Latterly a chum and I were in Claisebrook to visit the Whipper Snapper distillery and after a tasting of their wares continued our wanderings and ended up at the Royal on Claisebrook Cove. This would have to be one of nicest outlooks of any restaurant in the city, sitting on the waterfront looking across to the apartments and houses on the opposite bank, parkland and of course the river, with boats tying up at the jetty and occupants heading towards the Royal for drinks and food.
In the not too distant past some restaurateurs in Perth running places with great vistas seemed to think the view was all it took and didn’t put much effort into ensuring the food component lived up to location. Thankfully those who currently run the Royal don’t adopt that attitude and have made concerted efforts to turn out good plates of food and a nice selection of drinks to go with the fabulous surrounds.
We hopped up onto a couple of stools at a bench outside the main dining room – it was a lovely day and the place was starting to fill quickly, especially outdoors with a gentle breeze and the cries of birds on the river as a backdrop.
The menu has a number of starters – including chorizo with Danish feta and Turkish bread; oysters; soft shell crab with noodle salad; and seafood chowder; and mains which included a roast duck salad; Atlantic cod with fries; and a breaded chicken breast, together with roast beef sandwich, Wagyu burgers and Caesar salad.
We went for a few small plates to share – Rosemary and chilli flatbread with Danish feta; Panko tiger prawns; and five spice crispy squid.
The bread had a nice hint of chilli which complemented the herbal flavours of the rosemary, and the Danish feta was creamy and salty, and delicious.
The prawns had been fried with panko crumbs and came with a dressing which evidenced flavours of citrus, honey and ginger; the prawn flesh was sweet and tender and the crispy exterior added to our enjoyment of the dish.
Squid had been flavoured with Five Spice, with its distinctive flavour and aroma of cloves and Star Anise, deep fried and were beautifully tender, with no hint of the toughness that on occasion you encounter with overcooked squid. It was a very good dish indeed.
Accompanying the food, we ordered a bottle of Rockcliffe Quarram Rocks 2013 rosé from the Great Southern – quite a dry finish, but with lifted strawberry and raspberry aromas on the nose. It complemented our food choices well, we thought.
I should say here that the Royal has an outstanding wine list – comprehensive and thoughtfully compiled – and is also one of the few bars around serving Margaret River’s Colonial beers on tap.
The Royal is a deservedly popular spot – the location superb, good service and well put together pub style food all combining to make it a great spot for a drink or meal and to watch the river roll by.