In the basement of the old WA Club building on the Terrace is a new destination for the cheese lovers of Perth – Fromage Artisans. Designed as both a place to try the many cheeses on offer, paired with your choice from the small but well curated drinks list – or order one of the flights matched to sparkling, Japanese whisky, wine or fortified – and a retail outlet – wander into the cheese vault (guarded by a reclining red cow) and choose cheese to take home.
It is open from 4PM on Tuesday and Wednesday and from midday Thursday to Saturday it is well worth a visit.
The dining and drinking space is dimly lit but welcoming, quiet and peaceful – the waiters professional and attentive – with plenty of space to find a table and chair, sit back and relax. The food offerings are limited – it is a cheese bar after all and the emphasis is on cheese, but there are a couple of sandwiches- smoked salmon or confit tomatoes, – a great sounding 10 cheese toastie as well as one with bacon and kimchi, also charcuterie meats with pickles and a pork and walnut rillettes, among the alternatives.
I went for a single cheeseboard – 50 grams of Le Conquerant Camembert served with bread, crackers, apple, strawberries and fig paste – along with what turned out to be an inspired choice – Express Winemakers Field Blend, made from Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
The Camembert has a strong bouquet – earthy with some pungent brassica notes, a nutty, creamy and mushroomy taste – while the skin contact wine has flor characters on the nose along with fragrances of tropical fruit and nuts, and a palate that is quite chalky and juicy. It certainly complemented the aroma and taste of the cheese.
Fromage Artisans is something different, and something to be welcomed on the small bar scene in Perth. Great cheese and wine – a perfect match in a fabulous building.