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Jan 24, 2012 05:09 PM

Freemantle Dinners

We will be staying in Freemantle for 3 nights in early March. Would appreciate any good dinner ideas.
No chains, just good local food. No sushi, please. Love Italian, Mexican, Indian, Persian, American. Thanks.

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  1. I haven't been myself, but highly recommended by those who have been, is Harvest, in North Freo. As well as a la carte they do have a 5 course tasting menu available. There is a lot of good food available in Freo, particularly Italian, but I am yet to find anywhere I would find amazing or recommend highly over another place. If you go for a wander along the 'cafe strip' on South Terrace you will find a lot of options and it's unlikely you will need to book at any of these places :)

    9 Replies
    1. re: TheHuntress

      Second the vicarious Harvest recommendation - no particular cuisine, here it's called "modern Australian", but it is really the sort of relatively-fine-dining and relatively-innovative food I'm sure is present in many cities in the States (Assume you're from the States?!) with little influences from heaps of different cuisines, etc. Have heard the wine list is pretty boss too.

      Otherwise -

      Mexican: personally I wouldn't bother with Mexican in Perth, and definitely not the Mexican Kitchen in central Freo - it certainly seems popular but the only times I've been the food seemed fairly, well, non-stimulating, huge serves of blah, and I'm sure you would get better almost anywhere in the US.

      Indian: Freo has some fantastic Indian places, my personal favourite is Maya in central Freo (v. close to train station) but my friend swears by Mother India in East Freo. Be prepared to SWEAT if you order vindaloo.

      Italian: I wouldn't write home about any of the Italian places I've tried in Freo. Possibly your best bet would be to catch the train to Cottesloe (4 stops away I think - about 10-15 minutes) and hit Il Lido Italian Canteen on the beach. Beautiful food, covers a much wider range of Italian eating than many Perth places while also being a bit more traditional (i.e. only 1 tomato pasta; tuna carpaccio or chargrill cuttlefish antipasti plates instead of the ubiquitous bruschetta) and a big Italian and Australian wine list --> can you tell it's one of my favourites!

      Also in Cottesloe, Lamont's Wine Store is not only a wine store! but a really lovely restaurant/tapas bar***.

      You didn't mention French as one of your favourites but the other place in Freo that is always highly recommended to me is Great Mellie. (This is all going from my second-hand information) Not the stuffy ambitious sort of French restaurant that Perth was prone to until about 10 years ago, it's supposedly just a really high-quality bistro. Bonus being that it's BYO - hardly any of the good places (except for Northbridge Thai/Vietnamese - but that's a different sort of "good") are BYO. Kill two birds with one stone and pick up a Great Southern (in WA) dry riesling: some of them are unnervingly Alsace-esque (try Oranje Tractor, Howard Park, Trevelen Farm) --> perfect against French food!

      Oh also (this is getting really long sorry) consider Gypsy Tapas House - a bit scruffy and disorganised, but AWESOME value and a great chilled, cheery atmosphere. Relatively Spanish too! - ***I don't know if you've been to Perth in the last couple years but it's been seized with tapas fever, which unfortunately has translated into most places simply serving tiny portions of every food under the sun and calling it tapas, or otherwise serving overcooked sliced chorizo with lemon. So the places that are ACTUALLY tapas-esque are a blessing. Gypsy is one. Duende in Leederville is another but not close to you.

      Whew... how fun talking about one's hometown actually is!!!

      1. re: verysimple

        No mention of Little Creatures?. Not haute cuisine but a good balancing option for a popular places that serves decent food to help the beer go down. It had a great it still good?

        1. re: PhilD

          To be honest, it's so horrendously busy all summer, I can never be bothered with all the commotion/wait for a table! I assume the food's still good though because otherwise it wouldn't be that packed - and the beer is pretty to-die-for fresh from the tanks :)

          1. re: PhilD

            I must be the only person on the planet who does not like Little Creatures. I had to go there last year and it just reinforced that I really do not like the place. But I do concede that everyone else seems to think it's great :)

          2. re: verysimple

            I haven't been to Gypsy, sounds like I should give it a go though! And I second Maya, too - I thought of that one a day after I wrote the above post and then promptly forgot LOL

            1. re: TheHuntress

              Yeah I can't say I LOVE Creatures. The best part is the beer: the food and service have both fluctuated the times I've been; but there are certainly worse places. Without the awesome beer!

              1. re: verysimple

                LOL Ya, I'm not a beer drinker, which is probably a lot to do with it. I've always found the food and service mediocre (yet everyone raves about the pizza's and I've always been disappointed. Is there something wrong with me?) and I just don't like the noisy beer hall atmosphere. I definitely prefer small bars that are quieter where I can drink and harrass the bar staff :D In a nice way of course.

                1. re: TheHuntress

                  I think Creatures has gone downhill. It used to be a pleasant foodspot attached to brewery, and now its the size of a small suburb and completely up itself. The Melbourne spinoff is more like it used to be.

                  1. re: TheHuntress

                    We loved it, but it was three years ago, and it was after a week eating in just about every restaurant in Margaret River so i suspect the contrast was as enjoyable as actual food - and yes we enjoyed a good prawn pizza and they can do a good burger. Best bit was the soundtrack, closely followed by the beer.