AT the end of the ‘Fremantle Rainbow’ is no pot of gold, or Brad Pettitt dressed as a leprechaun, but there is a designer tin shed.
It’s actually called Jetty Bar and Eats – a new waterfront venue just down from The Left Bank (they now have some serious opposition) and in front of The Kiosk (I’m sure they are thrilled).
The Jetty’s tin shed-design raised a few eyebrows – a lack of architectural vision some cried – but it’s inconspicuous and lets the gorgeous scenery take centre stage, so I’m giving it the thumbs up.
The design hasn’t deterred the punters with the place absolutely heaving on a glorious Friday lunchtime one week after opening.
With fantastic views of the river, the quaint wooden traffic bridge and North Fremantle cliffs, the Jetty is in a stunning spot, with the passing boats creating an ever-changing vista.
The interior is equally impressive – one mammoth long bar that maximises the view with stylish seating and a shaded alfresco.
But what about the food? Bars with great views often have mediocre grub because they don’t need to try.
Jetty offers sophisticated share plates to enjoy with a few drinks – the kind of stuff you graze on with Shirley and Boris from the Western Suburbs.
The lunch got off to a flyer with the grilled Spencer gulf king prawns ($22), which were beautifully presented.
The huge prawns were juicy and perfectly cooked, and accompanied by any amazing mojo verde, which had great depth of flavour and almost the intensity of a green pesto.
The green chillies didn’t overpower the huge prawns and provided a latent heat to the dish. Top notch stuff.
The cured kingfish ($18) also looked amazing, but didn’t quiet hit the same heights with the citrus dressing browbeating the beautiful fish (I didn’t get any hint of that trademark sweet flavour).
The dish was garnished with some dainty pieces of grapefruit and pickled celery, which added a refreshing twist.
Across the table my mate Jambo was enjoying his ‘gyro’ ($16) – basically an up-market souvlaki including pimenton and orange chicken, cacik, spicy sauce, cabbage, tomato and onion.
“The pita was nice, the chicken was really tasty and plentiful, and it had a nice heat with the spicy sauce,” he said.
I had a sneaky taste and enjoyed the dark, cajun-like flavour, while the pita was amazingly soft and fresh with high quality ingredients.
I imagine the gyro will be a hit with the Freo cavemen, who still think share plates are for girls.
Jambo rounded things off with the pan fried squid with n’duja butter and tarragon ($18).
“The squid was unfortunately a tad over cooked, but I thought the n’duja butter and tarragon was an interesting flavour combination. You got that kind of liquorice/aniseed taste from the tarragon, then you were hit with a nice whack of chilli from the n’duja.”
The Jetty deserves brownie points for superb presentation, bold and sophisticated food pairings, and a menu with lots of originality.
Some share dishes hit the mark and others are a work in progress, but it’s a refreshing change to fried calamari and sliders.
A few more standalone dishes wouldn’t go a miss, but I’m sure locals will enjoy the view and the sophisticated cuisine.
By STEPHEN POLLOCK
Jetty Bar and Eats
126 Beach St, Fremantle