The wonderfully restored State Buildings at the corner of Barrack and St Georges Terrace is home to Petition, three individual venues each with a slight differentiation – Petition Kitchen, Petition Wine Bar and Merchant and Petition Beer Corner.
The State Buildings link three heritage buildings, all interconnected, and previously housing government offices. The restoration is stunning – the soaring vaulted ceiling of the Postal Hall – which divides the Barrack Street side from the Treasury Hotel on the side closest to St Georges Cathedral – is a highlight. With more restaurants and shops opening, and a rooftop bar in sight, this promises to be a must visit destination in Perth.
The Wine Bar and Merchant which opens onto the Postal Hall houses a fine collection of wine to drink by the bottle – or takeaway – as well as a small, but well designed by the glass selection. A dedicated menu is available to complement the wine on offer, including charcuterie and cheese courses.
My first choice of wine, 2013 Willoughby Kalgan River Ironrock Riesling was an exceptional expression of Great Southern Riesling – pale straw, a tint of green around the meniscus, lifted aromas of lime blossom and vanilla, while the fine acidity on the palate supported crunchy green apple and intense lime flavours and flinty minerality, finishing long, crisp and dry.
For my second, something that I had never had before – either the wine, or the grapes from which it was made. The 2014 Gorka Izagirre Txakoli is from a Spanish winery outside Bilbão and made from Corbou Blanc and Petit Corbou. The delicate nose is redolent of green apples and citrus blossoms, while the zesty palate is very dry, full of lime and lemon flavours, with some mid palate savouriness. It has a long and fresh finish. It would be just the thing sitting around in a Spanish bodega with some fresh seafood.
And with that in mind, I ordered a dish of Fremantle octopus with Pernod aioli from the wine bar menu. Little rounds of tender marinated occy was served with dollops of a delicately flavoured creamy and glistening aioli, the hint of aniseed perfectly complementing the seafood. Across the top were layered crisply baked grape leaves providing an enlivening lift to the dish. It was just the ticket with the chosen wines.
Petition Wine Bar and Merchant is a stunning addition to the Perth bar and food scene – and in one of the best developments you could imagine. Highly recommended.