EAST FREMANTLE – where doctors’ wives go to die.
Only kidding, but sometimes George Street feels like the last supper staged by Versace.
I do love it though and was keen to try Ethos Deli, which is known for its East European dishes and homage to Hungarian and German cuisine.
Their lunch menu included breads, charcuterie and cheese, deluxe sandwiches with crisps, and some hot dishes like Black king fish gravlax, potato latkes and BBQ pork skirt steak.
My mum used to do a mean 1970s goulash, so I went all Nana Mouskouri and ordered the wagyu beef meatballs goulash ($28).
Sitting up on the mezzanine, you had a nice view of the interior, which was fitted out with stylish pendant lights, exposed brickwork and demure black tables.
It was classy and restrained and seemed popular with the East Fremantle ladies, including some grannies in a book club behind us, who appeared to be discussing the pipe cleaners and toilet plungers in Fifty Shades of Grey.
It wasn’t long before the waiter was back with my piping hot goulash.
There was no gristle in the dinky balls which tasted delicious when combined with the rich sauce and a dod of sour cream.
The dill pickles and spring onions conjured a zesty kick, and there were some green beans to add a bit of texture.
Maybe I was still channelling the 1970s and tan flares, but I would have liked some crunchy bread or toasted baguette slices to dip into the sauce (especially since bread was on the menu), or even a ramekin of rice.
Some more paprika would have been good too; ratcheting up the spice level.
It was a tasty and satisfying dish with high-quality ingredients, but for $28 I wanted a little bit more.
Across the table my wife was enjoying her My besties Babcia’s potato and cheese pierogi (Polish dumplings $22).
They were nicely presented with a golden brown carapace, and decorated with large glazed rings of onion, herbs and a generous dollop of sour cream.
“The dish really gets going when you combine all the ingredients,” my wife said. “The dumplings are perfectly cooked and deliciously light.
“Although they’re full of carbs, it feels like a delicate lunch dish.”
Throughout our meal the service was faultless, with the polite waiter topping up our water and being super friendly and pleasant, without straying into over-zealous mode.
He was “invisible” in the best sense of the word, but always there when we needed something.
We rounded off lunch with a chai latte, a cappuccino ($4 each) and some German carrot cake ($6)
The carrot cake was yummy but a bit dainty for my wife’s liking (not a hefty slice but a small rectangular version) and she wanted more ‘Vorsprung Durch Technik’.
Ethos had a display counter with takeaway cakes, deluxe baguettes, and hot gourmet pies and savouries including knish and duck sausage rolls.
I saw two ladies getting pies to eat in, so that was an option as well.
You always pay more when dining at an eatery on George Street, but I thought our dishes were slightly on the pricey side, although I appreciate it is a deli and portions are more refined.
I’ll definitely be back to try the deluxe sandwiches and some of the other takeaway offerings.
Ethos Deli and Dining Room
88 George Street, EastFremantle
by STEPHEN POLLOCK