In Fremantle last weekend we had one of our best small bar experiences of the year – at Strange Company nestled in Nairn Street, just back from the cappuccino strip. Not a huge place but comfortably set up inside while out front under shade are more tables and chairs, and this was where we set up, catching a pleasant breeze on a rare sunny winter’s day. The menu, as so many places are, is designed around sharing and the dish descriptions are as enticing as the plates look when presented. We settled for a selection of these small dishes and with these you can’t go wrong.
Kicking off with the temptingly named Crab crumpets – two smallish crumpets slathered with a mix of moist, salty and luscious minced crab meat, fennel, chilli, with a splosh of horseradish labne – delightful and very moreish.
Scallops, lightly grilled on the half shell, with a sprinkle of smoked salt – beautifully cooked and again a simply delicious starter geared up to get the tastebuds thumping.
One of my favourite breakfast dishes – sardines on toast – was next but nothing like I have at home. Grilled fresh sardines, juicy and salty, on crunchy toast, sprinkled with chopped parsley and sitting on a smear of bread sauce. Beautiful.
Finally, sliced Jerusalem artichoke, earthy and crunchy served with a slightly spicy pimento salsa – rounded out the meal nicely.
Of course, wine was required to wash all these delights down, and from the very well put together list we chose 2019 Aspic Grenache Rosé, from Margaret River (well Karridale) winemaker, Tripe Iscariot – red berry and apple skin aromas, dry and savoury palate, tart raspberries, grapefruit and sour cherries; lovely crisp finish. You can’t go wrong with Tripe Iscariot.
So, a top small bar – one of the best around – excellent food, well curated wine list, friendly, welcoming, being a little away from the crowds of the strip make it just a little more relaxed. You need to get along.