WA’s food courts abound with diverse offerings all under the same roof, tables acting as meeting places, the stalls offering something brand new or a taste of home. From suburban treasures and weekend marketplaces to more contemporary city hubs, there’s so much to explore. Here’s our guide to where to start, and what to order.
The Underground, Allendale Square
Located in the centre of Perth’s CBD on St Georges Terrace, The Underground is a thriving dining precinct for city workers with an urban industrial fit-out. Authentic Bites Dumpling House and Chicken Rice Corner are both present and correct in stalls that draw newcomers as well as fans of their renowned restaurants. Line up for signature soup-filled xiao long bao at the former, or go the fragrant Hainanese chicken rice or nasi lemak at the latter. Mo Espresso is on hand for coffee, while on street level, Mary Street Bakery offers reliable baked goods, and Golden Boy & Jade Girl is the spot for cocktails and snacks.
Allendale Square Arcade, 77 St Georges Terrace, Perth
Popular with locals, and a short drive from the beach, Cambridge Forum International Food Court (pictured above) – set on the main stretch of Cambridge Street in Wembley – provides an array of options from Penang to Japan to Vietnam and more. For some of the city’s best satay, join the queue at De Honey Charcoal Grilled for Malaysian honey-marinated charcoal-grilled sticks with addictive sauce for dipping (pictured right). For dim sum anytime of day, get Dumpling Palace has it all, with everything handmade in front of you; go hard on the lacy pan-fried pork dumplings. The Forum is also BYO (glasses provided) and family friendly, with an indoor children’s playground.
23/350 Cambridge Street, Wembley
Set in the heart of Northbridge, the city’s entertainment and nightlife district, this large, lantern-adorned dining hall has been a regular haunt for more than three decades. Connected to Chinatown, the skew is to Asia, but one of Perth’s best burger joints, Hoodburger, has a counter here, too, offering smash burgers made with organic beef patties and epic Nashville-style chicken tenders. Keep the fried chicken theme going at Hwaiting Korean Kitchen, a go-to for their crunchy, crisp KFC-style batter. Old Shanghai is also fully licensed, with the bar out back offering wine, spirits and local craft beers. Make a night of it.
123 James Street, Northbridge
Spencer Village Food Court
This suburban food court in Thornlie is revered among those seeking a hawker hall experience similar to those in Singapore and Malaysia. Spencer Village always bustles with locals as well as people who’ve gone out of their way to get here; regardless, everyone is on a culinary mission, lining up in front of their favourites for Singaporean, Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian and more. Repeat visits are imperative, but kick off with roti and chicken curry from Suzie’s Prata House, then seek out a combo plate from Waroeng Jakarta, which features aromatic beef rendang, cassava leaves and silky braised eggplant. And while it’s a guarantee that the steamed buns from Fook Kee will grace plenty of tables, don’t skip their char tau kueh (aka fried radish cake).
200 Spencer Road, Thornlie
Up in the northern suburbs, Wanneroo Markets are a weekend hub for fresh produce, with a multitude of food stalls serving everything from gourmet hot dogs to Mauritian specialties and traditional Thai food in both indoor and outdoor dining spaces. For a true hawker experience, Hawkers Delight Malaysian Cuisine delivers satisfyingly charred char kway teow, and Hainanese chicken rice with beautifully scented rice and succulent chicken. Try the Indian street food offerings from Aksharam Catering, especially the vada pav, a fried potato dumpling in a bun served with chutneys. Hand Pulled Noodle Bar, meanwhile, dishes up traditional Lanzhou noodles with springy noodles in a clear spicy beef broth.
33 Prindiville Drive, Wangara