Whether you’re popping down the road for an impromptu visit to your neighbourhood fave, or heading somewhere schmick for a special occasion, the past year has made us appreciate Perth’s restaurants more than ever. We’ve pored through the archives, recommendations and long-time favourites to bring you the alphabetical highlights (according to us) of our beloved city’s world-class dining.
Authentic Bites Dumpling House
This inclusion can be a surprise to no one, if the lines are anything to go by. Authentic Bites hit on a winning formula from the get-go, with great value, high-quality, house-made dumplings. Cooked to order, you can rest assured your xiao long bao will be juicy and hot, your potstickers crispy, and your shumai bouncy. Thankfully, there’s also sister store Juicy Bao Bao just up the road so there’s double the dumplings for us to enjoy.
Address: Shop 3, 145 Newcastle Street, Northbridge + Underground at Allendale Square, 77 St Georges Terrace, Perth
Polished, yet accessible. Business appropriate yet gives you a wink. This timeless dining room gives you all the confident, New York-y, money-never-sleeps vibes you’d hope for, but with an approachability that’s all West Australian. Tartare, terrine, kangaroo loin and duck fat potatoes tick all the hedonistic boxes, not to mention that impressive wall of wines.
Address: 6 The Esplanade, Perth
We can’t get enough of Biv’s Middle Eastern-inspired fare – in fact, it’s been one of our steady go-to’s since opening in 2011. The restaurant has become an integral part of Northbridge; you can hardly imagine William Street without it. Warm ambience bolstered by above-and- beyond service is matched by a well-balanced sharing menu that champions WA produce.
Address: 198 William Street, Northbridge
Bread In Common
Bread In Common has become one of the most reliable dining experiences in Freo – always quality, always cosy. We’ll never go past the lamb ribs, but the seasonal menu is also host to plenty of winners. That’s without delving into the now-ubiquitous namesake bread, that seemingly revolutionised the city’s collective palate and forced countless restaurants and bakeries to up their bread game.
Address: 43 Pakenham Street, Fremantle
We’ve long extolled the virtues of Lathlain’s Laika as one of our favourite coffee and brunch spots – so when word reached us that they were opening a neighbouring bar slash restaurant, we were intrigued, to say the least. Our anticipation was not unwarranted: Cosy Del’s has lived up to it, and then some. We actually haven’t been able to stop thinking about the steak we had, imbued with smokiness from the hibachi grill and slathered in lardo butter, and our dreams are filled with the charred broccolini with ricotta and hazelnuts.
Address: 13 Lathlain Place, Lathlain
Drasko’s Hot Chicken
What happens when you combine a passion for Nashville-style fried chicken, with the attention to detail that comes from a stint at Noma? You get Drasko’s, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Ever since opening at the start of the year, Drasko’s has made huge waves, with hordes of punters lining up for that crispy, juicy, spicy good stuff. Made with exclusively WA produce, with pickles, hot sauces and, well, everything else made in-house, you’ll taste the difference.
Address: The Mezz, 148 Scarborough Beach Road, Mount Hawthorn
Heritage Wine Bar
With its crisp white linens, bentwood chairs and monochrome palette, Heritage Wine Bar has the classic good looks its name would suggest. Devoid of any trendy gimmicks, the menu has a distinctively European flair, with an unmistakably WA flavour: think chicken and rabbit terrine with wattle seed and Geraldton wax, or local fish with almond, sourdough and Warragal greens.
Address: 131 St Georges Terrace, Perth
If you’d stumbled upon Leeming’s family-run Ichirin for a quick lunch on the go, it would be easy to file it away as a particularly good, neighbourhood shopping strip takeaway joint. And while the casual lunch fare is, to give credit where credit’s due, extremely well executed – you’d be doing both Ichirin, and yourself, a disservice: the omakase is where it’s at. When it comes to seafood, chef Shiro Okuchi knows his stuff, and the chef’s choice omakase menu is the perfect way to showcase the union of Japanese culinary excellence and West Australian produce.
Address: Shop 2, Cnr Beasley Road and Dundee Street, Leeming
If you ever need to convince someone why Perth is great (or uh, OK!), just take them to il Lido. Beachside relaxation (and views), with an uncompromising approach to quality has made it a stalwart for Perth foodies – even though its touristy location means it could get away with being a lot worse. Each pasta dish is a loving ode to its produce, whether it’s spaghetti with nduja, white anchovy, mascarpone and lemons, crowd-pleasing blue swimmer crab linguine, or cavatelli with broccoli and sausage.
Address: 88 Marine Parade, Cottesloe
We’d practically take a bath in laksa, we love it so much – so it’s no wonder KCH got on our radar shortly after they opened in 2019. KCH takes its name from Sarawak’s capital Kuching, home to a distinctive laksa that is both creamy and tangy. But that’s not where it ends – with plenty of modern takes on Malaysian classics, plus weekly specials that will have you frantically spamming the group chat, “Who’s keen for dinner?!”
Address: Unit 41, 10 Angove Street, North Perth
The undeniable draw of King Somm might be enough to make us move to Bayswater – that’s what fans we are of this neighbourhood pizzeria, bar and bottleshop. Wine connoisseurs will surely be into their rotating selection of lo-fi drops, while pizza snobs can get into the 72- hour, “pasta riporto” dough and judicious use of toppings. Add in a team stacked with hospo veterans? Now that’s worth moving for.
Address: 13 King William Street, Bayswater
We can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than soaking up the sunshine and good vibes in La Cabaña’s courtyard. Taco in one hand, cocktail in the other, pooch by our side… bliss. From refreshing ceviche tostadas and charred Shark Bay tiger prawns, to corn “tentacles”, the roasted veggies or those hand crushed potatoes… and we haven’t even got to the star of the show, the tacos. We’re suckers anytime we see tacos al pastor on a menu, but then again, that barbacoa-style lamb or coconut-battered fish are both strong contenders. With most of the menu dairy, gluten and nut-free, plus with heaps of vegan options as well, it’s the perfect spot for a big group of mates.
Address:400 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Lulu La Delizia
How long does it take to become an institution? Although it only opened in 2016, Lulu La Delizia has quickly become synonymous with quality Italian fare – and we’re not alone in noticing. Adeptly toeing the line between a high-brow, cheffy approach and simple northern Italian comfort dishes, this refined and restrained menu is hard to look past. I’d tell you to get the chef’s special, but then again, everything else is so good, too.
Address: Forrest Walk, 5/97 Rokeby Road, Subiaco
If we were to write a list of Things We Want To Eat At Any Given Moment… it would look almost remarkably similar to the menu at Le Rebelle. The bistro strikes a balance between old-world European style whilst staying assuredly modern, giving new life to reliable bistro classics like crab toast, steak tartare, escargot with garlic butter, or crispy veal sweetbreads. While its influences span across decades and continents, there is a certain je-ne-sais-quois to Le Rebelle’s irreverence and warmth that makes it distinctly Perth’s.
Address:676 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley
When the husband and wife team behind super popular food truck Comida do Sul opened Madalena’s back in the tail end of 2018 , it was no surprise that it became one of the most talked about restaurants in Perth, and Australia at large. This relaxed boteco has a menu that celebrates local seafood, as well as a wine list curated in conjunction with the guys at Wise Child. You’d think you were on the beach in Barcelona if it wasn’t so classically Perth.
Address: 406 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Manuka Woodfire Kitchen
Maybe we just had our heads in the sand, but it took us an embarrassingly long time to get switched on to the magic of Manuka. Luckily, everyone else isn’t so slow on the uptake – the restaurant has collected plenty of accolades and rave reviews in the meantime. The restaurant champions all the good low-waste, sustainable, seasonal, farmer-direct stuff we love to hear – although that doesn’t mean much if the food doesn’t speak for itself. Rest assured, in the hands of chef Kenny McHardy, the wood fired oven alchemises local ingredients into something really quite special.
Address: 134 High Street, Fremantle
Marumo’s seven course omakase menu has become the stuff of legends. A three-hour experience in the itty-bitty, minimalist dining room, which itself is tucked away in an otherwise unremarkable Nedlands shopping village. At $75 per head, Marumo is one of the best value fine dining experiences in Perth – its extreme mystique comes in part from the scarcity of its highly sought after reservations. Released only a few times a year and snapped up eagerly, this is an evening to plan well in advance for.
Address: 22/145 Stirling Highway, Nedlands
It would be easy to over-complicate things, but put quite simply: Monsterella gets a lot of things just right. Handmade, wood-fired pizzas, on bases fermented for 48 hours? Perfetto. A selection of pasta that will tempt even the most fanatic pizza fiend? Buon appetito! As if that wasn’t enough, head just a few doors down to their neighbouring wine bar Mummucc for your next date night – it’s the sibling to Monsterella that’s all grown up.
Address: 46 Grantham Street, Wembley
If you’ve had a special occasion in the last ten years – anniversary, birthday, folks are paying… chances are, you’ve hit up Nobu. This global, Robert De Niro-owned brand has made a name for itself in excellence, and its Perth outpost is no different. The opulent dining room and its Crown setting naturally lends itself to celebrations, while complementing its modern Japanese-South American fare. The omakase menus are always a safe bet if you want to sit back and enjoy their signature dishes, but as any seafood-lovers will know, it’s well worth scoping out any local and seasonal highlights.
Address: Crown Perth, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood
Jack-of-all-trades is often used disparagingly, but in this case, we use it as the highest complement: what can’t Petition do? Whether you’re stopping by for a quick coffee, a long lunch, or a convivial dinner with friends, Petition is always there, with a thoughtfully executed menu that showcases the best local produce on offer.
Address:State Buildings, 1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth
For how reliably great Propeller is, we can’t help but feel that this understated eatery flies a little under the radar, pardon the pun. The industrial fit-out is pared-back without being sparse, and the same can be said for the seasonal menu, which is comprised of modern West Australian takes on Middle Eastern dishes – like Musakhan chicken served with caramelised onion manouche, or Rangers Valley beef served with a Turkish green chilli relish.
Address: 222 Queen Victoria Street, North Fremantle
Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King
A big name can be more of a burden than a blessing – after all, it’s easy to disappoint when expectations are high. What about if you call yourself the Tonkotsu King? Luckily, cult ramen chain Ramen Keisuke has no such issue. Founded by Keisuke Takeda, the rich, creamy, flavourful pork broth is the real star of the show. Spicy options and complimentary boiled eggs make this ramen worth the wait.
Address: 33 Milligan Street, Perth
We could talk for days about Perth’s pizza offerings, but almost every time, we’ll end up back at Rossonero. Tucked away in Mayland’s Lyric Lane, the garage-turned-pizzeria balances classical simplicity with crowd-pleasing modernity. We’re a sucker for the sweet ‘n spicy Honey Boy, but traditionalists may go for the Ol’ School. With the ultimate welcoming vibes, and the newfound home base of 2021’s most talked about conti roll, Rossonero certainly has a lot to offer
Address: 18 Lyric Lane, Maylands
You just can’t overlook Santini’s dazzling dining room, with those caramel-y terracottas and rich blue hues that transition effortlessly from the bright approachability of a long lunch, into the dimly-lit deliciousness of dinner service. The menu manages to balance its accessibility with a focus and attention to detail that ensures any less-favourable hotel dining cliches are satisfyingly avoided. Inner-city slickness, paired with a vibrancy that’s classically Mediterranean-Australian.
Address: QT, 133 Murray Street, Perth
S&T Thai Gourmet Cafe
S&T nails everything that we love about Thai food: fresh, vibrant, sweet and tangy with a healthy kick of heat. Their menu strikes the balance between accessibility for those less familiar with Thai cuisine (yes, you can get a green curry, or some pad thai), and plenty that are primed to become your new favourites. We can’t go through a summer without at least one papaya salad followed by durian icecream – served with sweet sticky rice, creamed milk and roasted peanuts, it’s a game changer.
Address: Shop 3, 347-349 William Street, Northbridge
Shadow Wine Bar
Shadow Wine Bar is as glamorous and intriguing as an Italian film star. The decor is inviting rather than intimidating, with the dimly lit dining room lending an intimacy to your meal, particularly in spite of its grand, industrial, vaulted ceiling. The menu is a choose-your-own- adventure of formality, from the elegant bar snacks (crab, aioli and potato crisp, white anchovy toast) to the sumptuous mains – previous stars include the tortelli with prawn, vermouth and fennel, the veal cotoletta, or the beef fillet with confit leek and onion soubise.
Address: 214 William Street, Northbridge
Si Paradiso has had a coming-of-age in the past 12 months, and it’s nowhere more apparent than in their kitchen. Now helmed by returning ex-pat chef Paul Bentley, the fluffy-edged, ferment-y pizzas are reassuringly present – but accompanied by some share plates that have taken things up a notch (or ten). Monk fish “porchetta”, tuna tartare cannoli, kingfish crudo? When you read a menu with the option to “add caviar if you’re a baller”, we reckon the dance floor has some strong competition.
Address: 1/446 Beaufort St, Highgate
Tak Chee House
Hainanese chicken rice… the dish for any day, any mood, any place. This Malaysian staple is done to its comforting best here, with moist, tender chicken and fragrant rice. If you can resist, you might find yourself exploring the other Penang-style dishes on offer, like laksa, loh bak and kway teow… just make sure you get there early, because you won’t be the only one looking for lunch.
Address: 1/364 William Street, Northbridge
Had a rough day at work? The hustle and bustle of the big smoke getting you down? We are prescribing a Tiny’s rotisserie chook, stat. Served with drippings potatoes, nduja and bread sauce, it’s a masterclass of comfort eating. But, then again… it’s hard to go past their pork belly with macadamia, peaches and confit onion. With their attached liquor emporium, you can trust that you’ll be washing it down with something just right, too.
Address: QV1, Corner Hay Street and Milligan Street, Perth
Wildflower might be Perth’s crowning jewel of fine dining. Fittingly perched atop the State Buildings with stunning views over the city and the Swan River, the menu journeys through the six Noongar seasons and fittingly utilises uniquely Western Australian ingredients. The luxe Treasury Buildings surrounds and refined fit out certainly don’t hurt.
Address: State Buildings, 1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth
If you’ve never had bánh xèo before, this is your sign. A crispy, turmeric-tinted crepe made with rice flour and coconut cream, the dish gets its name from the sizzle the batter makes as it hits the pan. The namesake of Yellow Pancake, it’s then filled with prawns and pork (you can also have chicken or beef), and accompanied by refreshing bean sprouts. Once you’ve tried it, it’s hard to think of anything else. And while the bánh xèo is worth the trip alone, we also find ourselves coming back for the bo kho, and the bún thịt nướng, and the pho…
Address: 38A Grantham Street, Wembley
Cover photo of Si Paradiso