Fremantle's got no shortage of great bars, but there's been plenty of new players getting in on the action lately too, and honestly, it's making us all the more jealous of anyone lucky enough to call the port city home.
Sitting pretty in a 150-year old heritage cottage, Nieuw Ruin—the latest venture from Dimitri Rtshiladze and the talented Foxtrot Unicorn crew—is one of those new players and given the truly all-star team behind it, we're pretty confident already it's going to be an absolute winner.
So what can you expect from the new small bar slash eatery? In a nutshell: good cocktails, food and weird wine, but let us break it down for you...
In the kitchen, head chef Blaze Young (WAGFG Breakthrough Talent 2019) and her all-female kitchen team are flexing their culinary skills across a sustainable and downright lip-smacking menu plump with seasonal local produce, fresh seafood and lesser-known cuts that will challenge you to try something new. Think freshly foraged mushrooms and just-caught snapper alongside dishes like devilled livers, pig head croquettes, slow-braised rabbit pie with pancetta peas and koji dry-aged kangaroo loin cooked over charcoal. The whole menu has been thoughtfully crafted to seamlessly shift from light nibbles at the bar to full-on feast at the custom-built communal tables, so no matter what time you pop in you'll find something to hit the spot.
If that's enough to lure you in, Nieuw Ruin's also got a killer crew of local champs behind the bar slinging expertly crafted seasonal cocktails and weird and wonderful drops from the 300+ wine list lovingly curated by Venue Manager Maria Marter (Republic Of Fremantle, Mrs Brown) and Bar Manager Pippa Canavan (Mechanics Institute, Shadow Wine Bar). Of course, you can also find a good selection of hop-filled delights and non-alcoholic options if that's more your jam.
Be prepared to stay for a few rounds, though, because you might find it a little hard to actually pull yourself away from the space. With a gorgeous sprawling verandah that wraps the property, loads of reclaimed jarrah, beautiful high ceilings and oodles of vintage character, they've done a great job of retaining the building's history while creating a space that is supremely comfortable, warm and welcoming. We're also big fans of the fact you can choose to cosy up indoors amongst the endless shelves filled with wine or plonk yourself down outside for a spot of people watching. Because honestly, who doesn't love a lazy sundowner where you can peek out onto all the action unfolding on the street?
Nieuw Ruin is now open at 12 Norfolk Street in Fremantle from 4pm 'til late Tuesday to Thursday and 12pm 'til late Friday to Sunday, so start planning your visit now.
While you're in the area, work your way through all of our favourite Fremantle bars.
Image credit: Jacqueline Jane van Grootel