on sourcing sustainable organic food and excellent wines to match the food, with Kelli providing well-informed personal advice. The care that goes into the meticulously planned menu is obvious from the entrée to the delicious hand-made chocolates served with post-dinner drinks. Our 9 May menu seemed to be tailor-made for us, and the other diners seemed equally as content with their meals. I am gluten free, and I certainly did not feel that I missed out. The five-course degustation catered for me as an individual, so when the other received cake, I received a specially made ice-cream. Final touches throughout the menu included butter dusted with mushroom power, and very fine slithers of radish on the marron to further enhance the sublime flavours. I tried foods I'd never heard of before, such as Morcilla, a Spanish sausage, and chiboust, a pastry cream. Kelli explained every dish to us, and its source, such as the locally caught sustainable herring with Pemberton finger limes (which burst in the mouth, creating a mini-explosion to support the sublime flavour of the fish). We also had as an entree free-range smoked yolk with morcilla, quince, dijon and mushroom, and a delicious pork belly with mushroom and quince. The main course was a choice between open-range organic pork, and grass fed Blackwood Valley beef (with beetroot and eucalyptus). Even though each of us was more than happy with our meals, we also envied our friends’ choices. And because the portions were adequate but small on this five-course menu, there was plenty of room for us to enjoy the banana chiboust, pistachio and coconut ice-cream, which was unequivocally the best ice-cream combination I've very had. Some say Co-Op Dining is expensive, but for a menu packed to the brim with amazing taste sensations, we can't wait to return
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