Talk about lifting your game. Samson’s Paddock slipped quietly onto the restaurant scene several years ago and, to be frank, it didn’t have a lot going for it. Last year, it poked its head up and we liked what we saw. This year, chef Georgi Partenov has improved the offer even further. It may not have a roster of hip hospo owners or be considered one of the cool kids on the block, but it sure over-delivers.

Partenov’s dishes are anchored in flawless classical technique yet come with a modernising twist or two. Be it the deliciously tangy South East Asian zing of his tender pork belly, or the subtle Mediterranean flavours of his succulent duck breast with parsnip puree and port wine sauce, there are dishes for all palates here. Boneless wagyu rib fingers are a masterclass in slow-cooking. The meat is finished in a sticky black soy and chilli sauce, topped with house-made kimchi. It’s a house favourite.

Whisky aficionados, or the adventurous, can opt for one of several different wagyu steak and whisky pairings from the 100-plus whiskies on offer.

The biggest risk with this exposed brick shopfront is that the upbeat vibe of its wine and whisky bar, with its Chesterfield sofas, is so inviting you might not get to the restaurant.

Be strong. Push through.

You won’t want to miss the delights of the small dining room. The casual but classy dining room is one of Perth’s unsung pleasures, thanks to Partenov’s talent with flavours and presentation, a superbly curated wine and whisky list, and a floor crew who want you there.

Samson’s Paddock might lack the fanfare of its more bombastic contemporaries at the fine dining end of the spectrum, but it’s that rare friendly and affordable neighbourhood restaurant, which is something of a find in the suburban streets of leafy Mosman Park.