From the deep-fried to the delicious, low-cost to special occasion, the Herald food reviews had a bit of everything this year.
Here’s a round-up of some notable eateries we visited (not necessarily the best or most sophisticated cuisine, but places that left an impression on this slightly over-weight, misanthropic Chook).
If you’re after a top notch burger then LONG PADDOCK BURGER CO is a great shout.
Nestled in the sleepy burbs of Attadale, it’s owned by the same folk who run the gourmet butcher’s next door, so you’re guaranteed premium meat.
While smashed burgers are in in vogue, we loved how Long Paddock serves up monster old-school jumbo patties (a bit like ditching the Prius and cruising down the highway in your 1950s gas-guzzling pink Cadillac). A truly lip-smacking ride.
As well as restaurants and cafes, the Herald also featured shops, delis and bakeries. One of the standouts was EVERYDAY BREAD in Willagee.
Ditching traditional hours, it’s open from 3.30pm-8.30pm, so the bakers can have a social life and customers can enjoy fresh bread with dinner like many families do in Europe (you can now tell the Nigels and Wendys next door you eat like the French do).
All that would be inconsequential if the bread wasn’t amazing (the standout being the sour cherry and rosemary loaf).
The bakery is part of a little group of shops on the corner of Stock Road and Leach Highway that is enjoying a mini resurgence.
Keeping on the subject of Europe, LITTLE FRENCH NEST is a delightful new cafe in the heart of Freo, serving up French-inspired brunch and lunch dishes.
Beautifully presented and a little sophisticated, they do some delicious crepes.
In terms of redevelopments, it’s hard to go past the OLD COURTHOUSE in Fremantle, with the owners doing a tremendous job of acknowledging the buildings past with historical tidbits everywhere you look (on one wall is a press clipping from 1956 about how an 18-year-old Alan Bond was in Fremantle Court for two charges of having been unlawfully on premises, with a witness describing how he tried to force open a window after no one answered the door).
The food isn’t too shabby either and the Old Courthouse is a great shout for a Sunday session.
One of the hidden gems we found was RYM TARNG at the Bicton Central Shopping Centre.
Owned by the same folk who run the well respected Long Chim in the Perth CBD, it serves up really good quality dishes inspired by Thai street food.
Rym replaced a tatty old kebab shop and is another high quality addition to the shopping centre, which is starting to build up a nice collection of shops and eateries.
With covid still rearing its ugly head this year, we reviewed several takeaways.
With the advent of online ordering, it really is a whole new ball game for takeaways (remember the days when you would phone for a Chinese, wait eons for someone to answer, then the driver was late, so you’d phone back and not get through, only for it to eventually arrive stone cold hours later, delivered by a guy who looked like he was on day release from Arkham Asylum).
One of the healthiest takeaways we enjoyed was from PEKO PEKO in Attadale.
It was really well presented (often impossible with takeaways) and tasted delicious with shiny, fresh veggies and subtle not-too-salty sauces.
The eatery specialises in Asian-inspired cuisine – sushi, rice paper rolls, salads, soups, noodles and desserts.
During the winter months their Moroccan lentil miso was particularly memorable – thick, brimming with flavour and teeming with lentils.
The Chook’s overall favourite was still TONIC + GINGER at the Old Synagogue venue in Fremantle, which delivers amazing food and has the great-value “feed me” option for $66.
So, with the year coming to an end, enjoy your Xmas turkey with stuffing and all the trimmings.
Wait a minute it’s Freo – enjoy your free-range tofu roll with veggies grown on your verge, cooked in your AGA, and then washed down with some nettle wine from “Xanadu who drives the VW camper next door.”
Whatever you eat on the big day, the Chook wishes you a merry Christmas.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK