Step into the rambling old space that is Skøl, take a seat in a corner and pause a second to consider that during these crazy times unbridled joy can still be found in the most unlikely of places. Celebrate, perhaps, by draining – or skølling, even – a pint of Beerfarm Asam Boi Gose and, given the tone, follow it with a Rocky Vane – a cocktail paying tribute to Australia’s most famous snake charmer. A little odd? Sure, but it’s all part of the charm here in the backstreets of Scarborough, where a labyrinth of laid-back rooms hums with an easy Scandinavian elegance and the sort of atmosphere that is the envy of Perth’s inner suburbs.
Chef James Park, a Seoul native with time at Wildflower and Alla Prima under his belt, weaves Italian, Japanese and Korean threads into a menu of mostly small bites that locals regularly queue for. Handmade stracciatella, KFC sliders with kimchi slaw and house pickles are standouts among the likes of mushroom brioche sandos and curried cauliflower. Whether the food matches drinks like the Malmö, a Cosmopolitan-inspired mix of lemon myrtle-infused vodka and lingonberry is another question, but there’s no denying their snack appeal.
Twists abound on the cocktail menu – the Old Fashioned is made on bourbon infused with housemade smoked bacon for one – while the wine list plays the crowd, with a decent showing of pet-nats and oranges, and all bottles (barring Champagne) under $100.
Light, bright, open and airy, Skøl looks a breath of fresh air in breezy surrounds. Bottoms up.