To passers-by, Ethos looks a lot like any suburban cafe. And that’s exactly what its environmentally conscious co-owners, wife-and-wife Susan Whelan and Melissa Palinkas are going for. They’ve transformed this former tea merchant into an airy, neighbourhood deli with white splashbacks, exposed brick, Hungarian folk art and animal figurines decorating the space.

Further up the road, the couple’s East Freo bar Young George makes a compelling argument that no-waste does not mean no-fun. With Ethos, they want to take this green thinking as far as they can.

Just like at Young George, secondary cuts of meat, seafood by-catch and imperfect produce feature on the menu. But Ethos is a little more direct in the way these ingredients are used. Palinkas’s German-Hungarian roots and Eastern European deli culture are referenced extensively, though everything is sourced from Western Australia.

The extensive brunch menu includes various counter treats, baked goods and share plates. Lunch might be matzo ball soup; and the Wagyu beef cheek with raclette, bacon and greens is among the hearty dinner fare on offer.

Charcuterie and smallgoods also star. Some might choose to enjoy the duck prosciutto and pate encroute as standalone items. Others will get their fix via comforting sandwiches like bacon sarnies, King Fish lox bagels and Coney Island hot dogs (oversized sausage and all).

The waste-not, WA-thinking carries over into the drinks side of things, too. Spent lemons, oranges and grapefruit are steeped in vodka to create a citrus aperitif. Leftover sourdough is distilled into a gin by Haiver Spirits. Every wine on the list is made by producers on the same sustainability wavelength as Ethos.

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Updated: March 15th, 2023

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