Long gone are the days of St George’s Terrace looking more like a scene out of The Walking Dead at 4pm on a Wednesday and thank goodness for that. There are SO many amazing restaurants in Perth’s CBD and we’re all really grateful for it. Sometimes life calls for cheap, cheerful and BYO, and sometimes it calls for a little lavishness. These are the latter.
Lovingly handpicked by us, here are our absolute favourite restaurants in Perth’s CBD.
All hail the King of Thai food, David Thompson for bringing Long Chim into our Perth lives. Word to the wise: believe the wait staff. When they say the Chiang Mai larp of chicken is hot, they don’t mean Australian hot. They mean serious Thailand hot. So prepare yourself with all the napkins and all the beer. We’re also obsessed with the sour orange curry of fish and the green papaya salad, but everything here is insanely good and not too expensive. Make a booking, go hungry and fall in love with the State Buildings all over again.
Petition Kitchen had us at parfait, parma ham and heirloom cauliflower. Oh, who are we kidding, they had us at their pineapple and coconut sour whisky cocktail and those leather couches we would really love to take nap on. For your information, this is probably less Tinder date material and more ‘happy anniversary’. Petition Wine Bar & Merchant and Petition Beer Corner are also just around the corner if you need somewhere for a pre or post dinner drink.
The Heritage. Maybe we love it because you immediately feel like you’re in a Parisian bistro along the Seine. Or maybe we love it because you feel like you’re part of the Boardwalk Empire set. Or maybe we just love it because it’s doing really remarkable things for Perth’s fine dining scene and bringing a piece of historic architecture along the terrace back to life. So let’s just go with D) all of the above. We’re all about the Westholme wagyu rump cap. One question though: must we share?
Varnish On King
Yes ok, it’s a bar, we know that. But if you’ve eaten at Varnish On King you know as well as we do that it deserves a spot on any list of the best restaurants in Perth’s CBD. Known for their whisky and bacon flights, can we recommend you just take a second to sit down and order the beef tendon crisps with ash mayo, the braised brisket with pickled okra and the lamb rump with a side of the best cornbread you’ll ever eat. Finish it all off with the peanut butter cup dessert and a Rye Of The Tai-Gurr cocktail.
Sitting pretty down at Elizabeth Quay, it’s not just the views that will have your heart racing at The Reveley. Make sure you order the lemon curd amazingness that is the All Over Pavlova cocktail on arrival to get your taste buds flowing. Then, it’s a tough decision between their herb gnocchi with pumpkin and candied walnuts or the Cone Bay barramundi and crab risotto, so go with an eager over-orderer and call it a day.
Wildflower is shifting our preconceived idea of ‘food for thought’. The menu is dictated by the environment and draws on the seasonal indigenous Noongar calendar. You’ll make a booking with the expectation to be blown away by the view, but in reality, it’s much more than that. The creativity of each dish will make you appreciate our Western Australian soil just a little bit more than the last.
The Flour Factory
If you’ve been treating The Flour Factory like a bar instead of a restaurant you’ve been doing it wrong. Yes, the gin bar is the best thing to happen to Friday after work drinks in a long while, but once you try the food, you’ll be so swept up in how the chef can make potatoes taste and look so good, you’ll wish they were listed on the ASX so you could buy in.
If you’re planning a dinner on the company credit card then we’d suggest you choose Sushia Izakaya and the omakase menu. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this place is not your average Japanese joint, so if you’ve done Nobu more times than you can count, shake things up and head to this fine dining restaurant for a feast and some very inventive cocktails.
If you’re into homemade pasta, insanely good seafood and a banging salumi board then surely you’ve been to Lalla Rookh. If you’re lucky enough to be there when the gnocchi is on the menu, then no more decisions need to be made, you will be ordering that. And if the words ricotta bomboloni make you more excited than winning a competition on Instagram, you’ll want to head here as soon as possible. Lalla Rookh was instrumental in re-inspiring Italian cuisine in Perth and, with or without Valvasori’s pasta making hands of perfection, it still delivers every time.
Is our obsession with the State Buildings obvious yet? This is fancy opulence in its most justifiable form. Normally our hearts would melt at the words gnocchi, but at Post, we struggle to go past the orecchiette. Pretty much everything here showcases local purveyors and the wonderfulness that is WA. Think Nordic neutrals, fine lines and colourful wholesomeness surrounding a tree you wish you had in your living room.
The Apple Daily Bar & Eating House
While the Print Hall combo is old news, the food coming out of it certainly isn’t. Apple Daily is still going very strong. If it’s been a while, here’s a refresher—it’s a little less south-east fusion and a little more of a collaborative Asian affair with additions from Korea, Japan and India popping up on the menu. But don’t worry, the old classics are still there. We’re talking pulled pork pancakes with Asian slaw, snapper dumplings with a tom kha broth and drunken noodles with prawn, chicken and Thai basil.
The shift in partnership has resulted in a welcome change to Balthazar. It’s out with the white linen tablecloths and in with the wood and leather from team No Mafia and the menu is seriously next level. Rest assured, you can still get Bread In Common treats with house butter.
Garum is Chef Guy Grossi’s best gift to Perth. Think Roman classics with a touch of Grossi’s magic and the years of experience he brings to table, and you have the makings of one of the best restaurants in the city. While pretty much everything on the menu shows off WA’s amazing produce, it is head chef Mario Di Natale’s aesthetic for modern Italian cooking that really puts this place on the map.
Hadiqa is your answer to innovative, refined Middle-Eastern dining. Head here for a Friday night drink sesh after work and you’ll surely score brownie points with your colleagues. From the decor to the food and drinks, everything has been carefully curated to give you a taste of Moroccan luxury. Get yourself one of their signature cocktails—a Turkish Delight Martini or a Marrakesh Mojito—then dig into some juicy za'atar lamb kebabs, or the crowd favourite roasted cauliflower bites with ras el hanout and yoghurt.
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The Apple Daily Bar & Eating House | Image credit: Nancy Hanna