Another in the host of bars in the Brookfield development, Bar Lafayette is certainly one of the more stylish – located in the refurbished old Perth Technical School, it has a number of rooms, large and small, as well as an outdoor area, where you can get away from the crowd and relax over a drink and bite to eat.
Furnished in a variety of styles, it is an elegant, sophisticated sort of place – the drinks list is heavily weighted towards cocktails of which there are myriad – under headings such as aperitif; light and fruity; classics; hall of fame; and dark and decadent – something for all tastes, even for those seeking a non alcoholic hit with the faux cocktails list.
The wine list is reasonably small, with four whites, four reds, a rosé and a couple of sparkling, available by the glass, but despite this containing some interesting choices – the Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling and a pinot noir by Garagiste from the Mornington Peninsula among these. There are a lot more choices by the bottle with a well designed selection from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and New Zealand. A dozen or so beers and ciders complete the list.
I should not overlook, however, the extensive spirits list – a quite wonderful collection of whisky (and whiskey), gin, rum, tequila, vodka, brandy and absinthe – which warrants attention and investigation. It is really a great collection.
As far as food is concerned, the menu covers such tried and true efforts as pulled pork sliders, soft shell tacos and Croque-monsieur, as well as some items a little different – lamb kebabs, b-b-q pork buns with chilli oil and spiced rum beef carpaccio.
When we dropped in one evening recently we made our way to a secluded table, under the eyes of La Fayette himself or at least some stern looking types from long ago, and chose a glass of the aforementioned Riesling, as well as one of an Austrian rosé, Pittnauer Blaufrankisch 2012. With our drinks we ordered bruschetta as a little snack.
This was served in a deconstructed style – slices of toasted ciabatta, a small bowl of mixed cherry tomatoes drizzled with a sweet, rich balsamic and basil reduction, buffalo mozzarella and roasted garlic on the side. It was a matter of putting it all together and eating. The tomatoes, in particular, were sweet and luscious – a simple dish given a nice lift from the balsamic, and a good accompaniment to our drink.
The rosé, light pink, had lovely confectionary and marzipan aromas, with a palate of savoury, tart raspberry notes, and a dry, dusty finish. It is an excellent example of a dry rosé.
My 2013 Riesling, from one of the premier Riesling producing areas, the Great Southern, was one that I sampled at the Raising Riesling event late last year, and once again I was struck by the lifted lime and musk notes on the nose, and the crisp, dry palate, supported by delicate acid and lovely citrus flavours. At the time I rated it 94 and this example reinforced my admiration for the wine. It is outstanding.
Bar Lafayette is a well designed and fitted out spot – a great place to go in a group large or small. It serves up excellent cocktails, has an outstanding range of spirits, a beautifully constructed wine list and a nice range of simple, well turned out snacks. Friendly and engaging staff members complete the picture. It should certainly be on your list of destinations in and around Perth.