Summer feasting in Subiaco
By Gabi Mills | Photo by Inex Palit
From festive food to feasting made easy, when the heat ramps up - Subi venues pull out all the stops to make this summer the best yet.
9 Alvan Street, Subiaco
Chef Marc Eskdale’s squid ink risotto so impressed Rob Broadfield that the West Australian’s food reviewer dug deep into his Thesaurus for words to express his pleasure - “a risotto of rare beauty . . . black as anthracite, glossy, al dente, seasoned properly with a spider web of jet-black squid ink tuile laid across the rice”. Not bad for a rooftop venue that’s only been open for a couple of weeks. As summer nights beckon, we can’t wait to follow Mr Broadfield’s lead and feast, courtesy of Marc’s creativity, on seasonal, locally-sourced dishes like La Delizia Latticini Stracciatella, freshly shucked oysters and salted banana semifredo. If you’ve got a crowd of 10 or over, order the $75 Kitchen Selection option with the 16-hour slow roasted lamb shoulder with black garlic as a centre piece. There are canapé packages and there are party packages available for the end of year from $25 per person which we think for one of the hottest new destinations in town is a bargain. Hot tip - this place is going to be jumping as the weather heats up and the sunsets are set to stun.
279 Rokeby Road, Subiaco
If you’re feeling stir crazy thanks to those pesky closed international borders, head to France and rediscover the Medoc, villages of the Côte de Rhone and Burgundy courtesy of Bloody French. Of course, with all those delicious wines you’ll want to immerse yourself in a properly Gallic meal - and they’re more than happy to cater for a crowd too. Choose from a sit-down meal to a canapés party and drinks package - there’s a lovely private room at your disposal, which can accommodate up to 60 (standing), or if you’re feeling generous, you can hire the whole venue for up to 120 people. We love the confit duck croquettes, the gratinated crepes filled with asparagus, creamy Emmental béchamel sauce and if you’re going full Gérard Depardieu, order the coq au vin.
87 Rokeby Road, Subiaco
If you’re looking for THE dish which encapsulates summer, for me there’s an obvious contender. The spaghettini, clams, peas and chilli dish at Dilly Dally is as pretty as a picture, especially when you’re eating it outside, on a balmy evening with all of Subi doing its thing around you. If you’re on the super-trendy orange wine bandwagon, then Patrick and the team at Dilly Dally have got you covered thanks to their friends at Express Winemakers. So for an Italian-inspired festive office lunch with local passion thrown in for free, this is the place to be.
26 Denis Street, Subiaco
The azure awning and bright white masonry immediately transport you to Subi’s very own Santorini. Georges Meze knows how to welcome you with open arms, and from your first ouzo to last glass of Retsina, this could be your new favourite place to celebrate the summer holidays. For Christmas, they’re laying on a special menu (from $55 per person depending on which options you choose) complete with Greek favourites like saganaki, kotopoulo (stuffed chicken with sun-dried tomatoes spinach, feta and olives) and baklava (of course). Whether it’s the festive season or just a long, sunny day in February, you’ll always find the cafe’s best seller on the menu - crispy fried calamari with aioli. Nostimo!
23 Railway Road, Subiaco
Chef Caleb Azuka has injected bursts of colour on his plates after opening his self-named restaurant this spring. The rooftop restaurant’s Instagram feed is a kaleidoscope of vivid hues, as if an entire art class was given free range to decorate the kitchen with purple edible flowers garlanding spaghetti and slow-cooked roo ragu, huge scallops in their shells, surrounded by sun-yellow sauce and napped in a claret-coloured jus. Then there’s the insanely fruity cocktails to sip under the big blue Perth skies as DJs spin the beats on weekend nights. Italy may be the cuisine upon which chef Caleb draws his inspo, but there’s a healthy shot of modern Aussie in his summer menu too. He holds cheese-making classes too, pulling long sheets of mozzarella before your very eyes.
5/97 Rokeby Road, Subiaco
If you’re looking for a quiet get-together, maybe choose another venue. Lulu La Delizia self-describes as ‘not a library’ so for a raucous night in the company of some of the city’s best pasta, this is your go-to place. Expect exuberant, confident use of extraordinary produce – like scarlet Northcliffe marron embracing a pile of fazzoletti (folds of thin pasta, like handkerchiefs) and drenched in butter, or a crown of creamy burrata with unripe nectarines and Chardonnay vinaigrette. Come for the rowdy room, stay for the sensational cooking.
361 Rokeby Road, Subiaco
Head chef Leah Clarke began introducing diners to the extraordinarily rich cuisine
of the Middle East combined with modern Aussie panache alongside her mother, Faye. If you’re new to its delights, we suggest you try the Chef Selection, eaten in the alfresco area at the front of this popular venue. The banquet menu for Christmas ($65 per person) is the perfect way to feed the masses in style, with a whistle-stop tour through Morocco, Lebanon and other sun-kissed parts of the Middle East. Think tajine and spiced saffron pilaf, slow-cooked black garlic lamb shoulder with smoky eggplant purée and syrup-drenched pastries and memories for miles. It’s summer dining done right.