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. If this is one you’ve been meaning to try since it opened, then you get 40% for intent but 10% for delivery. C’mon, it’s not that hard guys. 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, pork knuckle and smoked parmesan. Oh, who are we kidding, they had us at their jalapeno and watermelon gin cocktail and those leather couches we would really love to take nap on. FYI—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 waiting 45 minutes and ordering the beef wellington roast dinner. 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 baby squid with pig ears (try them, you won’t regret it we promise), the duck breast with waffles and the lamb neck with a side of the best Brussel sprouts you’ll ever eat. Finish it all off with the chocolate peanut butter dessert and a mocha flip cocktail. Drops mic.
Sitting pretty down at Lizzie Quay, it’s not just the views that will have your heart racing at The Reveley. Make sure you order the butterscotch, toffee apple amazingness that is the uh huh honey cocktail on arrival to get your taste buds flowing. Then, it’s a tough decision between their smoked buffalo ricotta baked in gnocchi or the enormous portion of barramundi that’s nutty and earthy, 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 an artichoke taste and look just so dang 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 ASAP. 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 kingfish ceviche, but at Post, we struggle to go past the duck agnolotti. 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 crispy chilli soft shell crab with paw paw salad and hot and sour dressing, crab cakes with mango, peanuts and roasted chilli and twice cooked pork belly with coconut and banana blossom.
The shift in partnership has resulted in a welcome change to Balthazar. It’s out with the white linen table cloths 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. Phewf!
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The Apple Daily Bar & Eating House | Image credit: Nancy Hanna