My first experience of pintxos (pronounced pin – chos), a Spanish snack held together with a toothpick, was at Naked for Satan in Melbourne which I absolutely loved. So I was excited to hear Perth’s very own pintxos bar, Bar de Halcyon, was opening in Wolf Lane.
First day back at work after a week in sunny Gold Coast, I went to check out Bar de Halcyon with my friend Mushie for a Monday lunch and cheeky cider. I loved it so much, I took burger boy there on the Thursday that week but he isn’t one for small portions so his Bar de Halcyon experience differs from mine.
The two storey venue features a rustic palette of exposed brick, a sawn timber bar, concrete flooring and large retractable glass windows on the second floor overlooking Wolf Lane. A lane I have spent many Friday nights partying in
Owners David Heaton (behind Perth night clubs Metropolis Fremantle and Capitol Amplifier) and business partner Linda Fry wanted to create a relaxed and sociable ambience, where people can enjoy Spanish inspired bite sized snacks and premium quality beverages at an affordable price. Before I go into all the pintxos we tried, here’s my interview with David Heaton which will give you some background into the makings of Bar de Halcyon.
Interview with David Heaton, owner of Bar de Halcyon
Was there a pintxos bar in particular which inspired you to open Bar de Halcyon?
Following a business trip to Europe a few years ago, my business partner, Linda Fry and I made the decision to open Perth’s first pintxos bar. We wanted to create a destination that caters for everything from a coffee fix first thing in the morning to lunch and evening cocktails.
What inspired the bar’s name?
The bar’s name came from the interpretation of the word ‘halcyon’ to mean calmness, happiness and joy.
What’s your favourite pintxos?
Linda and I love the concept of pintxos because of the way it brings people together and the best part – there is no need to order. With a selection of both hot and cold pintxos dishes, there is something for everyone including my personal favourite – sausage rolls.
What’s your favourite small bar in the world?
Our favourite small bar is Lavo in New York.
Who is the chef behind the pintxos?
We are thrilled to have Andreas Papadakis as our Executive Chef and Steven Scriven as our Head Chef. Both have worked tirelessly to put together a fantastic menu of both hot and cold dishes – there are more pintxos than you can poke a stick at!
Going back to Mushie and I’s first experience of Bar de Halcyon, on entry we approached the bar and read the note explaining how the pintxos concept worked. The Bar de Halcyon staff explained we can help ourselves to the selection of cold pintxos to the left and hot pintxos to the right. As for payment, there was the option to start a tab by leaving a credit card at the bar and they’ll tally up your toothpicks like Jaws at the end OR you can pay as you go. We went with setting up a tab as it meant we could focus our time on eating and catching up although I wouldn’t want to be the one tallying up the different priced toothpicks at the end, it looked pretty confusing!
Cold pintxos and desserts on offer…
Warmer with all the hot pintxos…
I love chorizos and croquettes, so this Chorizo Croquette was a winner for me…
I had a sneaky Monday Apple Cider to get me through the day after a week away in the Gold Coast My seafood paella ($10) is featured in the background…
I never used to like beetroot, I’m assuming it was the colour as a kid which put me off but ever since trying Jezebelle’s mandarin, beetroot and goats curd – I’ve been getting beetroot cravings. This beetroot and feta cold pintxos was great!
I didn’t manage to capture a photo of Mushie’s Churros Dessert as we were too busy dipping churros in the melted chocolate but if you squint hard enough you’ll be able to spot it in my photo of the cold pintxos on display
I did however manage to capture my lemon tart which had a yummy lemon filling but for $4 it was a bit too small for my liking…
On my second visit with burger boy, we tried this mini burger…
It was nothing special and the beef patty was a lot rarer than I’d usually have it. burger boy didn’t rate this one either. He was also a bit disappointed to see one lamb rib on display for $6 – we had a good ole debate about Perth Prices vs Value but these sausage rolls ($3) kept him happy…
The pintxos range from $2 to $6.50 a dish and the changing paella $10 lunch special I had is available Monday to Friday. I’m told the chefs have creative freedom and the Bar de Halcyon menu changes with inspiration and seasonally as produce becomes available.
I enjoyed my Bar de Halcyon experiences and I’ll be back for more pintxos. However, it seems that there’s mixed thoughts about Bar de Halcyon. burger boy thought the pintxos range was too small (he left hungry) and for the price wasn’t worth it. One of my gluten intolerant colleagues mentioned that she was also not fan of the food offering and her coffee was burnt, whilst another two loved it and would certainly go back.
I have been back for Bar de Halcyon’s $3 coffee since my lunch visits and I always enjoy my lattes So overall, I think Bar de Halcyon isn’t for everyone but if you’re like me and want to go to a cool space to catch up with a friend over a few casual pintxos then you’ll love it. If you’re like burger boy who likes his portions, it’s still worth checking out but maybe for drinks rather than the food.
I look forward to hearing about your Bar de Halcyon experience!