The Miss Mi team has been in hibernation. The West Australia outpost of Melbourne’s Miss Mi, which opened in late 2021, was ready to roll back in 2020 – but when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Perth and the Novotel on Murray became a designated quarantine hotel, the kitchen team were forced to put their plans on hold.
“When I got hired [at Miss Mi], my chef mojo was fading away. [I needed] some time to build up myself again,” head chef Alex De Leon tells Broadsheet. The years spent in lockdown gave De Leon the time he needed, and when Miss Mi finally opened its doors in February of this year, his mojo had returned.
The Filipino-born chef has brought his knowledge of Southeast Asian cuisine to many local venues including the now-closed Low Key Chow House where he worked as head chef for six years. His work at Miss Mi continues this legacy, blending traditional Southeast Asian techniques with modern presentation and local ingredients.
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You’ll want to get messy with melt-in-your-mouth lamb ribs coated in a luscious Szechuan glaze, chicken wings with Filipino-style spicy banana ketchup, or kangaroo skewers, marinated overnight and sprinkled with candlenut and coconut. There’s also a truly sublime side dish of garlic fried rice with beef fat crumbs and a perfectly runny sous-vide egg. From June 7, a series of warming winter dishes will be added to the menu including a crayfish piaparan (a coconut milk broth with ginger, turmeric and vegetables); stir-fried manila clams with squid XO; and a crowd-pleasing small plate of softshell crab and pumpkin cooked with coconut milk.
The drinks list includes cocktails that feature complementary Asian flavours; for example, the Pandan Escape with vodka, house-made pandan syrup and coconut milk, and the Wasabi Mi which blends the hot and cool flavours of wasabi, cucumber, gin and lemon juice. For those on the alcohol-free train, there is a large selection of non-alcoholic beers, wines and mocktails made with Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits.
Larger than its Melbourne sibling, Miss Mi Perth seats 180 across the dining room and two semi-private dining areas. The space is clad in comforting dark, natural woods housing earthy pottery, and wall murals that evoke the smoke of a fiery barbeque. A neon mural by local artist Drew Straker that glows with electric colour after dark is also a highlight.
Miss Mi Perth
Novotel Perth, 388 Murray Street, Perth
(08) 6371 6339
Tues, Wed & Sat 5.30pm–10pm
Thurs & Fri 12pm–3pm, 5.30pm–10pm