Petite Mort – living up to the french slang!


There’s nothing like sneaking in a little gourmet lunch into an otherwise hectic Friday. As mentioned on previous post comments, I have been dying (excuse the pun) to try out this cute little place tucked away on one end of the Onslow Road strip. One of my favourite foodie girlfriends happened to have the day off, so we booked to have lunch here.

I encountered a few challenges just getting to the place – first – parking, though this was not too horrendous and I actually found a “God spot” a few metres from their inviting black and white frontage. Getting into the converted house posed the next little dilemma. Again not insurmountable, I stopped trying to walk into their front window (think this was the old door, now converted) and found the little gate beside that led to a mini-courtyard and then the entrance. They may benefit by making the actual entrance a tad clearer in some understated way.

The final challenge came after being seated to wait for my mate. I decided to use the restroom, only to encounter a rather unusual lock. Easy enough to lock, but I came unstuck trying to get out again. A few moments of panic and then I worked out that what  looks like a twizzly-turny lock, is actually a push-in/pull-out contraption. Easy mistake – beware unsuspecting nose-powdering guests.

Back in the comfort of the understated interior, I had time to take in the surrounds. Microsuede covered seating with matching wall panels, and wooden floorboards, all added to the air of quiet sophistication. Leaving one brick wall unrendered was a nice arty touch and the large glass bay window enhanced the brightness of the otherwise dark interior on this sunny day.

Finally joined by my friend, we decided on some sparkling water and turned our attention to the menu. Petite Mort only does one-size dishes which are only slightly bigger than entree size, similar to what you get on a degustation menu, and not really for sharing like tapas or mezze. Indeed, they do actually have a degustation menu made up of combinations from their main menu, and also a lunch special which we thought was excellent value at $49 for three courses, two savoury dishes and one sweet, plus a glass of any wine served by the glass.

As soon as we had ordered we were presented with a complimentary warm freshly baked mini-brioche each and a small cube of home-made butter.

Stunning presentation

We started with the goats cheese salad with butternut pumpkin, beetroot and broccolini for me and the porcini gnocchi with poached egg and asparagus for my companion. Both were exquisitely presented and tasted divine. A nice surprise followed – a ginger cordial and sparkling beetroot palate cleanser which looked and tasted like something from another dimension. Gorgeous. We both wanted the duck for the next course, but would have liked to have had the lamb dish had they not have run out of the accompanying veal sweatbreads, which were then replaced with the less exotic pigs ear.  Again, the confit duck leg, served with Cepe and chantarelle mushrooms, was cooked to perfection and came out beautifully dressed with a rather showy foam. To finish, the Death by Chocolate for me and the Chestnut custurd, chocolate bonbon and peanut butter for my friend. The former was nice but did not send me to the heavenly end as I had hoped for and was promised – there were five elements on the slate, of which the truffle and the mousse were the most successfully pleasurable. The chestnut custurd dish was equally pleasant but no standouts here either. In fact I could have done with another of those excellent ginger and beetroot palate cleansers instead! A final touch, and supposedly to accompany any supposed coffee orders, were a selection of unsolicited petit-fours. Whilst a nice idea, the actual selection was mediocre at best, and the included madeleines were overcooked. This did not however spoil our overall impression of the place which was excellent and not at all bad value, considering our generous serves of wine accounted for a third of the price of the lunch deal. We are planning a return trip for dinner, for sure.


Of note, at the end of the menu, I did notice a cigar section with a select range of good quality cigars. Presumably the rather pleasant outdoor area is reserved for those who indulge in such dark pleasures. It’s the first time I have seen this at a fine restaurant in Perth, though I remember a rather wonderful evening at Peter Gilmore’s The Quay Restaurant in Sydney that was substantially enhanced by a finale of a sensual Pedro Ximenez and the seductive aroma of a Cuban cigar whilst taking in the stunning Harbour Bridge and Opera house. Sigh.

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3 thoughts on “Petite Mort – living up to the french slang!”

  1. Was the orgasm before, during or after the meal ?

    From Urban Dictionary :

    la petite mort
    The little death is translation from the French “la petite mort”, a popular reference for a sexual orgasm. The term has been broadly expanded to include specific instances of blacking out after orgasm and other supposed spiritual releases that come with orgasm.

    Speculations to its origin include current connotations of the phrase, including:

    * Greco-Roman belief that the oversecretion of bodily fluids would “dry out” one of the believed four humours, leading to death
    * Islam’s reference to sleep
    * Buddhist Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’s quote: “Life is nothing but a continuing dance of birth and death, a dance of change.” (Existence through many changes, “births and deaths”)

    Man, la petite mort for me last night with Mandy was so big I thought I actually might die!

  2. Great service at this place maz! We had the degustation and it was all served in petite sizes! I agree with you the chocolate wasn’t as good as it looked! The madelines I had were rather tasteless! I’m a chocoholic so obviously I wasn’t going to be a happy customer with a lightly cocoa flavoured dessert!

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