Went along to check out the newly opened Yagan Square during the week – an impressive addition to the CBD, opening up Northbridge and the city – and stopped into Shoe Bar and Café which spreads over two levels – on the ground it has a pleasant outlook onto the promenade between Wellington and Roe Streets, while upstairs there are views down to the Market Hall with its myriad food outlets and from the al fresco balcony area at front, the promenade.
For a place that has only been open a few days, Shoe was proving very popular – by the time 12.30 had rolled around it seemed to be full, with the waiters bringing out food in a constant stream. The menu is of the pub-food style – small plates of salt and pepper calamari, roast pumpkin arancini, sausage rolls with tomato relish, wings – as well as some larger plates – steak sandwich, burgers, chicken parmigiana, fish and chips, Scotch fillet, rack of lamb, pizzas, along with a selection of salads, and the Shoe Box – which has sausage rolls, calamari, arancini, wings, grilled chorizo and olives and was all the rage judging by the number that went past our table. We opted for a couple of the small plates – fish tacos and baked feta with olives and bread.
The food came quickly – the tacos, six battered fillets of fish, slathered with aioli, chopped red cabbage, sitting on three soft tortilla hit the spot – the fish moist and juicy inside the crisp coating – for me some chilli bite would have been welcome and pimped them up a tad, but even so, enjoyable as a light lunch.
The baked feta, warmed squares of salty cheese, served with olives on a bed of hummus and with a few slabs of crusty bread, was not quite as successful – the hummus was much too thick and dry for our taste, and the olives just didn’t hit the mark – soft and unappealing as if they were out of a supermarket jar – the feta was fine and the bread nicely crusty and crumbly – not a hit for us. Pity as it sounded like a pleasant snack with a drink or two.
To the wine list – and an impressive one it is – with the Shoe’s commitment to sourcing as much produce locally as possible in mind – it is firmly slanted to WA wines – 4 sparkling wines, a dozen whites, a couple of rosé, a moscato and 11 reds all from local producers and from across most regions of the State – a little over half available by the glass – as well in a partnership with Vasse Felix their Classic Dry Red and White are available on tap. Other areas aren’t totally overlooked with an Italian Prosecco, a champagne, a Riesling from the Clare, Savvy Blanc from the Land of Long White Cloud, an Eden Valley Chardonnay, a Tassie Pinot, a couple of Barossa Shiraz and a Cabernet from Coonawarra also on offer.
The Deep Wood rosé, always a welcome sight on wine lists proved irresistible, and its fragrant aromas of strawberries and cherries, along with its crisp, crunchy palate served as a fine companion to the food – the wine is offered in two sizes, 150 and 250 mls; we went large, of course.
The Shoe has hit the ground running it seems with a steady stream of diners and drinkers – I was back a day or so later for a quick drink with a mate and again it was pumping – it is in a prime location and the WA slant on the wine list really impressed; the food offerings are about the mark of what would be expected at a pub and we enjoyed the fish tacos – the Shoe has much promise and is certainly a place to return to again and soon.