In Perth, Australia, the queue outside Jamie Oliver’s Italian Kitchen was in a for two hour wait, yet even in the cold of the early evening, the crowds stood huddled against each other with smiles on their faces. It is their culinary treat and not even rain was going to spoil it for them.
Outside of its mining wealth, Perth is enjoying a different kind of boom, and Australia’s westernmost capital city is getting quite the culinary scene and has had an influx of new restaurants over the past few years with Jamie Oliver’s being just one of them.
Perth and Food
Perth-ians take their food and wine seriously.
Too hungry to wait, I give up my precious ninth spot in the Jamie Oliver queue and headed off in search of alternatives. Just further down near the corner of Murray and King Street we found a small intimate dining establishment called Etro, where I tucked into a dish of linguine tossed liberally with plump and succulent scallops and prawns, and my husband – a good serving of tenderly cooked lamb shank.
During my short visit to Perth, I have been extremely impressed by the progress of the city. Ten years ago during a long weekend visit, I was so bored out of my mind that there was nothing else to do and eat but the same old shopping arcade and the corner burger store, that I spent $600 buying a coat and a skirt. You can say that was a positive outcome for the local economy, but personally I had vowed never to return.
The Perth Mining Boom
The city is booming, and it’s not all about mining. The mining boom is slowly fading away and there is a different type of boom happening that is getting people excited: the dining boom. From celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Australia’s own Neil Perry, to chic and stylish bars, to the boutique wine establishments, to garage converted cafes and the no non-sense eateries. Good food is everywhere. Even the plain old pub is serving up a quality gourmet fusion menu.
Brookfield Place precinct, a little behind-the-scene, alleyway favourite in the heart of the city, is Mecca for stylish dining. During the day, Print Hall provides a range of lunch and snack options from the bakery of Small Print, to the casual fusion dining of The Apple Daily, to the fine dining option of the Dining Room.
With a wine list that extends to 103 pages, it is also the place for wine lovers and connoisseurs to sip a glass or two. Surrounding the heritage building of Print Hall are The Trustee Bar and Bistro, The Heritage and Bar Lafayette, the meet and greet place for those looking for sophisticated dining and a night out.
Venturing out of the city, we find equally fascinating dining options in the suburbs of Mount Lawley, Subiaco, and Northbridge. Everywhere, Perth-ians are enjoying the dining boom, even at ‘the local’ pub The Grosvenor on Hay Street in East Perth, where the menu ranges from a traditional Ploughmans Plank, to Pad Thai, to a good selection of gourmet pizzas.
We still have no success for trying again at Jamie’s on our second night, however with the knowledge that Perth is dotted with other fabulous dining options, I feel less deprived. As my stomach suffers from excessive eating, I plan for future visits to tick off the rest of the restaurants.
For more about Perth Australia
(Images courtesy of Tourism WA)