Do the Char Char

NOTHING gets my goat more than an outdated, non-seasonal menu on a restaurant’s website.

Unfortunately that’s what I found when I visited Char Char’s website, as well as their winter opening hours, but thankfully their Facebook page was up-to-date.

Fussy gripes aside, my lunch at Char Char was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had experienced during my 15 years working in Fremantle.

Our four-course seafood feast was like a culinary supernova– fresh, fragrant and bursting with flavour.

There are three oyster options on the menu: natural ($3.5) baked ($4.5) and crispy ($4.5), so we ordered one of each.

I love a natural oyster but the baked oyster sprung to life with the addition of garlic crumbs and bacon butter, which I wish Char Char sold by the tub.

On this day the oysters came via Sydney, and I was told by the kitchen that they source them from top fish markets across Australia.

The whiting fillets ($21.50) are lightly floured then pan fried in butter and olive oil. The fish is topped with crunchy, julienned apple and a citrus-dressed red cabbage slaw.

There were at least seven flakey fillets which made this starter exceptional value.

Tacos are never on my radar but my cousin Blanche was keen to give Char Char’s a go and I’m glad we did.

They’re bursting at the seams with tempura-battered barramundi fillets, and garnished with roast green chilli, lime aioli and coriander.

The surprise addition of kohlrabi (similar to turnip), gave a nice crunchy contrast to the other soft ingredients.

The salmon rillettes ($16) we had for our final course were the best rillettes I’ve ever tasted.

This fishy interpretation wasn’t as dense and rich as the pork or duck versions I’ve tried, but it had loads more flavour.

The creamy mixture was made up of both cooked and raw salmon chunks mixed with flavoursome dill and punchy red onion.

With more American-style burger joints and tourist-friendly pasta places than ever before, Fremantle’s once exciting lunchtime dining scene has flatlined over the last six months, but with it’s care-free, relaxed atmosphere, exceptional hospitality and beautiful location, Char Char is an absolute breath of fresh air.

by MATTHEW EELES

Char Char
44B Mews Road, Fremantle
Open 7 Days
Phone 9335 7666
http://www.charcharrd.com.au

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