Known for its nightclubs and late-night excess, this inner-city Perth hub is diversifying with a variety of restaurants and bars, new cultural experiences and examples of the west’s latent entrepreneurial spirit. By Max Veenhuyzen.
Eat JAMES PARKER
From soba noodles to tempura, this popular izakaya ticks plenty of boxes for Japanese comfort. For the real James Parker (jamesparker.com.au) experience, though, book the sushi counter for closeup views of chefs slicing pristine sashimi and turning rice and seaweed into excellent hand rolls and nigiri.
Standard (thestandardperth.com.au) by name, not by nature – especially if you’re referring to the technique-heavy cooking of chef Chase Weber. If seafood charcuterie and pressed lamb belly with native plum, pickled kohlrabi and cornbread don’t turn your head, this warehouse space’s drinks list and outdoor beer garden should do the trick.
This gelateria (chichogelato.com) is making all the right chilled moves with fresh, seasonal ingredients and a fun space awash with colour. Core flavours (pistachio, salted caramel) aside, collaborations with local chefs have given rise to limited oneoffs such as Friuli Apple Strudel.
Drink MECHANICS INSTITUTE
A playlist of sing-out-loud songs; alfresco deck seating; food delivery from the attached Flipside burger bar; and great drinks. Little wonder Mechanics Institute (mechanics institutebar.com.au) is one of Perth’s premier cocktail venues.
No Mafia (nomafia.com.au) makes its “Southern-Italian-themed wine bar” brief look easy with a tightly stocked cellar, clued-up staff and a kitchen slinging wine-friendly eats.
Stay ALEX HOTEL
Centrally located Alex Hotel (alexhotel.com.au) encourages guests to mingle in tastefully appointed communal spaces. Streamlined rooms, meanwhile, are low on frills but have all the mod cons. At the in-house Shadow Wine Bar & Dining Room, chef Sue Hutchins is all about Italian comfort, with the wine list fine-tuned to deliver Old World thrills.
Appreciate the art Northbridge is something of an art hub. Check out the Art Gallery of Western Australia (artgallery.wa.gov.au) and edgier pieces at PICA (pica.org.au), as well as the area’s laneways and buildings – “canvases” for vibrant street art (streetsofperthwa.com).
Buy some vinyl Sifting through the crates at Safari’s Record Shack (Shop 9, 189 William Street; 0403 707 499) should unearth plenty of treasures, especially for soul and hip-hop fans, while the selection at Noise Pollution Records (280 William Street; 08 9328 3124) leans towards the rock side of things.
Watch open-air cinema Rooftop Movies (rooftopmovies.com.au) sees the top level of a parking lot screen cult and art-house films over the summer months. There’s also Moonlight Cinema (moonlight.com.au) at Kings Park.
But first, caffeine...
The traditionally named Koffie Winkel (koffiewinkel.com.au), or Dutch coffee house, is also au fait with modern techniques. Creamy nitro cold brew, anyone?
(From top) Prosecco and freshly shucked oysters at Shadow Wine Bar & Dining Room at Alex Hotel; the boutique stay has homey shared living spaces; “newwave” gelateria Chicho