With a CV that boasts plenty of WA big names including winery restaurants Leeuwin Estate, Wills Domain, Arimia, CBD fine-diner Fleur and three-years spent with roving food pop-up Fervor, Rohan Park is one of Perth’s most exciting up-and-coming chefs. Since 2022, he’s been helming the ambitious but approachable Old Young’s Kitchen in WA’s oldest wine region.
When he’s not busily preparing gutsy, gastronomic dishes, Park likes to grab takeaway chicken from a Mount Hawthorn local, pick up a pastry from a Heston Blumenthal-trained chef or visit a neighbourhood bar.
What’s your go-to for a quick takeaway?
I can’t go past Drasko’s Hot Chicken without stopping in to grab some takeaway hot chicken. I’m actually overdue for a Drasko’s run, but I’m very keen to try out his new waffle chicken offerings on my next visit.
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And for drinks and snacks?
Casa in Mount Hawthorn has arguably one of Perth’s strongest snack games – they deliver every time. Not just another wine bar, Casa boasts an expansive wine list and enough cocktails, beers, spirits and aperitifs to please even the most discerning of booze-hounds.
If it’s a special occasion, where are you headed?
I’ll be headed to Hearth at Ritz Carlton for my partner’s upcoming birthday. I have it under good authority from a number of industry heavyweights that the latest iteration of the restaurant, headed up by chef de cuisine Brian Cole, is serving up some bloody special dining experiences.
What’s your go-to pub?
A new opening but already my go-to for a pint and a good pub feed is Subiaco Continental. Chef Marcello Segalina’s menu has you dining on dishes that draw from somewhere between the heart of Europe and the Big Apple in a way that just works very well.
What about your favourite local beer?
I may be a bit biased having been there for the inaugural brews, but nonetheless any of the Fervor x Beerfarm “Native Series” brews are always a five-star beer. That being said, I’ll mess with anything that comes out of Beerfarm’s brewery. My boy Josh Thomas is a genius in the keg house.
Where would you go for a long lunch?
For a fully immersive winery experience without leaving the Perth metro area, Sandalford Winery is the place to while away an afternoon. Executive chef Alan Spagnolo boasts a technique-driven, well-executed menu guided by West Australian produce and winemaker Ross Pamment complements this with the sort of wines only someone with his lifelong experience can deliver.
How about a meal with a big group of family and friends?
Coogee Common is large enough and has enough private dining options of varying sizes to cater to nearly any size family gathering. Our man Scotty Brannigan built the venue from the garden up and – other than potatoes and onions – the entire menu is written by the garden and the proof is in the homegrown pudding, one could say. Big bright fresh dishes to share as a group or eat à la carte.
What’s your personal favourite dish on the menu at your spot? Tough one I’m sure.
The Leeuwin Coast akoya oyster served with charred and fermented orange curd, macadamia, finger lime, lemon myrtle emulsion, buttermilk and Great Southern Groves olive oil. It’s a crazy creation from the depths of my psyche but trust me it works! Come on out to try it.
What’s a hidden gem that you think is really underrated?
Sonny’s in Mount Hawthorn. Rising hotshot Sofika Boulton (ex-Bar Rogue and Wildflower) is putting out some really tight gear from her kitchen in this relatively new and slick-as-hell neighbourhood bar headed up by the rockstar Jess Blythe.