Perth, we asked you to nominate your absolute favourite locally owned restaurants and cafes. We broke these into local areas- North, South, East, West and Central. Each area will have five winners, with one crowned ‘Area Winner’ in a special blog with a special prize!
The Perth Happenings team set out to try your shortlist and we have found you, based on your nominations your-
Local Foodie Bucketlist Winners – CENTRAL (in no particular order)-
Tiny’s (Perth) – Reviewed by Leah
There isn’t anything better than Friday drinks. You have gotten through the work week and you are ready to cut loose! So where is your favourite place for Friday drinks? Mine undoubtedly has to be Tiny’s in the Perth CBD. It’s a gorgeous little bar and restaurant, tucked away on the corner of St George Terrace and Milligan streets, on the ground floor of the QVB1 building. It’s is the perfect spot for Friday drinks, mid-week date night or even a place to start your Saturday night with some drinks and some snacks (to line your stomach of course!).
The service at Tiny’s is always impeccable and they are great at recommending dishes and drinks; we started with a couple of cocktails, but we couldn’t choose (there are seriously so many on the list!) so we told our waitress what we normally like and she promised to bring us something that would tick all the boxes. She wasn’t wrong, I had the Easy Street which had elderflower, gin, cucumber, soda and mint and L had the Breakfast Negroni which had gin, Campari, vermouth and an honest to-god LCM bar on the top (you know, like the ones made out of cocoa pops!) they were probably the drinks we would have chosen eventually so the waitress got it 100% right, they were super delicious and a little too easy to drink!
We started the food by having raw beef with cured egg, oyster cream and potato crisps – this was so yummy! Raw beef always sounds a bit weird to me, but I recommend you give this one a go – savoury, salty and the oyster cream is so good! We followed that with the Mushroom cigar which came with scarmoza, yoghurt and curry leaf. I love mushrooms and this was basically like a giant mushroom spring roll. So good! For our mains we had the roast Lilydale chicken with nduja, bread sauce, drippings potatoes and parmesan cos lettuce, plus wood grilled cauliflower with dates, brown butter and sunflower seeds. The chicken was probably the best roast chicken I’ve ever had (don’t tell my mum!) and those potatoes! I am a sucker for roast potatoes and these were crunchy on the outside and so soft and fluffy on the inside. I even ate all my greens for once – the parmesan cos leave were crunchy and cheesy and so good and that cauliflower…. So delicious!!
We were pretty full by that point but felt like we just HAD to try the dessert so we shared the Chocolate with smoked sea salt, pistachio and mandarin which was basically like a fudgy, chocolate, semifreddo type thing (so hard to explain) with mandarin segments and chocolate shards – so good though! Highly recommend this one, but do not recommend sharing it (you’ll want it all for yourself!).
Find them on Facebook here.
Cam St Social (Wembley) – Reviewed by Sasha
When was the last time you visited Cambridge Street? If you haven’t yet, you simply must check out the Cam St Social. Owned and run by husband and wife team, Esther and Darren, it’s one of Wembley’s only venues offering all-day food, wine and coffee 7 days a week.
The venue is light, bright and inviting with a beautiful bar, cute booths and even some cosy corners too. This makes it the perfect venue for weekend brunch with the family, cute date nights or lunch with friends.
With over 30 years’ experience, Head Chef Darren is passionate about creating simple yet flavourful food which means most food is made from scratch in the kitchen. The dinner menu is well priced with entrees starting from $14, mains from $24 and desserts from $12. Have a dietary requirement? No need to fear, they have a nice variety of vegan and gluten- free options too.
To start we tried had not one but two entrees, the fried cauliflower and sautéed wild mushrooms. The crisp fried cauliflower tasted amazing with its sweet pumpkin hummus and fresh pomegranate. Not to be upstaged, the sautéed wild mushrooms delivered on flavour with a white bean puree and fresh crunchy asparagus.
Next, for mains, we had the braised lamb shoulder ragu and pan-seared house-made gnocchi. To say the gnocchi tasted like soft, pockets of joy is an understatement. While the ragu was the definition of a winter warmer, comforting and moreish with crème fresh as the cherry on top.
Lastly, we had arguably the most important part of any dinner – dessert! We couldn’t pick one, so we tried both the apple strudel and a lemon and passionfruit tart. Hitting the right balance between sharp and sweet, the lemon and passionfruit tart was clean and delicious. The strudel’s scrumptiously crisp pastry and custard finished off the evening perfectly.
If you enjoy modern Australian cuisine with a homemade touch, lovely atmosphere and
great service be sure to add the Cam St Social to your hit list.
Find them on Facebook here.
The Kitchen on Cambridge (Wembley) – Reviewed by Leah
Everyone has their favourite local restaurant, and while this spot isn’t local to me, it might persuade me to move NOR! The place I’m talking about is The Kitchen on Cambridge, in Wembley which is a gorgeous little restaurant that serves amazing Modern Australian food, with a European twist. You can’t miss the place, with its bright yellow and black exterior and modern interior complete with kitchen inspired art and funky mural adorning the walls. There is even a dedicated kids zone at the back of the restaurant with games, toys and a TV to keep the little ones occupied until their food is ready.
J and I visited on a Thursday night which was perfect, not too busy but enough people that it makes the restaurant a bit lively. We started off with the Mediterranean Platter which had Prosciutto, salami, marinated feta, mushroom and truffle arancini, house-made marinated vegetables and olives plus bread and dips. The arancini was a standout, I was in cheese and mushroom heaven. The dips were absolutely delicious (the beetroot-y one was my fave!) and the olives – I couldn’t stop eating them!
But I had to save room, our next dish was the home-cured Fremantle octopus, with Manjimup potatoes, mixed leaves, grape tomatoes, Calabrian nduja and crostini. I love a bit of Fremantle occy and this was so good – chewy and tasty, just like good octopus should be! The side salad matched it perfectly and the crostini added a lovey crunch to the dish. We followed that with Linely Valley 18 hrs braised pork belly bites with smokey Tennessee glaze, apple slaw and nut praline. OMG the pork belly was the best I have ever had. The glaze was smokey and sweet and the apple slaw – I could have eaten that on it’s own, it was crunchy and sweet but not too sweet and dressed perfectly. Paired with the pork, it was an amazing mouthful!
As our mains we shared some pasta dishes – because we couldn’t make up our mind! We had the Pan fried gnocchi with spinach, porcini mushrooms and truffle sauce with freshly grated parmesan; Pappardelle with chorizo and nduja ragù and fior di latte; Duo of spaghetti with chilli garlic vongole, and lemon and sauv blanc reduction and the Casarecce with pulled lamb osso, Italian tomatoes and fresh herbs, Kalamata, and fresh Grana Padano. The pastas all tasted “just like Nonna made”, except I’m not Italian and don’t have a Nonna! You could tell everything was made with love and passion as all the pasta was so delicious. The Paperdelle was J’s favourite, the chorizo and nduja (Italian spicy pork salumi paste) was amazing! The Duo of Spaghetti was probably his second favourite and had both “normal” and squid ink spaghetti and delicious vongole, and the white wine and chilli garlicky sauce was divine. But the Gnocchi was a standout for me as I am obsessed with mushrooms and this had not only porcini but truffle too! Plus it was super cheesy and the gnocchi was light and fluffy. A close second was the Casarecce with the pulled lamb osso, it was meaty and delicious!
Because we were starting our diets on Monday (promise!) we also had dessert, J had the Date and coconut pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream which was basically a sticky date pudding but on steroids. It was light and fluffy and the coconut added such a nice twist. The caramel sauce was sweet but not sickly and the vanilla ice-cream balanced everything nicely. I had the Tiramisù semi freddo with an amaretto shot, espresso and cantuccini, which was basically like a deconstructed tisamasu. Being the uncultured person I am, I just put it all into the one glass and mixed it all together (not sure if that’s how you were meant to eat it!) but it was so delicious! I love a good tiramisu, and that was definitely a good one!
The service was fantastic and as it was a quiet-er night, the very talented chefs Sunny and Garry came out and had a chat with the customers to see how their food and nights were going. It’s always nice to see the chefs actually talk to their customers instead of hiding in the kitchen so that was a nice touch! So if you want a new spot for your family night out or if you are looking for the perfect date night spot, definitely visit The Kitchen on Cambridge.
Find them on Facebook here.
Brika (Perth)- Reviewed by Marko
Brika is a Mezze bar style restaurant serving up delicious Greek food. Located on Stirling St. and always bustling with people, the food at Brika is designed to be shared with your family and friends.
After being greeted by the friendly staff and seated, we order a couple of drinks while scanning the extensive menu. Based on one of the waitresses recommendations we ended up going with some warm bread and dips to start. Shortly after Beef wafers, Fremantle octopus, Greek lamb and salad hit our table. We devoured pretty much everything except some of the salad. I’m a huge fan of Greek salad but I think we went a bit crazy on the meats and seafood early on.
Moving on to the dessert we had the Loukoumades (Greek donuts) which came with a nutella sauce and Galaktoboureko cigars which were absolutely delicious! Custard wrapped in filo pastry and served with vanilla ice cream and orange syrup, how can you go wrong.
It’s safe to say that Brika is a must visit for anybody that just loves good food. I couldn’t fault any of their dishes or service and I’m already planning my return. Highly recommenced.
Find them on Facebook here.
Veggie Mamma (Mount Lawley) -Reviewed by Pieta
Veggie Mamma in Mount Lawley is tucked away in a space that you could very easily drive past on Vincent Street, but for the locals, and those in the know, this is a huge fave.
Everything in Veggie Mamma is healthy. By healthy I mean preservative free, made in house daily and, from what I experienced, crazy delicious. You can taste how fresh all their food is, and the variety (for this style of food) seems second to none. I have been to other vegan, gluten free, health cafes, but so much of their food is brought in. I am yet to see another health cafe that can compete with this menu.
When I visited Veggie Mamma I said, I can not choose, please decide something for me that is your best seller. Unfortunately I was on my own to dine there so didn’t have as many meal comparisons, but their decisions were SO on point. I had a plate of mixed salad, I honestly couldn’t pick a fave as they were all fresh, tasty and different in their own right. The coconut curry with tofu tasted so good that I truly forgot it was vegan. No meat in sight. I actually checked a couple of times as it still had the substance and satiated me as a protein filled curry would. The flavours and serving size was perfect.
I am a huge fan of fresh juice, especially anything with beetroot so I was stoked (yes I am from the 90’s) to receive a beetroot and apple juice. The whole combination of foods left me feeling lighter and healthier than when I walked in. You know that satisfying feeling when you know you’ve done right by your body?
How could I leave without trying one of the house made treats? Would be wrong not to! The raw desserts are made on site and I was sold on the ‘caramel slice.’ These portion sizes are the right size; when you taste them they are delicious, jam packed full of goodness, natural flavours and leave you significantly less guilty, cheat meal? I think not.
Even if you are someone who loves animal proteins like myself, through to the most experienced vegan eaters, Veggie Mamma will not disappoint.
Find them on Facebook here.