Benoit Lasplace has what you could consider a fancy CV. In Perth, he worked at the sadly-missed Print Hall Dining Room and, before that, Rockpool Perth. Then there are the Michelin-starred restaurants he managed in the United Kingdom before moving to Western Australia: L’Ortolan in Reading, and Abstract in Edinburgh. For his next trick, the Toulouse-raised Frenchman is steering things in a more casual direction.
Enter Mistelle: the new identity of the cafe at, Perth Hills winery, Hainault. Named after the fortified aperitif wine from Lasplace’s native Gascony region, Mistelle is a 70-seat bistro serving updated versions of France’s greatest hits: think duck confit, beef with Robuchon-style Paris mash (that is, equal parts butter and potato) and house-made charcuterie.
“It’s going to be French bistro, but we want to freshen it up a bit,” says Lasplace. “We’re not trying to be fancy, but want to provide good food that’s priced fairly. Staff are going to be knowledgeable, but aren’t going overboard and worrying about coming from the right and serving from the left.”
While the initial drink offering will be limited to wines produced at Hainault estate and local Bickley Valley Brewery beers, Lasplace hopes to introduce craft spirits to the menu in future. A locally made mistelle is also on the cards.
Once the restaurant is established, the family-friendly outdoor area will be launched. Expect a food truck serving an edited version of the menu (charcuterie will feature) and barbequed meats alongside refreshing, summery drinks. Brendan Sim, owner of Bar Lafayette will consult on a tap cocktail and guests will be able to listen to live acoustic music. The views of the vineyards and surrounding Perth Hills greenery, meanwhile, will be a constant.
“If you wanted a good Sunday sesh, you’ve had to drive down to Fremantle or the city,” says Lasplace. “We’re not going to go hardcore with loud music but want to create somewhere you can bring the whole family, the kids can run around and you can have some good food and booze without spending a fortune.”
Mistelle (255 Walnut Road, Bickley) opens in early October and will open for lunch Thursday to Sunday.