The corner of Roberts and Rokeby roads in Subiaco has seen a lot in its time. For three decades, it was home to the Subiaco Pavilion Markets, a grab bag of eateries and shops that hummed on weekends and during footy games. Then came the site’s boarded-up, eyesore era, as developers and the council debated its fate after the markets closed in 2008. Finally, after being out of action for 15 years, this high-profile corner has been reborn as One Subiaco, a three-building “condominium complex” that cuts a looming shape across the skyline. While the development is home to some 500 people, its standout resident will be Subiaco Continental – a sprawling 400-person eatery sitting pretty on one of the suburb’s main intersections.
Reason one to pay attention to Subiaco Continental: it looks great. Crossing Roberts Road from the train station, you can’t help but admire the giant Ferrero Rocher-like quality of the building. Inside Subi Continental, designer Kate Archibald (Mane Osborne Park, La Condesa) has turned in an airy design that uses sandstone, blond timber and other neutral tones to create an inviting, open space. The room is set with numerous seating options ranging from dining tables and bar seats to medium-rise counters and cushioned benches. Floor-to-ceiling windows seem to be as much about bringing the outside in as it is showing off those dishy interiors.
Reason number two to pay attention to Subiaco Continental: owner Miles Hull has form when it comes to high-volume venues. In addition to his current spots such as Ruinbar and Jetty Bar & Eats), Hull was also GM at Little Creatures and helped open Alex Hotel. For Subi Continental, he’s drawn inspiration from the grand cafes of Paris and the corner taverns of New York to create an all-day space that feels very local.
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“In my little imaginary world, this place is a corner tavern in a village that people can drop into at any time,” Hull says. “It’s a meeting place for people that live here, where you can pop in for a coffee or a glass of wine and have a date night. You can have a couple of plates but the menu will also suit people wanting to go out and have a proper meal. But then it’s also a place where the business community can come to for lunch and have a meeting, too.”
In the kitchen, chef Marcello Segalina has swapped the waterside views of Jetty for the urban vistas of revitalised Subiaco. Europe does a lot of the heavy lifting on Subi Continental’s appealing all-day menu: gildas, mussel escabeche toasts and crudites star on the user-friendly snacks menu, while the pasta section includes lamb ragu caserecce and pumpkin tortellini with a burnt butter and sage sauce. There’s a tartare, crudo and cheeseburger, plus steak frites, duck confit, fish of the day and other business lunch go-tos. A seafood cabinet in the open kitchen holds oysters, prawns and other raw-bar goodies.
The drinking, in typical Hull style, is very good across the board. House cocktails stick to the familiar – think Negroni spritzes, an elderflower-spiked riff on the Southside, plus a tweaked version of Aussie bartender Sam Ross’s modern classic, The Paperplane – while venue manager Katie Chan’s wine list is as notable for its bang-per-buck (most of the by-the-glass pours are $13) as its respect for both traditional and contemporary wine styles. West Australian brewers are well represented on the beer side of things. In short: the drinks list – like Subi Continental – has something for everyone.
10A Rokeby Rd, Subiaco
Mon – Sat 11.30am – 11pm