Sailing For Oranges Is Sailing Into Freo Next Month, From The Team At Emily Taylor
Chatting with Tim Buckton over a coffee at Gimlet – the Warders Hotel’s pint-sized café and gin bar – there’s a contagious optimism in the air.
He’s preparing for the opening of his latest venue, Sailing for Oranges. Taking over the instantly-recognisable site at 33 South Terrace, just down the road from his boutique hotel and popular restaurant Emily Taylor, with a menu focused on sun-drenched Mediterranean all-day feasting.
“We’re trying to hopefully breathe life into this space, but the food is the key,” he tells us.
“We’ve tried to change the set up as much we can. It’s the first development application to be submitted in the building for 35 years. I think the community as a whole is really behind us, actually re-activating the space…
“This is the cappuccino strip, we want people down here – it’s the iconic, Freo thing.”
Fittingly, both the cuisine and name of the new venture reflect the distinctively Mediterranean fabric of Fremantle: “Sailing for Oranges tells the story of a boat that left Portsmouth, called into Spain and picked up immigrants, sailed over from Spain to Fremantle – one of those journeys they were having extreme heat, it was dead calm so it was a slow journey.”
“They actually pulled down one of the sails, filled it with seawater and they basically made a swimming pool on the ship and ate oranges. People say they were the happiest immigrants to ever arrive!”
“We’re broadly Mediterranean, with elements of Portuguese, Spanish and Greek. We’re really not narrowing ourselves just to Spanish.”
“Whenever possible, using West Australian produce – which is obviously the best produce in the world! Exmouth tiger prawns, Fremantle octopus…”
Tiger prawns (with brown butter and colatura) and Fremantle octopus (with thyme and chorizo) are just two of the pinchos that will be on offer. The menu reads like a backpacker’s dream – pinchos on one side, aperitivo on another, with plenty of WA names sprinkled throughout.
There’s Fremantle sardines escabeche, in a golden pool of saffron-infused oil; under “Plates”, you’ll see Shark Bay clams with harissa and green onion, alongside cabbage leaves stuffed with a lemony chicken and pine nut mixture, or goat, slow roasted in fino and topped liberally with a rosemary gremolata.
Drinks-wise, rest assured that the theme continues with gusto – as well as earlier in the day.
“We have a really great wine selection, with a focus on Spanish wines – Spanish, Portuguese, Greek as well. Even with the cocktails, utilising Mediterranean fruits – so a lot of orange and citrus flavours!”
“We’ll be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – so it will be a Mediterranean-inspired breakfast available ’til 11:30… It’s such a nice spot in the morning, you get the sun coming in.”
Speaking of sunlight – the seasoned operator believes things are looking up for Freo and the hospitality industry: “There’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.”
“When you’ve got a good council, quality operators, and a supportive community – it all comes together. Everyone wants Fremantle to do well, people want to bring it back to its heyday, the America’s Cup days!”
“That’s what we want Fremantle to get back to. There was a lot of investment and effort put in to get Fremantle to that point. And that was the last time there was any significant development application put on the main strip.”
“I think Fremantle’s really turned a corner in probably the last five years already, various high-level establishments have opened up – Tonic + Ginger, Duck Duck Bruce, obviously Emily Taylor, there’s some really great bars now – Strange Company, Darling Darling…
“As a hospitality operator, the more things in the area the better. It’s not more competition for us, it doesn’t work like that – our real competition is Northbridge, and Mount Lawley, Mandurah has become a really good hub, and Hillarys. So as a city, the more great places to come in, everyone wins.”
Sailing for Oranges is taking bookings from November 28. They’ll be located at 33 South Terrace, Fremantle, and open seven days a week from 7am.