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Jan 12, 2011 07:43 PM

Perth Restaurant and Wine Shop Suggestions

I'm making a quick, last minute trip to Perth for business. I'll be in Fremantle for a few days and Perth for a few. I'm trying to find some suggestions, but not having too much luck.

For restaurants, I wanted to try the Greenhouse, but I've heard mixed reviews lately. Has anyone been recently and able to make a compelling case? Anything else in the CBD area or a quick cab away?

As for Freemantle, I'm definitely going to stop off at the Little Creatures brewery for some prawn pizza. Anything else in the area the people would recommend.

Lastly, I'm looking to find either a wine shop or a wine bar that has a good selection of smaller, boutique WA wines that I might not be able to find in Sydney. I've found a few, but again reviews seem to be hit or miss.


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  1. CBD and inner burbs - Amuse is the current hot ticket, Jacksons is great if looking a little dated (generous portions!), Star Anise is a favourite of mine

    Beware of Perthian local recommendations - reflects a lot about what's new that they didn't have before - Pata Negra gets rave reviews but at the end of the day its no Bodega. Service can also be a bit lax across the board, even by east coast standards.

    Freo - Little Creatures - they do great sardines in season and the IPA is the best of the beers straight from the tank. Next doorish (to the right as you face the sea) is a cluster of smartish seafood restaurants that are pretty good and then up from them are the cheaper eat on the picnic tables places like Kailis. Depends what you want - all use great fresh produce - so its really whether you want to sit down and eat off plates or much fish and chips watching the sunset.

    Wine - saved my favourite Perth spot until last - Must. Superb French insipred food, great oysters, and an eclectic wine list covering the whole wide world. They try and find stuff that no-one else has. They also have a Margaret River branch so I'm hoping that beefed up their WA portfolio. Charcuterie there is excellent. Downside: the restaurant is really noisy if the bar is busy.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mr_gimlet

      Thanks for the tips. Little Creatures is definitely on the books. I'll take a look at Amuse and most certainly Wine.

      Is there anything that Perth specialities that you can't find in Sydney? Or things that are a bit fresher out there?

      1. re: BeanTownGolfer

        Beer at Little Creatures - the freshness makes a difference. I find seafood generally better but only really noticed the bottom and middle - I think having the boats land where you eat helps the supply chain. Mandurah crabs and Margaret River yabbies are famous, there is also good venison from MR. Fabulous coffee at Epic in West Perth. Good artisan cheeses at the fresh goat end (unfortunately Gabrielle Kervella gave up)

        My favourite thing about Perth was the prices, days long gone I'm afraid.

        Must will showcase a lot of things. I have eaten there several nights running. (The place is called Must!)

      2. re: mr_gimlet

        I have not eaten at "Must" but have had a glass or three at the bar in both branches. What surprised me was their lack of focus on WA wines. Maybe I expected too much, but I was disappointed, after tasting great wines at the cellar doors I wanted to try more. Must's list by the glass was strong o France and Eastern Australia but short on WA.

        My best two meals in WA were "Nahm" in Perth which IMO is the best Thai in Aus - nothing to do with David Thompson but definitely in the same league. And in MR "Knee Deep" winery has the most interesting food with really superb cooking. There are lots of wineries with grand restaurants, my favourite of these was "Leeuwin Estate" ( I think we tried every one) quite classic, but wines on the list at cellar door prices (rare, other wineries marked up their lists) so you can drink old vintages very much so the staff drove us home after we tested the list...! We also enjoyed Food Farmacy in Dunesbourgh which is interestingly eclectic.

      3. Well, I've been to The Greenhouse 3 times in recent months and I will not go again. The food is fantastic but the service is so shonky it makes me never want to return. It's a shame really as it could be so much more.

        In Freo Moore & Moore on Henry St. for breakfast or lunch is usually pretty good.

        I will second Star Anise and Jackson's. I haven't eaten at Must, but have certainly enjoyed their wines. I agree with Mr_Gimlets assertion to be wary of recommendations by Perth people - there's an emphasis on being trendy as opposed to actually enjoying what you're eating or drinking. I haven't really said anything new, but I'll give it a think and hopefully come up with something else.

        3 Replies
        1. re: TheHuntress

          Much appreciated. I'll see which ones I can work into this trip. Luckily, I'll be going back in a few weeks as well and will make sure to hit up the Margaret River, for sure.

          1. re: BeanTownGolfer

            To me, Margaret River is over-rated given the distance. That said, Cullen has a good restaurant (when its not too busy) and has some pretty hard to get vintages for drinking in. There are still some friendly cellar doors but too many are faceless and overpriced.

            1. re: mr_gimlet

              I agree with you on that as well. I'm quite happy to head to the Swan Valley for wine - in fact I believe a trip to Jane Brook shall be in order to restock soon :)

        2. Hmm...was interested in trying Star Anise and Amuse but both are closed on Sundays...Any recommendations for places open on Sunday? We'll be in MR until then and will have 1 dinner in Perth before our flight. Considered Must but the prices are so expensive -- average prices $24 - $36! USD and AUD are one for one now... =(

          7 Replies
          1. re: anais77

            IIRC correctly Nahm is open, but maybe more expensive than you are looking. Be certain to check out "Knee Deep" whilst in MR - it was the best of my visit, and good value.

            1. re: anais77

              Perth is the most expensive city for eating in Australia and there is very little there (here, as I am currently in Perth) that is inexpensive. Welcome to parity! Must is at the cheaper end, my hotel bar is $35 for a main. And of course Amuse and Star Anise are substantially above this - Star Anise is $45/50 mains.

              The cheaper places aren't really in the CBD or Northbridge either, and sunday nights are dismal for opening.

              Edit: Rockpool Bar and Grill is open

              1. re: anais77

                You're probably looking for more "Australian" food (broad definition, I know), but I found quite a few southeast Asian places on William Street in Northbridge. If you walk just across the bridge attached to the train station and continue up, there were quite a few spots. I stopped at Viet Hoa and would certainly go back to try a few more items.

                1. re: BeanTownGolfer

                  Ha! Actually, I am Vietnamese, from the in HK and there's is definitely a lack of real authentic VN food in Hong Kong! I have now learned how to make all my favorites at home...but a good bowl of beef pho is still hard to make! I wouldn't mind hearing some recs on authentic Vietnamese food places in Perth....I think we might end up stopping by Little Creatures for some beer and pizza otherwise! Thanks!

                  1. re: anais77

                    Viet Hoa is good. There are plenty of places on the William Street strip, including the Brass Monkey if you decide to go Australian. You realise Little Creatures is in Fremantle? - I think the food is OK but nothing special.

                    1. re: mr_gimlet

                      I will defend LC. I enjoy the beer atmosphere and the music and feel the food compliments these perfectly. It isn't a destination for food but it has food that is a cut above the average for a pub.

                      The prawn pizza was well judged (not available these days?) and I rate the burgers up there with Rockpool and a lot better than some of the cult wagyu places in the East (Charlie & Co)....nice loose textured patty rather than the solid over cooked hockey pucks, and they can serve them rare not universally well done.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        I've never had a burger there. Will make sure I try one

              2. I didn't realise Rockpool was open yet - must check it out. Perth is very expensive to eat, but I can recommend The Walk Cafe in Subiaco if you want good food that is not outrageously expensive. It is owned by a chef friend of mine and it has been recently renovated. Everything is made in house from scratch and they're open for dinner Thursday-Sunday and 7 days for breakfast and lunch. If you're after Vietnamese there's a little Vietnamese place called Cafe 55 on High St. in Freo. They're only open for breakfast and lunch - I've had good pho from there before but it has been nearly 2 years, so I have no idea what it's like now. I second that Little Creatures food is ordinary - I actually resolved never to eat there ever again, I'm not too sure why everyone raves about the food. Maybe I'm just missing something?

                3 Replies
                1. re: TheHuntress

                  "I'm not too sure why everyone raves about the food"

                  Because they've had five pale ales and don't remember....

                  1. re: mr_gimlet

                    Ahhhhh, there's my problem. I don't drink pints!

                  2. re: TheHuntress

                    I agree w you about LC food, do not need to go back there. Perth does have an amazing beerstore- International Beer Store - the selection is stunning.

                  3. We had dinner at Harvest in N Freo last night and it was excellent. I really liked it - lamb brains, raw veal, and some great fish - full review and photos are here:
                    I had a glass of a white spanish wine that was elegant and spare. I made a booking earlier in the day - the place does fill up. The service was friendly and fast and personal. I will go again. the menu is online and I thought it was very creative.