A taste of Perth

From funky cafes and cheap eats to high-end restaurant dining we managed to fit a lot into three days.

8 Nicholson in Subiaco is B&B accommodation to tell your friends about. Classy and modern, you feel like you are staying in a friends’ luxury house. With only three rooms, host Michael really looks after you, including a fabulous breakfast to start the day. Fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt and toasted museli to start followed by eggs, bacon and toast any way you want them.

8 Nicholson: www.8nicholson.com.au

A discovery walk around Subiaco found us lots of cafes serving boutique coffee blends and healthy lunches but we also found a tiny little patisserie called Chez Jean-Claude Patisserie. Okay, not so healthy but a must-try. Squishy jam donuts, almond crossiants and long thin baguettes filled with a delicious array of fillings were purchased for an early dinner before heading out to WAAPA to see our friend in his final year show.

Jean Claude Patisserie: Rokeby Rd, Subiaco www.chezjeanclaudepatisserie.com.au

Next day in a shop in London Court called The Pidgeon Hole, we asked the bubbly sales girl where to buy the best coffee in the CBD. She told us we must try a brilliant little café called Cabin Fever. Located at the end of a small arcade (you’d never find this unless you had inside information) Cabin Fever is all op shop charm. It’s one of those places that just make you smile and yes the coffee wasn’t bad either! We also had fresh squeezed orange juice and a gluten free raspberry slice.

Cabin Fever: Bon Marche Arcade, 80 Barrack Street

After much research about fine dining in Perth, I booked 1907 for our Friday night experience. We were treating a young friend of ours so we wanted to give him an experience that we knew his student wages wouldn’t usually allow.

1907 is located in a 100-year-old building in Queen Street. We arrived half an hour early so our hostess ushered us into a discretely located lift that took us to a dimly lit basement cocktail bar that was humming with music and people. 30 minutes later she appeared to escort us back up to our table in the restaurant. We were given a booth opposite the entrance and the enormous black horse with a lamp on its head. Décor is warm and elegant. Think old world Hollywood glamour with a touch of humour eg, the black horse.

The menu is extensive and includes degustation, a set three course menu du jour and al la carte choices.  To start you are offered a selection of fresh bread pieces with olive oil, sea salt and an assortment of olives. Amuse bouche included arancini balls, smoked salmon on blini and wontons filled with ricotta and spinach. Not a great deal to excite the palate here.

On arrival, the entrées were beautifully presented and looked much more enticing.

  • King George whiting fillets, herb crusted slow cooked onion, caper and raisin puree
  • Creamy English spinach soup with prawn and scallop
  • Roast quail breast and braised leg with corn puree, pancetta and quince sandwich.

The whiting was my dish of the night. Succulent and full of flavour, it went beautifully with the melt in your mouth onion.

Mains consisted of;

  • Ras el Hanout rack of lamb, oxtail croquette, onion ring, pea puree, mint jelly
  • Duo of beef, grilled and braised, chorizo and bean cassoulet, crispy potatoe
  • Margaret River venison with baby vegetables, thyme and rosemary crumbs, fresh horseradish mousse and red wine jus.

My boys loved their beef and venison dishes but I was really disappointed with my lamb. It looked beautiful but was tough. My first bite of croquette contained a large piece of fat and suddenly I lost my appetite.

I had high hopes for dessert and these did not disappoint. We ordered to share;

  • White peach bavarois with raspberry jelly, pink peppercorn cream and lemongrass ice cream
  • Lychee soufflé and chamomile ice cream with black sesasme infused anglaise.

Our waitress informed us that unfortunately chef had burnt the soufflé so would bake this again for us and take it off our final bill. To compensate we were given the 1907 chocolate plate which included dark and milk chocolate mousse, cacao crisp, white chocolate ganache and Armagnac and strawberries. Three desserts for the price of one, you’ve got to be happy with that!

The lychee flavour in the soufflé was subtle and delicate but I wasn’t a fan of the chamomile ice cream. The white peach dessert was brilliant. Again, very delicate flavours and so gorgeous to look at. The boys proclaimed the chocolate dessert the real winner so I’m glad our original soufflé was burnt so we got to try it. For those with no sweet tooth we also noticed a very impressive looking glass cheese cabinet with soft lighting whiz past us on several occasions.

Despite my disappointing main meal, the overall 1907 experience was positive. The atmosphere was lovely and the service attentive but as a Council worker told us as we were waiting out the front for our friend to arrive, you’d better make sure you have a fat wallet!

1907: Alleyway, 26 Queen Street,  Perth www.1907.com.au

Day trip out to Fremantle and we lunched at Joe’s Fish Café, on the wharf. It was pleasant enough. Al had the fisherman’s basket and I had the salt and pepper squid, which was very tender but lacked in the salt and pepper department.

Evening meal we were guests of friends at Clancy’s Fish Pub at City Beach, about ten minutes from Subiaco. Right on the surf beach, it was big, friendly and colourful. Lines of high tables with brightly coloured bar stools and ceiling decorations made up of beach towels. The menu was impressive and the food tasty and good value for money. We ate seafood paella, jerk chicken, stuffed pork belly and duck with mushroom truffle risotto, followed by lemon curd crumble with lemon sorbet, tiramisu and chocolate baileys crème brulee.

Clancy’s: 195 Challenger Drive, City Beach www.citybeach.clancysfishpub.com.au

I’m looking forward to visiting Perth again but next time we’ll be heading straight to food and wine mecca, the Margaret River!

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