A RAVENOUS D’Angerous Dave is a sight to behold, so when I had to tell him his favourite whitebait was off the menu I made sure he was gulping a cider first.
The boost to his blood sugar levels seem to work and he took the news with only a few grizzles.
It was our first visit to the South Beach Hotel (still the Dav to most locals) since the bottle shop was converted into an industrial-style eatery.
The open-plan, with its soaring roof, raw bricks and steel beams reminded me of an old-fashioned beer garden, although the three massive TVs showing football and the loud music were a distraction.
Massive photos of old Freo grace the walls, including one we puzzled over.
Thanks to Fremantle library’s online index I discovered it wasn’t Bathers Beach, but tram workers standing near the corner of East Street and Canning Highway.
The SBH menu is small, but there’s plenty of choice for carnivores and vegetarians.
Our friends went for an entree serve of five-spice pork belly ($14) and a crispy-skin Atlantic salmon ($28).
“It’s very tasty, greasy and fatty, as pork belly should be,” Catherine opined.
“The salmon is slightly over-cooked, but I like my salmon gelatinous,” Mark said, going on to rave about the rosti which blended the flavours of dill and fennel perfectly.
Deprived of whitebait D’Anger had the snapper and chips ($20), which was just what the staple pommy dish should be — crisp but not oily. It came with a really good, fresh salad.
I reckon I had the win of the night with the roasted cauliflower and lemon risotto ($22).
Delicious doesn’t begin to describe this dish: the cauliflower was perfect, with just a hint of crunchiness.
Topped with browned almonds and parmesan the flavours were fantastic, with subtle lemon coming through on the tongue as the last morsel slid down my throat.
The SBH has daily specials, with $15 meals.
Monday’s was chilli mussels, which other diners were tucking into with gusto.
You can get those great fish and chips on Friday, or a porterhouse or T-bone on Tuesdays, while Sunday is the chef’s surprise.
by JENNY D’ANGER
The South Beach Hotel
396 South Terrace,