The 2024 WA Good Food Guide is your essential companion to eating and drinking in Western Australia. Here’s what our director and editor had to say on its launch.
There are many things that inspire me about our hospitality sector, but perhaps the most thrilling is being part of the ongoing narrative shaping the definition of West Australian cuisine. As we watch fine-diners evolve, we approach, with unbridled optimism, a new era. One where we’re just as excited about a pita filled with regeneratively farmed lamb and housemade sauce as we are about sitting by a vineyard eating a flavour bomb of pork collar with a side of cabbage, mint and yuzu kosho. As diners, we’re more educated than ever, and we’re growing in step with the scene.
It’s now been four years since we started, under the direction of our editor David Matthews, to focus the guide around one question: is this venue the best version of itself? Does it have a clear concept and is it executing it with focus and consideration? What we end up with is a list that reads like a greatest-hits album of places we’d send you to in a heartbeat. You’ll see we’ve also added stars to the mix, awarded to venues that reviewed exceptionally well and deserve extra recognition.
Lastly, thank you to the WA hospitality industry; you get up each morning, leave your troubles at the door, and put on a show. For those who love food and dining as much as we do, your skills and passion are a great gift and we couldn’t be prouder of the direction you’re taking dining in. To our readers, enjoy the magazine and our website articles throughout the year; nothing makes us happier than sharing the stories and efforts of the wonderful industry we have here in WA.
Georgia Moore, Director
What does the year ahead hold for us in the hospitality stakes? If this past year is anything to go off, things are more casual than ever, the thin line between what defines bars and restaurants is blurring, diners are increasingly likely to make a meal out of snacks (and restaurants are equally likely to provide the opportunity), and just about everyone still wants to eat Italian, even if it’s started to bear less and less resemblance to what your mum, dad or nonna ate.
What a look through the 2024 WA Good Food Guide tells us, though, is that this isn’t a death knell for fine-dining, or for good food and drink. Where things might be more laid-back in the dining room (if there even is one), count on a talented team in the kitchen to back it up with dishes that are rammed with clever ideas and pack real punch. In fine-diners, meanwhile, we’re seeing even more innovation and excitement.
Past the Italian obsession, WA still stands out for its embrace of a wide array of cuisines: in these pages you’ll find Cantonese institutions, Indonesian cafés, Burmese kiosks, Jordanian regional restaurants and modern Malaysian icons, and that’s just scratching the surface. Coupled with our essential bars and drinks coverage, the result is a guide with everything you need to make 2024 another year of incredible eating and drinking in the West.
David Matthews, Editor
With thanks to the WAGFG team:
Drinks Director Mike Bennie
Contributing Editor Max Brearley
Bars Editor Matty Hirsch
Reviewers Danielle Austin, Max Brearley, Rosamund Brennan, Alex Carlton, Cassandra Charlick, Martin Eade, Matthew Evans, Andrew Hagger, Matty Hirsch, Jenni Jordan, David Matthews, Jono Outred, Nardia Plumridge, Jessica Rigg, Besha Rodell, Leon Salam, Julian Tompkin, Ai-Ling Truong, Gail Williams, Ange Yang, Sue Yeap
Head Wine Judge Mike Bennie
Wine Judging Panel Emma Farrelly, Kate Goodman, Erin Larkin, Nick Ryan, Nina Throsby
Head Beer Judge Guy Southern
Beer Judging Panel Joel Beresford, Clare Clouting, Josh Daley, Will Ziebell
Head Spirits Judge Sam Bygrave
Spirits Judging Panel Jessica Arnott, Elise Godwin, James Connolly, Shirley Yeung
Manager – Partnerships & Events Natalie Bird
Digital Editor Jessica Rigg
We’d also like to thank our annual partners, The Good Grocer, AHOY Management, Austral Fisheries, Buy West Eat Best, Cape Lodge, Dirty Clean Food, Distl, Endeavour Foods, Gage Roads Fremantle, Leeuwin Coast, Linley Valley Pork, Miele, Optus Stadium, Pardoo Wagyu, PorkStar, Quay Perth, Pragma Lawyers, Winning Appliances and Vitality House.
A special thank you to Lucy Anderson, Abbie Kinsella, James Bale, Andy McIntyre, to Paul Bui and the team at Monk Media, to Prue Chaffey, and to our Wine Awards venue partner, the State Buildings.
We proudly support our philanthropic partners Purple Hands Foundation, Foodbank and Project Womn. WAGFG encourages you to explore ways to make your home and business operate more sustainably. For more information, see: changejustonething.com.au