Inventive seafood dishes, a thorough immersion in modern winemaking and a great urban location close to the water make this informal bistro an essential Fremantle visit.

Having survived the next-big-thing hype well into its third year, Madalena’s is delivering on its early promise more than ever. This is a place that blurs lines thoroughly; go to drink, go to eat (please) but preferably do both, very well.

A carefully annotated wine list explores a broad-minded winemaking approach, and quite possibly serves an eye-opener for those mired in the big brands and predictable varieties of Margaret River and the Swan Valley. But it makes a point not to preference being different over being good. The tone on the floor has only improved, too, with warm, engaged service that encourages return visits.

The real revelation though is the ongoing refinement of the food, influenced by new-ish kitchen staff bringing fresh skills and eyes to a largely seafood repertoire.

The real revelation, though, is the ongoing refinement of the food, influenced by new-ish kitchen staff bringing fresh skills and eyes to a largely seafood repertoire. Whether you’re inside the raffish dining space or out on the footpath, house sourdough with raw Abrolhos Island scallops in almond milk with mandarin caramel is an outstanding taste of the west. Ditto the barbecued Albany sardines with salsa verde, or raw paradise prawns with apple and horseradish alongside an inventive combo of stracciatella, golden beetroot and kombu pepitas.

A real step up. And in a town with few great seafood restaurants, this might just be the one.