FOR months I have seen it glimmering on Essex Street.
They have the setup, with their vibrant, tie-dyed signage, front deck seating with floral umbrellas and views of the cappuccino strip.
Finally, I was trying the new bar and bites, and unbelievably, Freo’s first official queer bar, The Flaming Galah.
My favourite proudly gay Aunties said the place was a blast, and that was all the push I needed.
Walking in on Saturday night with my bestie Preslee, we were met with the most fantastic atmosphere. The venue is small but finds the space to do everything it wants to do. In stereotypical gay spirit, the decorating is immaculate.
The space is unique, modern, funky and something to marvel at.
There is a nice sized bar with an eye-catchingly, gorgeous glitter bench top. Among the cheerful checkerboard bar wall dripped with ivy is antique pendant lighting that illuminates a shrine-like frame display of queer icons like Freddie Mercury and Princess Diana.
In front of the bar is a space that could easily become a dance floor, thanks to the shimmering disco ball that beautifully reflects moody, multi-coloured lights everywhere. Bar, table and booth seating stretch over all the way down the venue. And you can barely tell the now-vibey bar was a former laser tag fortress.
The music is amazing too. From The Veronicas to Olivia Newton John, we agree they are all anthems you could either catwalk to or serenade someone with. “This is gay heaven,” says Pres.
Already having a reputation for making good cocktails, when my Chilli Galah ($19) comes out I’m keen. It looks gorgeous, served with a couple of cherries, lemon, and chilli rim. Its spicy, sugary, and refreshing with the citrus. Pres’s icy pint of on-tap sour candy beer ($13) is also magnificent.
All cocktails on the drinks list look creative and delectable; one is even a rose, boba tea, gin arrangement which sounds epic. I cannot overstate how exciting each drink looks. I’m coming back to try them ALL – even their mocktails. The amusing names and descriptions are a laugh too.
The bites section is narrow, but all options are appealing. There are western comfort-food favourites like burgers, caesar salad and loaded potato gems, among pops of Japanese ramen, Korean kimchi and a couple of tex-mex tortilla dip dishes. Plenty of vegan and vegetarian choices also.
The surely-named ‘Really good guac’ ($14) came out first. The tortilla chips were A1 crunchy and were spectacularly salty. The guac was fresh and a good accompaniment, but I wanted creamier. Overall, it’s a yummy munch, but next time I might go the chilli con queso – any excuse to eat those tortilla chips again.
My ‘Late night ramen noodle’ ($14) is a steaming, fragrant, big broth bowl with egg, kimchi and nori. On the first spoon its wins my heart. That tomatoey, spicey flavour is so warming, and every element is well done. Sizing is superb, and spice level is a delicious 6/10 for me (and I chose mild). Definitely getting this number again.
Next to me, Pres is tucking into her cheeseburger ($15).
“The milk bun is crazy soft, but so is everything else in the burger. Toasting the bread might elevate it,” she says.
“All parts are tasty, and it meets the bar. But it’s on the bar.” The friendly bartender told us the renowned curly fries side were sadly unavailable. The substitute chips given were hot and delish, only problem is we wished there was more.
With the bubbly, professional staff, immaculate vibes, exciting drinks, lightning speed service and a flaming feed, The Flaming Galah is THE place to hang out over a drink and a nibble. Its fun, cozy and affordable.
They appear to host some fun events too. Alf Stewart would definitely approve too. Overall, I am also happy the queer community can claim this place and feel safe there.
I’ll be promptly returning for that ramen, a cocktail on the patio and an evening boogie.
by DANIELA GARBIN
The Flaming Galah
19B Essex St, Fremantle