Posh old-school restaurants like Matilda Bay may have loosened their ties a smidge in recent times but like opera in a world of hip-hop, they have maintained a devoted, informed and discerning fan base with a love of big Penfolds reds, simple, quality food and deferential service.
Matilda Bay Restaurant is ground zero for visiting business people and tourists, locals with a penchant for the finer things, special occasions and functions. It’s still conservative, but not old fashioned.
Duck confit, roast lamb rump, a pork cutlet and grilled snapper are the highlights of the main card. Grilled marron is a winner: moist, sweet and well-seasoned, split on the half shell and garnished with pickled green papaya and a nam jim sauce. Now, that’s modern.
A 300g Wagyu rump from Margaret River is spectacular. The restaurant’s meats are aged in-house and treated well. One can order one (or more) of four sauces to go with it. Oven-roasted lamb rump is a dish of booming flavour and great clarity. Simple, conservative and well cooked, it is crowned with a chunky, crunchy crumb and garnished with smashed (and smashing) fresh peas.
The wine list is large and well balanced. The restaurant owner makes his own wine and it’s definitely worth a taste.
Then there are, of course, the restaurant’s stunning point-blank views of the Swan River and the marina at Royal Perth Yacht Club. Matilda Bay is now better than it ever was and, in spite of its conservative lineage, is delivering fresh new dishes to suit contemporary diners.