Meanwhile, back in Perth, life still goes on. It’s more than a couple of weeks before the now larger than life sized trip to Melbourne, and there’s plenty of serious eating to be done til then. As well as concerts, my Dad’s 60th birthday, and possibly some actual work.

So the latest place to get noticed on my food radar, came by an interesting set of circumstances. I was at home busily preparing dinner for guests when Sharon called. “Have you heard of 1907 ?” she asked while I busily shelled beans and tried to work out if my dates were sticky enough. “The year ?” I respond… “Only vaguely and in black and white”… (Aren’t you glad you’re not her :) ).

“No… (exasperated pause) I just got some spam email about a new restaurant called 1907… look it up.”

“Sounds dodgy” I reply, before getting ensconced in making sure my lamb shoulder and haricot stew wasn’t too tomatoey.

Surely enough though, that ever present need to know what is happening first crept back in, and I took a moment while the stew was simmering away (on a medium low heat for 90 minutes) to peruse this curious new venture who had decided that mass email marketing was the way to do a soft launch.

Turns out the restaurant is:

…a world class restaurant and bar housed in a 100 year old rag trade factory, situated in the hub of Perth’s former fashion district. 1907 is the result of an idea to evolve Perth’s inner city, maintaining its old charms and incorporating cutting edge design to match a world class dining experience provided by our enthusiastic team of hospitality professionals.

Well fair enough then. The photos on the website look nice, and the menu sounds interesting, and despite the fact that head chef Graeme Shapiro once appeared on an Ainsley Harriot show, I figure it’s worth checking the place out.

So on a casual Wednesday night after a gym session and realising that there was no food left in the house, the decision was made. Sharon decided to dress classy, and I went for something that could be described as post work chic (which in reality is all I can do to match up). Of course she ended up looking glamorous, and I looked like an over sized school boy.

It’s just as well we made an effort though, because this place is swish. A barely concealed frontage, with steps leading up to a set of large foreboding wooden doors immediately open into opulent surrounds. The designers have clearly spared no expense on the interior, and aside from some unfortunate choices in music (for mine), it did feel like we’d been transported somewhere very unPerth.

The wait staff were friendly without being being intrusive and come across as knowledgeable but not cocky. I thought I’d caught one of them out for a moment when I asked if the (complimentary) bread was made here, which he replied it was… small rye loaves and a slices of focaccia.

So we ordered a bottle of Bellarmine Chardonnay that I thought would go passably well with all of our dishes. There is a very limited list of by the glass selections, which the Maître d’ recited for us. Clearly quick meals and glasses of wine are not the desired way to dine here.

To start with we shared the manjimup marron and port lincoln mussels steamed in broth of
tamarind, lime leaves and coconut cream. Quite a mouthful on the menu, and equally so on a plate. Our waitress brought side plates so we could easily share the dish, which was thoughtful. The marron was personally a little chewy, perhaps it was undercooked. The broth was delicious though, the lime and tamarind create a lovely sour counterpoint to the sweetness of the marron.

For mains I ordered a seared duck breast and duck tortellini, while Sharon had the masala spiced gnocchi, braised fennel bulb and baby spinach. My duck came medium rare, as I like it, and in an oddly sweet sauce, which for the life of me I can’t remember (and it doesn’t seem to be on the menu on the website). Sharon’s gnocchi was actually good… As opposed to almost every gnocchi I’ve ever eaten. It was light and airy, and the masala worked really well with the fennel. Overall the food was good, though perhaps not heightened experience I was looking for. Though there is a “menu prestige” degustation which we could have opted for which may offer some added finesse.

The total bill came to $150 for two people. Which to be honest is not expensive if you compare it to what the vast majority of mediocre restaurants in Perth are charging at the moment. Add that to the effort that’s gone into the design and service, the private dining rooms, and the funky cocktail bar downstairs which is the latest place to be scene for inner city hipsters, and you’ve got quite a compelling package.

Now please email this post to all of your friends and let them know…

26 Queen Street
Telephone: 08 9436 0233

1907 on Urbanspoon


7 thoughts on “1907”

  1. A great read, again, Matt!

    A new, flash restaurant in Perth eh? Aren’t we just becoming ‘the’ Metropolitan city. Food was good but not as good as expected?
    I’m always on the lookout for somewhere a little more classy to take the gal, you think this fine establishment would be worth a try?
    And do they sell good beer!! (Not much of a wine drinker these days..).

    Love the accompanying photo; the place looks rather swish.

    @ “The year ?” I respond… “Only vaguely and in black and white”.. Haha, loved it!

  2. Seriously Matt, how is it that you always beat me to the punch? I’ve been watching that space redevelop for a few months now and have been hoping to keep this little gem a secret… Not a chance now ;)

    Although I must say you have invigorated some much needed action around my house. And as we are leaving Perth soon, there’s even more urgency to try and eat at as many places as possible (without killing our wallets).

    Thank you again for not revealing too much and always just enough to keep the interest alive. I just love surprises.

  3. Hey Pazza, I’m sure this place would be a lovely spot for some intimate sexy dining. The bar downstairs has a pretty decent beer selection if I recall, as well as some crazy sounding cocktails for the gin-centric amongst us. Glad you like the prose, I’m always amazed how hindsight makes me seem so witty :)

    Tahn: Come back anytime… we’ll still be here.

    Zams: It’s hard work keeping up let me tell you. Though I can’t see this place turning in a roaringly popular establishment amongst the wider Perth community. By it’s very nature it lacks the in your face, self explanatory nature that seems to be necessary in Perth to attain a higher level of notoriety. So I think your need for exclusivity is safe for a while. We should catch up before you leave.

  4. Catching up sounds like a plan, although our leaving perth is still some 20 odd weeks away. Not sure if that sounds like a lot or a little now that I count it out loud? We’re heading back to little dinky old Adelaide where the wine flows a plenty and the food is insatiable and it’s also that tiny bit closer to melbourne… Which by the way, I am mightily envious of your pending travels to the Food Mecca! Looking forward to those posts :) keep in touch.

  5. Had my celebratory dinner for my poker win here last Friday – absolute bollocks this place is! Wrote something up for it in WEstern Suburbs Weekly and Guardian Express and about to post my review on AHW this week…

Leave a Reply to Max Cancel reply