Whether it's late-night suckling pig, an evening degustation starting with goats cheese wantons, or seared kangaroo skewers overlooking the harbour, Perth has it all on a platter.
By Fleur Bainger
Perth's eating scene is among the sharpest in Australia, revitalised by small bars and unconventional kitchens pushing the culinary boundaries and focusing on multidimensional, flavour-driven fare. It’s casual but punchy, fun but well executed, and often taps into Asia for inspiration. Expect to encounter a clever blending of traditional cuisines with New World fare in this selection of the city's best-value eateries.
Sights of Perth to make you hungry
Pleased to Meet You
Mess hall style tables face the pork-worshipping kitchen in this low-lit haunt, Pleased to Meet You. Expect pigskin crackers served with avocado salsa, suckling pig shavings, beef reuben bau buns and squid hanh mi. The chefs keep cooking until late, orders are cooked on the spot and dishes come out impressively quickly, which is handy if you're off to see a performance at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, a few minutes walk away, or have just come from the nearby Perth Cultural Centre. Note: there's no regular signage here – look for a large number 38 and be pleased you're in the know. 38 Roe Street, Northbridge
Deep fried wontons plumped with goats cheese. Soy dressed alpaca slices. Cassava root doughnuts soaked in warm rum syrup. The meeting of Peruvian and Japanese cooking at Fremantle's Don Tapa is foodie fusion at its best, and the ideal way to tour the Nikkei cuisine is via the AUD$55 "feed me" degustation. Don Tapa began its life as a sea container sitting on Fremantle's port docks, before moving into a warehouse called The Mantle. It shares the floor with a cocktail bar, an Italian pizzeria, a pop-up kitchen space and a ping-pong table. Impressively, its open kitchen is still housed in that same black sea container. 1 James St, Fremantle
Fronting the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Arthouse does an all-day brunch as well as a slick lunch selection, with occasional special dinners including a private after-dark tour of the current exhibition. The food is decidedly chef-driven. There's avocado mousse with heirloom tomatoes, say, or king oyster mushrooms in cider cream on brioche, or perhaps blow-torched chicken parfait. But every dish is under AUD$30, with most hovering around AUD$18. It's surprisingly good value, served beneath a giant mirror ball, geometric light fittings and gallery prints. Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Cultural Centre, Roe Street, Perth
Inspired by the British owner's summer holidays in Spain, this excellent, largely authentic Spanish tapas bar, Pinchos, serves beautiful bites for surprisingly little cash. It inhabits a corner spot in the middle of hip Oxford Street (in the inner city suburb of Leederville), allowing you to enjoy a side of people-watching while you sink your teeth into fried pork belly cubes showered in dukkah, savour the Pedro Ximenez soaked mushrooms or sip a sangria. It's open all day, so you might also be tempted to stop in for a brunch bowl of baked beans, black sausage and chorizo.112-124 Oxford Street, Leederville
Good Fortune Duck House
Good Fortune Duck House is the place to hunt down the most succulent, crispy skinned Peking and roast duck in Perth. It may not be the prettiest venue, with the bright, fluorescent lights, white tiles and wraparound wall mirrors typical of restaurants in Perth's Chinatown, but what it lacks in looks, it makes up for with staggeringly good flavour and value. As well as duck pancakes, try the pork and beans dish, and the soft shell crab. Positioned half way up Northbridge's cosmopolitan William Street, a strip lined with boutiques, small bars and gift shops, you'll know it by the queue out front. 344 William Street, Northbridge
Little Creatures Brewery
A rite of passage for visitors and locals alike, Little Creatures Brewery started life as a grassroots, homegrown microbrewery developed by a group of mates. While it has grown into an international brand, the original shed-style brewery and its harbourside views remain. Within its towering walls, in sight of stainless steel vats, you can bite into chilli prawn pizza, buckets of white wine mussels and excellent kangaroo skewers. Food is well priced and best downed with a Rogers' amber ale, which is mid-strength beer but full flavoured. Consider including a brewery tour while you're here. It costs AUD$12 per person and runs daily, departing on the hour between 12 noon and 3pm. 40 Mews Road, Fremantle
The Beach Club
The word "cheap", and the upmarket, ocean-facing suburb of Cottesloe, are rarely (if ever) in the same sentence. But this beach chic, open-air section of the popular Cottesloe Beach Hotel, The Beach Club, is very affordable, with most dishes around AUD$22. Expect to see plenty of beautiful people dressed in resort wear, perching on canary yellow stools at black and white-tiled tables, lounging on comfy couches in a sunken lounge, or standing beneath colourful beach umbrellas in the open-air space. It's popular day and night, and a great spot to slurp shucked oysters fresh from the ocean, crunch through fried local calamari or share a thin based pizza showered in lamb and preserved lemon. 104 Marine Parade, Cottesloe
More articles like this