Looking to hit all the best new eateries in the state? Start right here with our wrap of 2022’s finest.
Despite a year filled with difficulties, operators continued to launch ambitious new ventures, fulfilling ambitions and realising their visions along the way. There are some backed by serious muscle and experience, others that are intensely personal and intimate, and some that just want to show you a good time.
And whether they’re big-ticket winery diners, Indonesian stalls serving just a few items, or venues treading a fine line between bar and restaurant, if there’s a thread, it’s that the West’s dining scene is continuing to strengthen and broaden, with the state a more exciting and delicious place because of it. For more of the best new openings from 2022, check out our Top 100.
Frui Momento, Wilyabrup
Perhaps the best, most exciting aspect of this big-hitting lakeside, vineside restaurant run by Seth James in collaboration with Larry Cherubino, is how it breaks the South West paddock-to-plate mould and dedicates an entire section of the menu to seafood.
Marvel at the sweet funk in the XO sauce capping crisp battered squid.
Whether you’re dining underneath the vaulted ceiling, or in the al fresco section (where the fruits de mer are the bulk of the offer along with a cute chicken skewer and a gorgeously light taramasalata), it pays to load your table with at least a couple of picks. Do it if only to experience the joy of folding (peeled!) charred octopus into roasted seaweed and topping it with pickles and ssamjang. Or to marvel at the sweet funk in the XO sauce capping crisp battered squid.
The menu proper holds appeal, too. In lamb, served raw and seasoned with soy and black bean, or ruby-centred wagyu rump with daikon for freshness. Props, too, for serving koshihikari rice with miso pumpkin as a thoughtful vegetarian main. Graceful staff, meanwhile, know their way around a stacked wine list confident enough to look beyond Cherubino drops. A dreamy newcomer, on its way to becoming one of the West’s defining restaurants. 3478 Caves Road, Wilyabrup; fruimomento.com.au
There are two distinct choices at ANY: take a seat in the compact dining room and order à la carte, or pull up a stool at the counter and go for the chef’s menu. While the dining room is fine, for those who come to really eat, to savour and be engaged, then the counter is the pick.
A pairing of Jerusalem artichoke and wattleseed butter is earthy and rich, and given extra oomph with shavings of fresh black truffle.
Here service is personal, with cooks serving at the pass, and from the first to last plate there’s a sense that chef Josh Gray is in his element. There’s the opener of sweet crab and shallot, with a light sauce of chicken fat and chestnut that balances texture and mouthfeel. A pairing of Jerusalem artichoke and wattleseed butter is earthy and rich, and given extra oomph with shavings of fresh black truffle. Lamb with black barley and burnt pumpkin is refined yet homely, with bread served warm to mop up – a sign that the team has considered how best to enjoy a meal here, then executed.
Speaking of making the most of it, drinks under bar manager Benny Chou shine, so lean into the experience and nab a spot at the front bar pre- or post-meal to round out your night. The name might be generic, but the experience is anything but.
26 Queen Street, Perth; anydining.com.au
Will St, Leederville
There’s alchemy in the way a new restaurant can just hit all the right notes: service that is both knowledgeable and friendly; a fit-out that blends dried flowers and an earthy palate; and a menu that seems to know exactly what you want before you do. Will St, under Will Meyrick – who honed his skills in Sydney and Melbourne, while honing his palate in South East Asia – is just that. While the chef divides his time between Bali and Perth, the restaurant doesn’t miss a beat.
Knockout dishes such as smoked eel on betel leaf is a textbook combination of salty, sweet, sour and hot flavours.
Knockout dishes such as smoked eel on betel leaf is a textbook combination of salty, sweet, sour and hot flavours. From the sandstone wall, to the bentwood chairs and banquettes the colour of palm sugar, there’s class in the space as well as on the plate. So much so it can be hard to choose from the 30 or so dishes. Fresh, tangy Akoya oysters with buttermilk dressing and a hint of chilli are delightful. And goat curry with mustard oil and warrigal greens is taken way beyond its homely roots. And if you order the sticky char siu pork hock, served with Peking duck-style pancakes and (seriously good) miso-grilled cabbage, you’d better be hungry. Or at least be prepared to take some home.
228 Carr Place, Leederville; willstreetperth.com
Bar Rogue, Highgate
Bar Rogue, from the team behind rocking French(ish) bistro Le Rebelle, is packed with good decisions. There’s the design, which puts communal tables up back and a bar plus two-tops plus a couple of lounges for perching up front, with an oversized basket chandelier a gnarly focal point. There’s the soundtrack, an alternative smash of Sonic Youth, LCD Soundsystem, The Saints and TV on the Radio. And there’s the wine list, which packs large chardonnay, pinot and skinsy sections with on- and off-piste bottles from near and far, then adds some fancy stuff around the edges.
Smart, well executed, good with a drink, and above all delicious – and that’s before you get to plates like honey-scented beetroot in manchego cream.
But the best move, surely, has been putting Sofika Boulton in the kitchen, who, with a steer from chef and co-owner Liam Atkinson, is running the tightest drinking menu in town. Fried wonton wrappers, say, stuffed with prawn, lobster and avocado bound with mayonnaise then topped with togarashi. Or roti-turned-cheese-on-toast, loaded with coriander and fennel seeds. Or soft tea-party finger sandwiches filled with crisp chicken skin, cucumber and house feta then dusted with cucumber skin.
Smart, well executed, good with a drink, and above all delicious – and that’s before you get to plates like honey-scented beetroot in manchego cream, a pork chop with apple miso or excellent fried chicken. Rogue? More like right on.
Shop 2, 515 Beaufort Street, Highgate; barrogue.com.au
When the head chef and gardener from Noma, the world-leading restaurant, moved to pint-sized Busselton, it came with raised expectations. Would their project be equally ambitious, raising the stakes not just for the West but for all of the country? It’s fair to say no one was expecting Alberta’s.
Pickles and preserves are their own, bread is housemade, smoked eggs are gooey, greens (from Gunyulgup Farm) are fresh, and anything hot is most likely heated in an inviting hearth.
Here Ben Ing and Kirsty Marchant have taken it slow. More café than restaurant (at least for now), a chalkboard menu might feature just two plates plus sweets, propped up by infusions, teas and Five Senses coffee. But look closer, and it’s clear that every facet has been given fierce attention: the room, for example, is elegantly Nordic, shelves lined with plants, dry goods and plates collected from op-shops.
Pickles and preserves are their own, bread is housemade, smoked eggs are gooey, greens (from Gunyulgup Farm) are fresh, and anything hot is most likely heated in an inviting hearth – and that’s just for the farm plate. A cup of broth reveals layers of complexity, and a pear and almond cream tart lets the fruit bring most of the sweetness. Service, too, is elevated, and as good as it is already, recent lunches and planned dinners suggest there’s plenty, plenty more to come.
3/55 Queen Street, Busselton; instagram.com/albertas_busselton
Rym Tarng, Bicton
The welcome you get when walking into Rym Tarng is positively exuberant. The tiny room in Bicton only has a handful of tables, but the amount of sunny positivity packed into that room can’t be overstated. “Rym tarng” translates to “on the side of the road,” which is a nod both to the restaurant’s location, and the food served – which aims to recreate food you might find road-side in Thailand.
Start with the pork and prawn doughnuts, rounds of minced meat and crustacean coated in a panko-like dredge and fried to a golden crisp, with plum sauce for dipping.
Start with the pork and prawn doughnuts, rounds of minced meat and crustacean coated in a panko-like dredge and fried to a golden crisp, with plum sauce for dipping. From there you can move on to fiery curries, or packed-with-flavour noodle dishes, or the signature pork jowl cooked to a sticky mess and served with local mushrooms, toasted rice and nam jim jaew sauce. The tom kha soup here is a full meal, rich and creamy, with your choice of mushrooms, chicken or prawns. (It’s also one of the few mains without a hint of spice; much of the menu is full-bore fiery.)
A fantastic addition to Perth’s Thai restaurant scene, for its food, yes, but also for the uplifting experience of dining in a place where the hospitality is unmistakable.
Shop 8, 258 Canning Highway, Bicton; rymtarng.com
For some, the site – part of the reinvigorated Karrinyup Shopping Centre – will be anathema. Others, a convenient bonus. Whichever way you kick, there’s no denying Dandelion is a compelling addition to Perth’s eating-out landscape. Bar down, diner up, it’s casual and breezy, but talks up, not down, to its customers. Where a straight bat might have sufficed, exec-chef Chase Weber has created an exciting, even challenging, menu, and set up a kitchen that executes his modern-Asian style with, well, great style. So there’s a little Thai influence, a little Japanese and Vietnamese, too.
Dandelion – bar down, diner up – is casual and breezy, but it talks up, not down, to its customers.
Here, refined cooking combined with excellent produce leads to exciting dishes – we’re looking at you Abrolhos scallop crudo with apple and white soy, or the sublime compressed watermelon with fishy ocean-trout floss – and a true social, sharing concept. Depth within the group (The Royal; The Standard) means Dandelion comes with experience, and you can see it in the wine list and overall maturity of the enterprise. In short, Dandelion makes a compelling case, not only for the joy of a well-executed mod-Asian menu but, in fact, for the potential of shopping-centre dining, too.
West Deck, Karrinyup Shopping Centre, 200 Karrinyup Road, Karrinyup; dandelionperth.com.au
Old Young’s Kitchen, Henley Brook
Seasoned chef Rohan Park’s first venture heading up a kitchen provides a much welcome addition to the Swan Valley dining scene. Having worked through a number of Margaret River wineries and alongside Fervor’s Paul “Yoda” Iskov, the menu is relaxed in style, yet ambitious, with an emphasis on native ingredients and a commitment to locally grown and reared produce.
Beef shoulder falls apart at a touch, but the real star is the kangaroo tartare, constructed with youlk – a crisp, native tuber – and cured emu-egg yolk.
The menu is made for sharing, the “feed me” option made for easy group dining. It might mean a plate of kingfish cured with botanicals from the Old Young’s distillery, lifted with a hit of pepperberry. Or surprisingly crowd-pleasing crocodile chorizo, as much a draw as crisp, light jamón croquettes. Beef shoulder falls apart at a touch, but the real star is the kangaroo tartare, constructed with youlk – a crisp, native tuber – and cured emu-egg yolk. The kangaroo is lightly brined to restrain its gamy quality, the whole dish smartly paired with fried crisps made from yesterday’s bread.
Considering Old Young’s is also a distillery, spirits have a strong presence on the drinks list, which is rounded out with a solid selection of Swan Valley wines, no- and low-alcohol options and craft brews. The offer of half, single or double pours is one more thoughtful touch, meaning day-trippers from the CBD have options. A strong newcomer, hitting its straps nicely.
10581 West Swan Road, Henley Brook; oldyoungskitchen.com.au
Twenty Seats, Highgate
Enchanting – a word not often used to describe a restaurant – amply describes the culinary magic that is woven in this pocket eatery for just 20 diners tucked away in a non-sexy part of inner Perth. To take the 10-course, three-hour journey with wine suggestions – unless of course you’d like to pick something extra special from a list that runs hard at rare vintages – you need to sit back, relax and prepare to run out of superlatives while your phone runs out of battery over constant happy snaps.
Chef Todd Stuart runs the show, applying care to the sourcing and sharp finishing touches to each plate.
A dish of cured scallops, prettily presented in coconut broth, sets a delicate tone from the get-go, and is followed by a dreamy procession of intensely flavoured dishes decorated with dots, artful dabs of miso, pouring of rich jus, tiny blossoms and pretty herbs. Think stracciatella given balance and lift from tomato sorbet, say, or ocean trout wrapped in seaweed and dressed with flowers. Chef Todd Stuart runs the show, applying care to the sourcing and sharp finishing touches to each plate.
The cheese course consisting of oozy raclette served tableside by informed waiters, shows there’s a sense of fun here, too. A destination restaurant and an obvious choice for a celebration. If, of course, you can get in.
301 Lord Street, Highgate; twentyseats.com.au
They don’t take bookings. They aren’t open every day. The menu is barely more than a handful of items long. And you’d better put it on your must-do list next time you’re in Freo. Suku is the Indonesian diner you need in your life. Sure, it looks like most of the other diners in Fremantle’s casual dining FOMO quarter; reminiscent of a coffee house in most modern South East Asian nations. But it’s the beef rendang curry – deep, dark, mysteriously earthy, redolent of roasted coconut and rich with spice – that’ll have you wooed.
They don’t take bookings. They aren’t open every day. The menu is barely more than a handful of items long. And you’d better put it on your must-do list next time you’re in Freo.
Or the gado gado, the classic peanut salad with egg, tofu, bean sprouts and potato, enlivened with Suku’s own sambal. Or it could be the nasi Bali with pulled chicken, peanuts and egg, made snappy with chicken “crackling”. Perch at the stools overlooking the kitchen and take the sting out of the minced chicken sate that you slathered with just a bit too much sambal matah by finishing with nutty and earthy flavoured black sticky rice, laced with coconut cream.
10 William Street, Fremantle; sukufreo.com
La Lune, Fremantle
La Lune sits so comfortably on an ambient East Fremantle strip it could have been there for years. But as timeless as a glass of Loire Valley Cheverny paired with a bowl of moules frites feels, La Lune is also very now.
Duck breast is ferried past with lentils and bitter greens riding shotgun. And steak comes with good frites and a gravy boat of sauce béarnaise.
With La Lune, owners Sam Davies and Helen Pow have transformed heritage East Fremantle digs into a light-filled gilded, marbled and tiled monument to Parisian dining with a worldly outlook, referencing the bars the pair worked at and/or frequented at in New York and Europe.
In the kitchen, it’s all about modern takes on classics. Pemberton trout comes meurnier-style, with plenty of butter kept in check with lemon and capers. Duck breast is ferried past with lentils and bitter greens riding shotgun. And steak comes with good frites and a gravy boat of sauce béarnaise. Breakfast flies out of the open kitchen just as easily, but lunch or late afternoon is the time to share charcuterie boards, cheese, good terrine and wine – French in style, or just plain French to go with classic apéritifs – and admire the posters on the walls among frosted mirrors, bentwood chairs and the staff cruising by in striped T-shirts. Like we said, timeless and modern all at once.
73 George Street, East Fremantle; lalunefremantle.com
Naber + IIII, Leederville
Naber + IIII – checks notes: “neighbour and four”, two venues sharing space on Oxford Street – may be newcomers, but their warm service, energetic bar and refined menu will surely make them neighbourhood favourites for a long time to come.
Chef Jacob Rutherford oversees an energetic menu that transitions seamlessly between breezy afternoon drinks in the outdoor courtyard (“IIII”) and the refined-yet-playful intimacy of the neighbourhood bar (“Naber”), and leans on local produce – from WA yuzu to the exceptional Block 275 canola oil.
Bridging the refined seating of Naber and the disco lights of IIII is the abundant drinks list.
You can’t help but grin when biting into the “cheeky” pig on toast: a slice of crunchy bread supporting a slab of fatty pig’s-head meat cut with persimmon chutney that leaves a lingering sweet brightness after each bite. Borlotti beans with the warm spice of a fragrant West Indian “dog sauce” and nori fries is a perfect conversation starter, while Blackwood Valley beef rump cap brings a satisfied hum across the table with a rich, deep, swipe-your-plate bone-marrow salsa.
Bridging the refined seating of Naber and the disco lights of IIII is the abundant drinks list, which features local wine and beer, together with some fun surprises such as green-ant gin and a ream of non-alcoholic options. With a focus on sustainability, Naber + IIII are a fashionable pair, doing what good neighbours do best: building community and sharing good times.
146 Oxford Street, (access IIII via Electric Lane), Leederville; naberandfour.com.au