This friendly and relaxed Perth food safari will take you to five very different and innovative food and drink venues around the CBD, where you’ll sample a selection of their specialties. Let your local foodie guide reveal the city’s best kept culinary secrets, and enjoy plenty of laughs along the way. Duration: 2.5 hours (approx.)
Jousting knights are doing their thing as a small group of complete strangers gathers around the entrance to Perth’s whimsical London Court — a Tudor-style building constructed by wealthy gold mining magnate Claude de Bernales in 1937.
We do have one thing in common at this point. We’re all about to take part in a Perth food safari with Foodi, which promises a fun afternoon exploring Perth’s inner city and taste-testing some of the diverse food and drink on offer. With a number of venues on the itinerary, it’s time to get busy!
Our guide Andrea does a quick round of introductions, before we head down gritty Grand Lane off the Murray Street Mall to Toastface Grillah. Toastface does big flavour in a small space and is famous for taking the humble toasted cheese sandwich to new heights. Think combinations like brie cheese, zucchini and prosciutto (the Danny Zuccho), and blue cheese, pear and lime chutney (the Pear Grillz).
Toastface has upcycled bench seating with low tables, giving you plenty of space to catch the cheese dripping from your chin. It’s a relief to discover that licking your fingers is completely acceptable in a group of fourteen like-minded food lovers!
The next stop is the farthest away; a whole seven minute walk into the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre to Lot Twenty — a gastropub housed in a heritage building that was once a stable for police horses. This award-winning small bar serves us share plates of cheese, pumpkin dip, quiches and bread, alongside their signature Dutch fries: shoestring fries covered in satay, aioli and diced red onion. Think of it as poutine, Perth style. Here, over the best Aperol spritz I’ve ever had (note: drinks are not included), we all start becoming firm friends.
With our next venue, Mechanics Institute, very close by, Andrea must know that we need a bit of time before our next indulgence. She slows down to point out a few other Perth institutions, including Joe’s Juice Joint and Alabama Song.
Rooftop bar Mechanics Institute has a symbiotic relationship with hamburger joint Flipside, which occupies the ground floor of the same building. You just order at the bar and Flipside will find you. We order more drinks, share more laughs and wait for our sliders to appear. The wait isn’t difficult, given my spot in the shade and the beautiful afternoon breeze. In fact it’s quite difficult to leave when the time comes, given that I now want to order the majority of the craft cocktails on the menu.
I’m feeling quite full, but there’s one more stop on these Perth food safaris and we take the back way to get there — through the William Street Arcade. Bright murals abound in this area and with the amount of street art we’ve seen today, this could almost be a cultural safari as well.
We arrive at the back gate of The Standard — right on the doorstep of Perth’s Chinatown. With a menu that focuses on tapas-style shared plates, our server comes out with a tray of bite-sized sweets — macaroons, chocolate fudge squares, mango slice, and crispy chocolate pistachio-covered cones filled with ice cream! It’s such a fabulous way to end this experience, but no-one seems in any great hurry to go their own way.
The itinerary for this Perth food safari changes regularly, so the tour you do in a few months’ time will probably be different to mine today. One thing is for certain though, and that’s the ability of an experience like this to bring strangers together as friends through the sharing of food.
Gayann travelled as a guest of Foodi.
Additional images: Bigstock
Gayann Walker is a Perth-based freelance writer with a passion for travel, adventure and a good feed. Born in Boston, Gayann has lived in Perth since moving from the Gulf Coast of Florida in 2010. She has an eclectic travel style that varies from rugged adventures (such as climbing Mt Kinabalu and roughing it in the jungles of Borneo) to relaxing on beautiful beaches and sipping cocktails. Gayann has travelled extensively through Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States.