The OG fire-fuelled kitchen still knows how to work it.
It’s been a decade since this Freo stalwart first started turning heads with its rustic take on the what (good veg, farm sourced), the how (everything is cooked over wood) and the why (because, well, you’re hungry). The clue to their priorities is the oven that dominates one side and the sandstone walls and timber beams of the other, a blend of history and the modern desire to impart flavour through fire.
Sweet baby beets are cooked to melting perfection and paired with pickled shallots and walnuts.
A team of waiters flits between tables, too pressed to talk, delivering perhaps half an Argentinian pumpkin, wood roasted and served with cashew cream, labneh and za’atar. A smoked risotto is topped with monkfish tails, the pure richness just barely kept in check with chermoula. Sweet baby beets are cooked to melting perfection and paired with pickled shallots and walnuts.
It’s impressive work, but the elemental part of it all can bring a desire for even more flavour, more bloom from the spices, more jiggle in the panna cotta. Not that the crowds who flock here seem to mind, as they lap up the spongy bread dripping with olive oil and sweet with spice and soak up the atmosphere with gusto.