While the joys of aperitifs and digestives have been well documented, the rise of cocktails at the dinner table is a trend bartenders and diners alike can get behind. Here are 10 of our favourite places in Perth for food and cocktails.
The Thai cooking of David Thompson is a tough act to match but veteran World Class bartender James Connolly is up to the task. From refreshing Watermelon and Ginger Highballs, to a Sazerac spiked with Thai cardamom, the drinks at Long Chim keep pace with the frequent bursts of spice in dishes such as the green beef curry.
Rockpool Bar & Grill
A mighty cocktail list underscores the bar aspect of Neil Perry’s west-coast outpost. The selection covers the classics both old (Corpse Reviver #2 made with kaffir line-infused Tanqueray gin) and new (Bulleit Rye Whiskey and maple bacon shrub stirred own and served Manhattan style with chocolate and orange bitters) and stays true to Rockpool’s luxe-classic ideals.
Cookie-cutter Mexican? Not on El Publico’s watch. Just as the tacos and deep-fried crickets are of a higher order, so too are the drinks. Tequila has its own list (look out for the Don Julio 1942) and also pops up in cocktails such as in the snappy Margarita. Not in the mood for tequila? Try the Night in Cacao made with Tanqueray gin, white chocolate and grapefruit.
The handsome liquor cabinet at Clarences is the beating heart of its cocktail list. Spirits can be upgraded into their respective classic (Tanqueray gin into a Martini, say, or Ron Zacapa rum into an Old Fashioned). House creations (such as the Rum Salad made with rum, lime, chilli and soda) are fun and tasty. Our pick of the food menu is the ramen fried-chicken burger.
Like the food menu at Nobu-san’s Perth satellite, drinks here fuse Japanese and South American influences to winning effect. Sake features extensively, on its own and in cocktails such as the Matsuhisa Martini made with Ketel One vodka, Junmai sake, pickled ginger and cucumber. Two Pisco Sours are a nod to Nobu’s time in Peru.
Bib & Tucker
Bib & Tucker’s cocktail list is all about maximising and celebrating its beachside location. Bloody Marys and Negronis make fine prefaces to your meal, which may include a tin of Ortiz anchovies and grilled sourdough bread, or a pizza from the wood-fired oven. The restaurant’s own honey features in the Up On The Roof, with bourbon, peach and mint.
The Flour Factory
It’s all about gin and aperitifs at this one-time mill. A gin list features more than 70 different brands and varieties. For $10, you can Spin-For-Your-Gin – spin the wheel and the brand you land on is the one you’re given. The best result is Tanqueray No. TEN, and the worst, a ready-to-drink can of gin and tonic. From the kitchen, there’s pizza, house-made sausages and Rangers Valley Wagyu steak with duck-fat potatoes.
Joel Valvasori-Pereza’s spirited Italian cooking deserves equally bold Italian cocktails. Blood-orange soda puts a clever spin on the Spritz. The tangy Paloma (tequila, grapefruit and lime) cuts through the richness of dishes such as pappardelle with a wild rabbit, chestnut and prune ragu.
Enrique’s School For To Bullfighting
Enrique’s is a happy, delicious place where cocktails and food come together. Customise your gin and tonic (choose the gin, the tonic and the garnish), or opt for the likes of a chargrilled pineapple Margarita, or mandarin Crusta. Don’t look past the squid slider, stuffed with crispy squid, creamed corn and jalapeno cos slaw. Or try the jamon-and-manchego croquetas.
Modern Japanese is the name of the game at this contemporary CBD dining room. The Tusurai Martini marries Ketel One vodka and chilli with fresh pineapple. Plum wine (umeshu) steers the Tanqueray gin-based Negroni from the Terrace to Tokyo.
This article is presented in partnership with World Class.