The Subiaco Hotel has undergone major improvements over the past year, and their restaurant is testament to the detailed planning that has produced probably the best pub restaurant in Perth.
Entering off Hay Street, there is an inviting outdoor area, a comfortable indoor eating and bar space and walking through you find yourself in a welcoming atrium style setting.
The menu is a long step away from your usual pub fare, and starters and entrees included steamed crab custard with pork larb and puff pork crackling; whiting and rainbow trout gratin with horseradish; Japanese crumbed tiger prawns with nori and with a kewpie mayonnaise. Among the mains were roast barramundi fillet with goats cheese tortellini and a tomato vinaigrette; bbq lamb rump with white beans, eggplant and chorizo and, interestingly as a homage to old style pub food, sausages, peas and mash with a port jus.
We chose to start with kataifi wrapped fresh dates, beetroot and spinach gratin, and Moroccan potatoes with harissa and a broken egg dressing. For mains we had pappardelle pasta with slow cooked lamb shoulder and capers, and Mamak Mee goreng, bbq’d tiger prawns, tofu and egg.
A large and varied wine list is an impressive companion to the food offering.
The warmed dates were wrapped in thin strands of kataifi (a filo style pastry); it had been, my wife informed me, a long time since she had had a hot date, but these were excellent – sweet, juicy and perfectly balanced to the earthy beetroot flavours accompanying them. It was such a hit it was all gone before the camera came out and all that remained was a colourful empty plate.
The mix of roasted baby potatoes and chunky chips were splashed with a relatively mild harissa sauce and a lightly cooked egg was an oozy and delicious dressing. Filling but, hey, that’s what roasted potatoes are for!
The Mee goreng came as a nest of egg noodles, mildly spiced sauce, mixed through with tender and juicy prawns, silken tofu and a deep fried egg. It was a very good dish and only the size of the serving defeated me.
Thick strands of pappardelle pasta were covered in a rich meat sauce, threaded through by gloriously tender chunks of slow cooked lamb shoulder, with capers adding a lifted, salty note. Again, the size of the dish was too much for our lunchtime appetite. Still no one could come away from the Subi and say they were short changed.