You’re thinking about a holiday to Australia’s western coast, or you’ve already booked one. You’re not quite sure where to eat. Sit back. Relax. We’ll tell you. Here are Perth’s top 10 restaurants of 2019, just for you.
Perth’s Top 10 Restaurants
Arguably Perth’s best fine dining, Wildflower is a tribute to traditional Australian modes of consumption. The rooftop restaurant offers an à la carte menu and tasting menus based around the six seasons of the Indigenous Noongar people, and dining here means an exploration of Australia, a culinary expedition across seasons and spaces that is equal parts adventure and celebration.
As we write this article, it’s Kambarang, the season of birth, and guests can expect dishes like jarrah-smoked kangaroo with greenlip abalone, Berkshire pork collar with wildflower honey and Margaret River wagyu. Wildflower isn’t just a Perth restaurant. It’s Western Australia captured on a plate. Eat here.
2. Long Chim
Thailand – not just exported, but recreated. Long Chim is Perth’s preeminent Thai restaurant, and there’s nowhere else in WA that better captures the flavours of Bangkok. Order pork satay and fried chicken larb for entrées, spice it up with a selection of curries, or go traditional with pad thai and bean curd laksa.
Their grill options include Fremantle octopus and Exmouth prawns, and guests can ask staff for matched wine options. ‘Maa long chim’ is Thai for ‘come sample and taste’, so we say: go. Visit Long Chim. Order as much as you possibly can. Your tastebuds will thank you.
3. Madalena’s Bar
Fresh seafood. On a plate. With amazing wine. That’s the concept that drives one of Perth’s hottest bars. Madalena’s isn’t suits-and-satin inner-city exclusivity, but it’s so popular that getting a seat, particularly at peak times, is almost impossible.
Guests can swim at nearby South Beach and then wander into the bar and cool off with an Aperol spritz and a plate of Kilpatrick oysters, or unleash their inner vino-fiend and start sampling from the mostly-Australian wine list. Come for the grape juice. Stay for the seafood.
4. Lulu La Delizia
If you’re craving traditional north-eastern Italian, then Lulu La Delizia should be the first stop on your Perth culinary journey. Catering to traditionalist gourmands who thumb their noses at the way America has butchered pasta, Lulu La Delizia draws inspiration from the cuisines of Friuli.
Their pasta is manufactured in-house – choose from taglatielle della delizia with pork ragu, agnoletti of taleggio, gnochetti tossed with king prawns, pasta of the day, or a sharp-tempered saffron spaghetti, featuring clams with spigarello, white wine, garlic and chilli.
5. Lalla Rookh
Lalla Rookh is hip, modernist Italian without pretension. Drawing inspiration from the coastal regions of Italia, head chef Alexandra Haynes has crafted a formidable à la carte menu that simultaneously reimagines and pays homage to traditional dishes.
Offerings like squid ink spaghettini with Shark Bay crab co-exist with chargrilled Wagin quail and bistecca alla Fiorentina. For something truly special, try their il Capo seasonal menu. Lalla Rookh also offers a comprehensive selection of wines, beers and cocktails, so you won’t be going thirsty.
Propeller is chef Kurt Sampson’s riposte to pseudo-modernist dining. This Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant fully embraces its quirky character – everything from the bold, geometric architecture of the restaurant to its powerfully vibrant flavours screams ‘I am unique’.
Say g’day to Perth’s seafood culture with plates like grilled fish and cured kingfish, or go rural with Berber lamb tagine and venison sabzi. If you manage to make it here during the day, we definitely recommend trying their locally-sourced coffee.
Founded by Japanese culinary legend Nobu Matsuhisa in conjunction with actor Robert de Niro, Nobu is fusion Japanese par excellence. Situated in the Crown Perth, the quality of Nobu’s menu is matched only by its stunning décor.
Nouveau-Japanese dishes influenced by South American flavours are served alongside sashimi and fresh-shucked oysters; if it’s a special occasion, go big with their teppanyaki, or try their critically-acclaimed black cod miso.
A name like ‘Balthazar’ promises urban sophistication, and the restaurant in question doesn’t disappoint. Admire artfully-plated dishes like market fish with red pepper or duck breast with macadamia and blueberry as you absorb Balthazar’s Art Deco interiors.
Their wine cellar is equally exquisite – a range of terroir-driven Australian vintages are available for consumption in-house or for takeaway purchase. Just two blocks from Perth’s iconic Bell Tower, this is inner-city fine dining that you don’t want to miss.
An ave from celebrity chef Guy Grossi to ancient Rome, Garum’s name is derived from a fish sauce popular in Roman cooking. Classicism stands shoulder-to-shoulder with modernist trends in this hip osteria; guests can choose to dine indoors or al fresco, in a courtyard reminiscent of an ancient Roman forum.
Try quaglia (quail laced with a honey and garum dressing), tonnarelli with pork ragu or lingua (pickled ox tongue smothered in agresto, pear and walnut). If you’re still not satisfied, pick something from the wine list – the Australian-grown wines are a nod to the flavours of Lazio, Italy.
We left Odyssea for last because it’s not just a restaurant – to dine here is to experience Perth. Feel the cool sea breezes washing over your skin. Gaze out across the foaming waves of City Beach as the sun sinks below the horizon. Listen to the gentle humour of the locals, the warm buzz of relaxed conversation that characterises WA’s capital.
The menu is fresh fine dining, bursting with seaside flavours. The drinks are cheeky cocktails and sophisticated wines. The service is white-uniformed excellence. If you want to see the spirit of Perth on display, visit Odyssea.