AFTER 18 consecutive days of rain it was great to see the sun make a brief cameo on Thursday, so I donned my speedos and headed into Fremantle for lunch.
My wife and I decided to try Street Eats, the latest place to open in the redeveloped Manning Building (technically it’s in Paddy Troy Lane).
There’s a little group of new restaurants at the entrance to the arcade, and the murals in the laneway create a cool vibe, almost like a hidden precinct at that end of town.
Street Eats has a stylish alfresco and bright murals, and loud music was pumping away as we walked inside.
I must have looked about 80 as the friendly lady behind the bar asked if I wanted the music turned down and the heating up.
The menu had a range of appetisers/share plates, big eats, fries and desserts.
There was a bit of everything thrown in there from across the globe with burgers, tacos, skewers and parmi sliders all rubbing shoulders.
I liked how the decor reflected Fremantle with lightbulbs dangling from anchor rope, and a fun mural of an octopus with “Freo Life” emblazoned across it.
They could have easily taken the generic, lazy route with graffiti art of skateboards and dudes wearing baggy jeans at half-mast.
I was a bit nervous about the food as I’ve been to similar-themed places and it’s always been style over substance – raucous music and street art papering over the substandard, greasy food. How wrong I was – my New Orleans seafood and chicken jambalaya ($28.50) was absolutely delicious.
There was plenty of well-cooked prawn, squid and chicken lurking in a bowl of New Orleans ‘dirty rice’. It was almost like a risotto with a slightly gloopy broth, a mild heat and a lovely balance of flavours.
I liked how the broth wasn’t over-seasoned or too spicy, allowing the seafood to shine, while the chopped onions, peppers and thyme kept things nice and fresh. This dish was high quality and there was plenty of it. Top marks.
Across the table my wife was enjoying her crispy Korean chicken salad ($18.50) which was nicely presented.
“There’s a great balance of flavours and the red onion, Asian slaw, cashew nuts and fried shallots go really well together,” she said.
“The crispy chicken is well cooked and adds a nice texture to the dish, along with the rice noodles. The greens are all lovely and fresh and I like the addition of coriander, which helps refresh the palate.”
Throughout our meal the service was superb, with the lady behind the bar asking how our meal was and being super polite and friendly.
A few of the soft drinks were unavailable, but that was understandable given they were still on a ‘soft opening’ from earlier in the week.
Street Eats is fully licensed with a large range of beers, wines and spirits, and I can see their alfresco being a big hit in summer with people going for drinks and food after work.
It’s a fun place with lively music and decor and will appeal to the young crowd, but I was surprised by the quality of the food.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK
Street Eats Eatery Fremantle
135 High Street Mall, Paddy Troy Lane