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 – WEST (in no particular order)-
The Little Pantry (Subiaco) – reviewed by Anastasia
When a Perth’s winter’s day is full of sunshine, lovely company, great customer service and even better brunch food, there honestly isn’t much to complain about! ‘The Little Pantry’, situated among the beautiful streets of Subiaco is a gorgeous little café with a whole lot of character! You might not imagine from the street front alone that there is much to ‘The Little Pantry’ but through to the rear, they have a great sized outdoor seating area that absolutely buzzes in the summer months and to be honest, on good sunny winter days too.
‘The Little Pantry’s’ Italian manager, Rosalina, has a wealth of experience and understanding of the production and correct preparation of their coffee making her an absolute go to when it comes to any coffee questions or queries. Not only this but her service alongside ‘The Little Pantry’s’ team is outstanding! Everyone is all smiles, they are attentive, knowledgeable, happy and super helpful with any enquiries or questions you may have in regards to the café, their coffee and their food. Rosalina brought us out a range of ‘Little Pantry’s’ unique dishes to try and without a doubt, I vastly enjoyed every single one of them!
As a Perth Café, ‘The Little Pantry’ features the necessary staple menu items albeit with an imaginative twist! For example, the ‘Dal Makhani Bowl’ served with chargrilled flat bread, is not a dish I would normally pick for myself to have for brekkie or brunch but it was filled with such a delicious assortment of flavours that I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful and would happily eat it for breakfast again! Another, is their ‘Brioche French Toast’ which is served with a Bacon Ice Cream that really needs to be tried to be appreciated. The ‘Pearl Barley & Quinoa Porridge’ was definitely up there as one of my favourites of the morning with the dish being topped in cheese cake crumble and braised rhubarb! I know… it sounds as good as it tasted, believe me! Last but not least, we were also treated to the ‘Chorizo, Beans & Baked Egg’ dish which felt very Mediterranean in regards to flavour. There were a lot of appetizing flavours and spices involved in this bowl and on a cooler day it is exactly what you want to be enjoying! These dishes stand out from the norm. They are delicious and full of distinctive flavours. Not only are they this but they are also seasonal additions that the Café bring to their menu, having been inspired by a number of their staff members which are often adapted from their own family recipes. Amazing right? ‘The Little Pantry’ in Subiaco has definitely won me over!
Find them on Facebook here.
The Woodpeckers (Subiaco) – reviewed by Anastasia
Hidden among the bustling streets of Subiaco is the charismatic and charming ‘Woodpeckers Restaurant’. Well known and loved for their pasta and pizza, this restaurant is full of appeal! You would have no idea, just looking at this quaint Restaurant, just how much effort has gone into revamping it to its current status by owners Nathan and Tiffany.
After having run their first Café (Café Myriade, the first board game Café in Perth from 2011 – 2016) and developing an understanding of business and how hospitality works over here in beautiful Perth, Nathan and Tiffany heard that ‘Woodpeckers’ was looking for someone to take over its lease at the end of 2015. It was a while before the two decided to take up the challenge in revamping ‘Woodpeckers’ as it wasn’t left in the best state in regards to the venue, the food and the reviews that had come in from customers previously, but in the end, they decided to take up the challenge!
‘The Woodpeckers Restaurant’ Sicilian Head Chef Mirco and Bologna Sous Chef Fabio are to be praised on the delicious dishes they create and serve up here. Having used their travel knowledge and experience when it comes to the dishes they craft, we were more than happy with the meals we received. The garlic bread served is a heavenly entrée and was gone in 2 seconds easy! The bread was soft. It was juicy and full of all the right flavours. I considered ordering a second bowl it was that good! Alongside this, Dominique recommended a beautiful red wine to us (from Carpe Diem Vineyards, Margaret River) that went perfectly with our two mains. One of the restaurant’s favourites, the ‘Ravioli Tartufati,’ was the recommended dish I had to have and I am glad I did! Ravioli filled with Ricotta Mushroom and Truffle oil on a Porcini mushroom sauce and Truffle cream finished with Grans Padano and Parsley, there was nothing to fault! It was mouth-watering! The ‘Lussuria’ (mozzarella base) pizza with Gorgonzola, mushroom, Prosciutto and caramelised onion was the perfect 2 nd dish for our mains giving us a real contrast of the flavoursome pasta and pizza dishes ‘Woodpeckers’ serves. We didn’t even make it to the other mains such as the Pork Belly and Chilli Mussels which just goes to show how vast and accommodating their menu is!
On speaking to Nathan prior to attending the ‘Woodpeckers Restaurant’, he told me it’s like one of his managers once said, ‘Regardless of how a customer feels when they first step through the doors of ‘Woodpeckers’, our job is to make them enjoy the night and leave the restaurant happy’ and that is exactly how I left the captivating ‘Woodpeckers Restaurant’ feeling! The food was devine, the customer service was outstanding, as you could see from the six celebratory birthdays they had on the night and might I add all the staff got involved singing each person ‘Happy Birthday’, which is a wonderful personal touch and the atmosphere is one to be celebrated. Congratulations on restoring ‘Woodpeckers’ to a Restaurant all can thoroughly enjoy Nathan and Team. I will 100% be back, especially for that 2 nd bowl of garlic bread! 😉
Find them on Facebook here.
Boucla Cafe (Subiaco) – reviewed by Marko
Boucla is a Mediterranean cafe located in Subiaco which specializes in Breakfast and Lunch. Owner Nikki has been running this super busy cafe for years now and with her warm hospitality I’m not surprised why. The perfect cafe for that morning coffee & cake catch up or a delicious lunch, Boucla is serving up some of the best brunch options around town.
Being greeted by Nikki, we were seated out back in this Greek inspired patio and a couple coffee’s arrived shortly after. For brunch we went with the Burnt Pork Ends and Turkish Egg, it’s hard to pick a winner out of the two. So much so that I have been backed since and ordered both. We then were treated to a few house made cakes which are another specialty at Boucla. Seeing as we polished all three cakes it’s tough to pick a favorite, I really enjoyed the Chocolate and Ricotta cake if I had to pick one.
Overall Boucla is one of my go to favorite brunch spots in Perth, everything was great from the atmosphere to the food and most importantly the owner Nikki. Highly recommended.
Find them on Facebook here.
300 Acres (Wembley) – Reviewed by Anastasia
It’s not often I would ever consider going to a Golf course to indulge in a lunchtime or evening meal but today I had the pleasure of visiting the 300 Acres Restaurant situated within the Wembley Golf Course and can I just say, not only did they change my mind but the food was to die for!
Holding an All Day Dining Menu, you will not be disappointed by what they have on this menu and what you decide to order here. Everything we ordered and tried was packed with flavour, made with love and the presentation of each dish could not be faulted in the slightest. We ordered the Roast Pumpkin and Asparagus Risotto with chicken with baked brie, broad beans and truffle crumb (which can come as either an Entree or a Main, I chose main). The Sticky BBQ Bourbon Lamb Ribs with house slaw and hand cut chips as well as the Beef Cheek with buttered potato mash and broccolini. The meals all came out together which is always a plus in a restaurant because no-one ever wants to start eating when your family member / friend or partner doesn’t have their meal.
Taste wise, I honestly don’t think any of these dishes could have been faulted. The risotto was creamy and full of flavour with the truffle crumb encrusted around the asparagus atop the dish. The beef cheek just fell away at the touch and the sticky bbq bourbon lamb ribs were full of strong flavours with the sauce being one of the best bbq flavours I have ever had! We were well satisfied with the mains we had. They were value for money indefinitely! However, when our server Nicole brought us out the dessert menu we couldn’t go past ordering a few dishes.
Now, I am a total sucker for a beautiful dish and my god were these dessert dishes beautifully presented! I ordered the White Chocolate Meringue with white chocolate mousse, mixed berries and walnut crumb. Sounds good already right? Coming out in a meringue sphere filled with white chocolate mousse and berries atop a layer of walnut crumb, I was in total foodie heaven! The Warm Apple Pie with rum custard and caramel ice-cream was devine! That caramel ice-cream is hands down some of the best ice-cream we have ever tasted! Last but not least, of course we couldn’t go past also ordering the Chocolate Brownie with hazelnut praline, vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce. The brownie was incredibly rich in flavour but just melted in your mouth. The service we received (thank you Nicole) was on point. From the moment we stepped in the doors to ordering our drinks, our mains, our desserts and us leaving, her customer service could not be faulted. I cannot wait to come back and try their entree’s and of course the rest of their desserts!
Find them on Facebook here.
La Lola (Nedlands) – Reviewed by Anastasia
Having never stepped foot inside ‘La Lola’ Nedlands before, I wasn’t sure what to expect but after the authentic experience we received by the incredible staff at La Lola, I know I will be back for sure!
La Lola is owned by the lovely Nat and Tony who also own the traditional Italian Restaurant, ‘Ilpasto’ in Inglewood. From the moment we stepped into La Lola we were greeted with incredible customer service! Francesca, Erico & Camila were our servers for the evening and their customer service was excellent! Having come from Rome, Italy themselves, Francesca and Erico had a real authenticity about them. They were both extremely knowledgeable, funny, professional and ensured we were looked after at every possible moment. Camila and Francesca kept the food coming without us ever having to ask or wait and when each dish was presented Francesca and Erico provided us with the details surrounding each meal.
With an amazing chef team including a brother (exec chef) and sister (head chef) duo creating the magic out the back, we were blessed with some extremely tasty Italian dishes. Sharing an antipasti of hand crafted bread, house marinated olives, vincotto & EVOO before diving into an incredibly beautifully presented share plate Polipo alls griglia; which was chargrilled Fremantle octopus (keeping it local), sautéed spinach chickpeas & sugo, we were already in Italian heaven! For mains, it was the Pappardelle Duck (one of the more popular La Lola dishes) and one of their specials of the night, Ravioli filled w/ricotta and spinach in a four cheese sauce; Delicious is an absolute understatement! We didn’t think we could fit in dessert but you know what they say, when in Rome! On Francesca’s recommendation we eagerly ordered the Truffle semifreddo (yes you heard right truffle in a dessert) w/ pistachio crumble and a decadent Salted caramel chocolate tart.
What can I say but WOW La Lola. Your customer service was of such a high standard as was your authentic Italian dishes. We got to indulge in some laughs. We were served with love and the food was nothing short of beautiful. Full of fresh ingredients and flavours I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that I will be back and soon to try some of the other highly raved about dishes on the menu. Thank you for not just giving us a meal but an experience!
Find them on Facebook here.