The Deck, Ku De Ta Perth, Western Australia
Bali’s legendary beach club has opened an outpost in Perth, with three different dining spaces on the city waterfront.
By Max Veenhuyzen
Published: 6 April, 2017
Bali has long been a popular holiday destination for Australians – and this year some of the island’s waterside charm has arrived in the city of Perth. Balinese beach club Ku De Ta is an iconic Asian brand and lifestyle destination, and newly opened Ku De Ta Perth – the beach club’s first international outpost – delivers the same alluring mix of cocktails, casual dining, soulful dance music and sunsets, set against a classic Australian coastline.
A waterfront location on the famous Swan River, next to Perth’s city centre, offers a more urban eating experience than the original venue. Food is overseen by Dan Fisher, the former executive chef of inner city Perth eating and drinking precinct Print Hall. Ku De Ta Perth has three dining spaces, and each infuses the brand’s Asian heritage with a distinctly local feel, from the casual Italian-Australian dining of The Deck to the more ambitious cooking of showpiece restaurant KU Dining.
All-day dining at the deck
Capable of entertaining 500 guests and open daily from breakfast till late, The Deck is the largest and most accessible of Ku De Ta Perth’s three venues. In the morning, expect big-flavour breakfast dishes such as waffles with fried eggs and corned beef, and panzerotti, a deep-fried Italian pastry filled with cheese and baked beans.
From lunch till close, the kitchen switches to a primarily Italian menu in which subtly inventive house-made pasta dishes feature prominently. These might include carbonara made with wholemeal bigoli (thick spaghetti) and duck eggs, or an Asian-influenced spaghetti starring furikake (Japanese rice seasoning) and powdered seaweed. Crisp pizza makes ideal share food for groups.
Veteran Perth bartender Joe Sinagra has written a cocktail list that channels beachside drinks and good times. Try the dark rum pina colada made with fresh pineapple juice. The wine list offers plenty of sophisticated refreshment, and the space features wraparound vistas of the Swan River.
A charcuterie bar celebrating Australian produce and producers
While The Deck is perfect for group entertaining, The West offers a more intimate eating and drinking experience with the bonus of al fresco dining: ideal for taking advantage of Perth’s enviable long hours of sunshine. The menu is suitably relaxed and casual, with pristine Australian ingredients cast as the stars of the show. Expect the likes of Yarra Valley trout roe served with blinis, very good crab sandwiches and South Australian cockles stir-fried in a spicy house-made XO sauce.
Fisher also celebrates Australian smallgoods producers, with a changing selection of treats that may include mortadella by Sydney’s LP’s Quality Meats or Eastern European sausages and meats from local butcher Adrian’s Continental Smallgoods.
Ku: a study in modern Australian dining
Finally, there’s KU Dining, the most ambitious of Ku De Ta Perth’s dining options. While Fisher and his team stress that KU isn’t fine dining, there’s no denying that the kitchen has set its sights high. The kitchen works hard to source pristine ingredients – predominantly from Western Australia – and casts them in imaginative, artfully plated dishes that demonstrate Australian dining’s cosmopolitan bent.
Raw veal and wattleseed chips equals a very Australian take on beef tartare, while blackened cucumbers and creamy stracciatella cheese is an equally gratifying vegetarian dish. Marron, Western Australia’s famous and delicious freshwater crayfish, is served with a bearnaise sauce flavoured with saltbush, a savoury, native Australian plant that grows wild around the country. Like much of what makes Ku De Ta Perth so compelling, it’s a dish grounded in something local but reimagined through a global perspective.
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