My family friends from overseas wanted to try garlic prawns and heard good things about the Witch’s Cauldron in Subiaco. Against our better judgment, we ignored the poor Urbanspoon ratings and expensive food prices, vowing to share our mains to keep the costs down.
Fruit Bliss Cocktail ($16), Dry Martini ($16), Cranberry Juice ($4.80) and Witch’s Semillon Sauvignon Blanc ($7)
A couple of my dining companions had started celebrating with wine at home, so we continued the party with fancy drinks before choosing our food. My Fruit Bliss Cocktail was tasty and colourful, but it went an icky brown colour when I stirred the layers together.
Pork Belly ($25)
The pork belly came with grilled prawns and pineapple and cucumber salsa. I was disappointed that the pork was a little dry, the flavours were unimaginative, and the portions served on spoons were definitely not bite-sized. Confusing presentation and underwhelming preparation.
Fresh Oysters (6 for $19.30)
We also ordered oysters to share. For some unknown reason, the oysters were served on rock salt rather than ice, so my dining companions complained that they were not chilled enough. Also, the oysters were not very large and plump, and one had a small piece of shell inside. Nobody touched the dipping sauces (thousand island dressing and an unidentified sweet liquid).
Garlic Prawns (main size for $50.30)
The highly anticipated garlic prawns arrived sizzling in oil with chunks of garlic. I am usually a fan of Asian-style garlic prawns, so I found the dish at Witch’s Cauldron had a very mild garlic flavour in comparison. While I enjoyed the prawns, the serving size does not warrant the $50 price tag. Honestly, I reckon you could recreate these at home for a fraction of the price.
Lamb Fillets ($44.90)
We embraced the Aussie love of lamb and ordered lamb fillets marinated in garlic and rosemary. The seven or so strips of lamb were served with potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and aioli. Given the cheap price of lamb and the small serving size, our satisfaction with the dish depended on well-executed preparation. Despite following the waitress’s advice to order the lamb medium-rare, it was cooked to medium and was a little tough and dry. We let the waitress know when she asked us how our meal was, but she just fumbled an apology then left. *sigh* Where’s our discount?!
Grilled Gnocchi with Napoli Sauce ($29.10)
I really enjoyed the gnocchi with napoli sauce, green olive tapenade, and parmesan cheese. The gnocchi was soft, the sauce had a rich tomato flavour, and I liked the salty chunks of olives. However, I was exasperated by the small serving size because pasta costs next to nothing.
I explored the dining area at the back of the restaurant with my young friend, then we walked upstairs to take a sneak peak at the function areas.
Stained glass panel in the upstairs area
We enjoyed all the witchy memorabilia, including a full-sized pitchfork and the stained glass panel (our favourite decoration!).
Service was a little snobby and one staff member was overtly judging a couple of my dining companions, who were laughing loudly and telling stories. The Witch’s Cauldron is trying to remain a popular up-market restaurant. The food, presentation, and service do not meet the expectations set by the high prices.
Likes: dining booths
Dislikes: high prices, average food, one or two snobby staff members
Value for money: low
Overall: would not visit again, would not recommend
89 Rokeby Rd
(08) 9381 2508