Chef Kiren Mainwaring’s Co-Op Dining is one of Perth’s most awarded restaurants and it deserves every one of them. He is a chef who marches to the beat of his own drum, with menu design and service protocols which strike out on their own.

In a sea of sameness, his serious little restaurant is a respite from “average.” Mainwaring is highly regarded in the hospitality industry and while his schtick is fine dining, it is neither stuffy and pretentious. It’s a special night out/date night restaurant and a true treat. Co-op is best experienced in degustation form with “signature” and “express” options, depending on your budget and appetite (the whole shebang costs $210 per person, including matched wines). You’re also welcome to choose your own adventure from the a la carte menu.

Whatever night you dine, the menu will be polished, showcasing local, sustainable and seasonal produce. Eat-with- your-hands dishes such as cheddar churros and spiced mutton meatloaf highlight a sense of humour. Seafood, meats and vegetables are cooked to the point, carefully paired with native ingredients. Peanut curry oil takes broccoli to new heights.

Some flavours may be a challenge for the palate – choose your dessert carefully – but that’s all part of the fun.

Paired and featured wines make for an easy selection, or choose from the wine list. As you would expect, the staff are very knowledgeable and happy to recommend both food and drink combinations. The service is friendly and a little hushed, adding to the atmosphere. The restaurant runs on a very small team, two in the kitchen, one or two front-of-house, but your meal will be flawless. Knowing this makes the experience all the more special.