disclaimer: I was a guest at the Miss Perez launch party.
date of visit: Saturday 23 November 2013
The Hills is somewhere we don’t get often enough. Places like Stirling are almost on our doorstep and yet they are usually overlooked as either being too far away or somewhere we pass through on our way to a winery. So when the invitation for the Miss Perez launch party arrived, I was keen to check it out. Yes, we were hosting a party for five three year olds the following day but really, what would we be doing from 6pm other than sitting on the sofa feeling shell shocked in anticipation?
With bullet proof logic like that, Andy and I headed to the Hills to see what it was all about.
Miss Perez is the baby of Che and Rebecca Zahra. The names may be familiar to Hills locals, as the owners of Jimmies at Crafers. The restaurant is named after Rebecca’s mother, who was famous for her warmth and hospitality. It is this spirit that they hope Miss Perez (the restaurant) embodies.
Che, Rebecca and a gorgeous, curly headed, but very shy, five year old greeted guests on Saturday night and it wasn’t long before drinks and food were heading out of the bar and kitchen in a steady stream. After some bubbles, Andy rated the Cristal (Cuban) beer very highly – served in very funky combination jar/pitcher glasses. Also on offer was Argentinian Sauvignon Blanc and Spanish Tempranillo. In the background, a Mexican mariachi trio provided entertainment.
This drink selection really gives you a good idea of Miss Perez’s theme. In the brief opening speeches, Che noted that the restaurant wasn’t Spanish or South American or Mexican but a fusion of all those Latin flavours. So just as the drinks are eclectic, the canapés worked in a similar vein.
On the deck, a chef braved the cool (it’s hard to believe I’m typing that – it’s not quite 11am today and we’ve already hit 34°C!), putting together a huge seafood paella on a very smart looking dedicated paella barbecue. Inside, we were snacking on delicious aubergine (eggplant) croquettes that had just the right hit of heat to them and they were beautifully crispy too. There were roasted scallops with pea puree and a coconut and chilli sambal, a salsa served in witlof leaves and prawns served with a pineapple chilli chutney. Well, at least that’s what I tried! For me, the scallops and the croquettes were tight contenders for my favourite. With the scallops I loved the play between the very traditional (the pea puree) and the coconut and chilli sambal, but those croquettes were really really good too …
The formalities were very brief with Lady Rose doing the honours. Lady Rose was also in one of the rooms writing love letters, as required and in the Peacock Room, a mind reader and mixologist were both on hand.
We left the party quite early (but hey – we went home and cut out animal masks for the birthday party! It’s all rock and roll) but I’m sure that the remainder of the guests kicked up their heels.
For us, the launch party did its job and we definitely want to head back and check out Miss Perez’s full menu. Perhaps the weather will even be good enough for us to sit on the deck!
Miss Perez Restaurant & Bar
2 Druid Avenue
Stirling SA 5152
phone: (08) 7225 1932