I’ve been in Western Australia for almost eight months, and in that time I’ve been lucky enough to come across all sorts of delicious Perth food. These are my Top 5 Perth food highlights at the end of March, based purely on my dining experiences and what I’d recommend to other Perth visitors. The list will continue to expand as I munch my way around the city.
1. Sapore Espresso, 4/275 Belmont Ave, Cloverdale
Slightly off the congested breakfast highway, this relaxed and welcoming café is a pleasant place to spend a morning. We struggled to pick from several appetising options, so decided to have our cake and eat it. Or, more accurately, to have our pancakes and eat them, alongside a full breakfast. As indicated above, hearty portions meant each diner got a very generous share. The Italian sausage was a highlight on the savoury side, and I enjoyed every element of the sweet: thick, fluffy blueberry pancakes doused with white chocolate sauce. The cabinet near our table was stuffed with similarly tempting cakes, as well as some stout arancini.
2. The Hummus Club, 258 William Street, Northbridge
I had high hopes, so it says something that the food here actually exceeded my expectations. It’s fairly compact inside, but the terrace makes for good people watching if you’re lucky with the autumn weather. Or so I’m told – my attention was fully focused on the tabletop. Middle Eastern salad was a fresh alternative that far exceeded “token veggie side” status, while the lamb kefta was a minor meat marvel. First place was a surprise though – the brownie here was the best I’ve had in ages. Personally, I think dry, innocuous brownies are only good as firewood. The dessert should be a dense, dark vortex of chewy chocolate delight, which is exactly what we were served (along with some funky toppings). I’d hit the Club just for that.
3. Toast, 21/60 Royal Street, East Perth
Despite Perth’s absolute bounty of coffee shops, it’s a well-known fact that it’s difficult to acquire the black stuff after about 3pm. Now, I like that Perthites are early risers who value their leisure time/collecting children from school/afternoon naps. But this attitude seems less commendable when you’re suffering a late-afternoon energy dip. Luckily, this lovely spot on Claisebrook Cove (lapping water, ludicrously-priced apartments) has got you covered until 9pm. As well as coffee, the friendly staff do an excellent chai latte, plus a host of toast with delicious toppings. Try the blue cheese, grated apple and honey and ask yourself how you made it this far. Cakes can be hit and miss, but there’s a promising array of brunchy meals served through the day.
4. St Michael 6003, 483 Beaufort Street, Highgate
I’d never noticed this sophisticated nook until I looked for options for my girlfriend’s birthday. As well as as a suitably romantic vibe – classy artwork, French waiter – it offered something to mark any special occasion: a seven-course tasting menu. As the picture shows, this wasn’t a button-bursting buffet affair (though we did leave luxuriously drowsy). But some of the dishes were among the best I’ve tasted in Perth. “Fermented onion” soup was worlds away from its unpromising name, with rich tanginess to spare. Quail pieces were deliciously gamey and tender, and “cauliflower rice risotto” was a cheesy, creamy delight. Special mention to one of the puddings, where a small piece of perfect carrot cake was hugged by beautifully mellow peach sorbet. This felt like a proper treat (and was good value too, but keep that to yourself).
5. Baked by Erica, by delivery, Perth
I came across these at an event groaning with lavishly layered cakes, and they were the best thing I tasted. Simply put, the nicest cookies I’ve had in years. No idea what the secret is, but they were simultaneously chewy, soft and flavoursome. Having tried a bite of the chocolate, lemon, and matcha versions, I was then told they were all gluten free, which left me even more impressed. GF cakes I’ve encountered in the past have often been dry or airy – these were the exact opposite. “Regular”, vegan, and egg/nut-free editions are also available, but however you like your cookie crumbled, I encourage you to check out the delivery website. [Header photo courtesy of Alicia Sun, photo above courtesy of Baked by Erica.]
What have I missed? Tell me which spots in Perth – or further afield – have wowed you recently.