Perth gets a boost with a bumper Harvest of small bars
SYDNEY has seen a wave of new bars since its antiquated liquor licensing laws were changed a couple of years ago, and Perth is catching up for lost time, too.
Clint Nolan, from North Fremantle’s acclaimed Harvest restaurant, was putting the finishing touches to his new bar, Who’s Your Mumma, on Fremantle’s South Terrace, when he spoke to Food Detective last week.
‘‘After the change in licensing laws here, new bars have been popping up in most Perth suburbs,’’ says Nolan. ‘‘It’s really boosting Perth’s vibrancy. In the city there are four or five new ones; Mount Lawley is booming, as is Northbridge. It’s gone nuts in the past year as far as the hospitality industry is concerned.’’
Nolan’s ‘‘modern-industrial’’style venue will be a cafe by day, with beers on tap, an extensive wine list, cocktails and small plates at night.
‘‘The food will be things people can share, such as oysters, cheese, olives and one substantial dish — we’re working on a duck leg confit at the moment,’’ he says. ‘‘I’ve been hoping to do something like this for a long time. There is finally the opportunity to offer something different here and it’s great.’’
And Who’s Your Mumma is not the only thing on Nolan’s plate. ‘‘I’m looking at doing another restaurant in the north of the city very soon after this,’’ he says. ‘‘It’ll be something very different again.’’ More: harvestrestaurant.net.au.
IN Melbourne, you can’t move for eclectic watering spots hidden down alleyways, on rooftops or in old shipping containers. The city has been doing great things on the bar front for eons, so much so that Detective breaks out in a cold sweat trying to work out where to go first whenever she visits. So she welcomes Melbourne’s Bars and Pubs, a compact guide to some of the best inner-city drinking spots, listing handy info such as atmosphere levels, drinks available, prices and operating hours. It’s also available as an iPhone app for those prone to leaving books, jackets, umbrellas and the like behind after a big night out. More: melbournesbarsandpubs.com.au.
THE world is awash with chocolate festivals, so it’s refreshing to see the humble vanilla bean getting a piece of the action. Tonga’s Vava’u island group has become something of a vanilla production hub in recent years, after an aid project was started in the region by retired New Zealand farmer John Ross in 2002 to help the Vava’u community. Today, Heilala Vanilla supplies international markets and its products are used by Australia’s top chefs, including Damien Styles of Melbourne’s Pope Joan, who will lead a seven-day trip to the Vava’u Islands to introduce food-lovers to the complexities of growing and harvesting vanilla; there will be cooking demos, market trips and tastings.
The seven-day tour, from October 24, costs $4150 twinshare and includes a catamaran trip around the Vava’u Islands. Detective reckons there are far worse things to do with one’s time than eating vanilla-flavoured