As 2023 comes to an end, WAGFG’s Georgia Moore picks out the dishes, snacks and tidbits that most stood out to her along the way. Call it an unofficial Best of List, seen through the eyes of the WA Good Food Guide director, for whom eating, drinking and discussing, is part of the job.

The best thing about having 30,000 photos on your phone is you can scroll back when it comes time to reminisce. There have been so many highlights of 2023, but if I had to call out just a few, there are some that linger strongly in the memory. While I’ve focused on dishes specifically below, I must give a firm nod to the expansion of unique and original hospitality concepts in the south-west and the velocity of new openings around the state – 2024 is set to be another year of momentum and growth and we can’t wait to get stuck in.

Onto the dishes that stood out, in no particular order, and leaving out plenty, I present to you my rapid-fire wrap of a year in eating in the West.

The Eagle Bay Stout pie from Buttercrumbs at the Mane Liquor pop-up – I sincerely hope this team keep the weekend collaborations coming, they are so positive for the industry. The Shakshuka at Wards Central Dining (it makes me just a tad ok about the closing of our beloved Peoples Cafeteria). Chef Cameron Jones Glacier 51 toothfish with pistachio, mushroom, onion and truffle at the Vasse Felix WA Good Food Guide Truffles Unearthed dinner. The melt in your mouth grass-fed free range lamb at Glenarty Road. The curried egg roll and the superb breakfast congee at Alberta’s. Elliot Sawiris’ hashbrown with cod roe whip, pickle powder, chives and smoked trout roe at Nextdoor. Melissa Palinkas’ duck sausage roll, classic Caesar salad and vegan pea soup at Ethos Deli + Dining Room. Blaze Young’s burnt Jerusalem artichoke, mushroom and goat’s curd dish at our first vegetarian truffle dinner at Nieuw Ruin. When eating between meetings, the brown rice sushi and kewpie potato salad with parsley from Nippon Fare. Mama’s beans at Drasko’s. The Reuben (and the décor) at Satchmo.

The Roots, shoots & leaves dish from Bib & Tucker; pumpkin miso puree, sesame roasted zucchini, zucchini pickles, pumpkin kimchi, 27 buckwheat togarashi and fresh shoots from their beachside garden.

The pinsa at Threecoins & Sons

Then there’s the Pastourmadopitakia at Yiamas. Pinsa every way from Threecoins & Sons. The Singapore fried vermicelli at Two Hands Noodle Shop. Seth James’ yakitori chicken wings at Frui Momento. The cacio e pepe fritti from Casa – made with tapioca and a pecorino cream, finished with honey and black pepper. The Le Burger avec fromage at Le Rebelle, the crab crespelle at Si Paradiso and the charcuterie at Vincent Wine.

I’m also still thinking about Brendan Pratt’s straight-from-the-ocean Abrolhos Island scallop at Shoreleave Festival. The Wagin duck parfait with maraschino cherry and onion jam and the yellowfin tuna with ajo blanco and confit pepitas at our Restaurant of the Year, Madalena’s. The chicken schnitzel sandwich at Peggy’s. The Brussels sprout and carbonara pizzas at Casa Pizza. The potatoes at Vin Populi. The crab omelette at Il Lido with extra jam.

Packed pita at Yalla Bala, Falafel Omisi, and the chicken shawarma with green chilli yoghurt at Island Market. The brisket and all of the sides at Big Don’s Smoked Meats. The Lasagnette with duck, pancetta and orange at Lulu La Delizia. My whole meal at Marumo. The gnocchi at Post.

And then there’s the little things that populate my life week in week out. Strong coffee and an amaretti to start the day at Modus Coffee. Cono and Chicho Gelato. Sal’s Cottesloe for at-home pasta and mini meatballs from Torre Butchers. The zucchini slice from Casa Nostra. On the less fancy side, the chicken curry on a cold footy day at Optus Stadium, or if I’m starving, on the run and want something tasty, a cheeseburger on a steamed bun with triple-pickles-add lettuce from McDonald’s. Tasty trumps fancy every time.

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