Sunday, July 24, 2011

Clarences - Haute bar food

Being just a short drive away from our neighbourhood, Clarences bar has become a recent favourite haunt for M and I to pop in for a drink or two. The bar itself has become a bit of a hot spot amidst the sea of choices you find yourself wading through in the bustling suburb of Mount Lawley. This despite having a non-descript entrance that doesn't scream out for attention.

The interior of this bar/bistro is uber cool - eclectic artwork, comfy dining booths and an awesome courtyard out the back that is just perfect in the warmer months of the year. The drinks list here is also pretty interesting, with an interesting selection of beers and probably one of the largest lists of ciders I have seen around Perth.

We popped in on the weekend for a late lunch and were pretty excited at what read like a very innovative menu. The flavour combinations sounded clever and put a twist on typical bar favourites. And so we ordered with much anticipation.

We started off with the Crispy baldivis rabbit legs with aioli. This was pleasant enough - crispy crumbed rabbit legs simply seasoned on top of shaved fennel and aioli. I would personally have preferred a dressed bit of fennel as this element of the plate fairly dry. The aioli itself also lacked punch - and would have rounded off the dish with a tad more creaminess and salt.

We also ordered the crab, confit chicken wings and celeriac remoulade. This presented nicely - the confit chicken wings were tasty and as lowbrow as this sounds, reminded me of spam (probably from the pork fat it was rendered in) - not that this is a bad thing. The sides were actually combined - not what I had expected given the punctuation (not to mention the confit chicken wings) that interjected between the words "crab" and "celeriac remoulade". This however was tasty enough. The dish however needed texture - Perhaps a crispening of the chicken wings post confit or even substituting celeriac with an apple slaw instead would have made this a more memorable dish.

We finished off with the Clarences cheeseburger which came with a side of hand cut chips. As "cheesy" as it sounds, this was probably the dish we enjoyed the most. A simple house made brioche bun with coarsely grounded beef, just melted cheese and a bit of sliced pickle for acidity. The hand cut chips were delicious and went down well with our cider. The only gripe I would have on this was presentation - maybe it comes with wanting food to photograph well but this dish had lots of yellow (think brioche bun, cheese, hand cut chips) and was screaming out for a bit of green to spike its visual appeal. But heck - at least it tasted good.

All up - Clarences is a great spot to pop in for a drink and a casual bite to eat. The menu is inventive but some tweaks in execution and a a bit of thoughtfulness in how ingredients come together on the plate could go a long way in making it a brilliant gastrobar in this city of ours.

566 Beaufort Street
Mount Lawley


Hotel Search July 28, 2011 at 3:45 PM  

With the best food, breathtaking ambience, incredible service, and amazing cuisine, you sure had the good time I also shares the same experience when a friend from Melbourne invited me to attend a hotel conference, the best part was the accommodation. Eating the best hotel food and beverages.

michele November 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM  

The menu sounds fancy. I do love the ceiling in the picture.

Anonymous December 2, 2011 at 1:40 PM  

cool pics...makes me drool...hehe


Urban Interest January 19, 2012 at 10:45 PM  

Wow! That looks delicious! I will give it a try when I'm in Mount Lawley. Thanks for the review.

Tannicteeth May 1, 2012 at 9:21 PM  

I've yet to eat more at Clarances, but from what I've had, I've never been disappointed. Food looks divine.

Miso Hungry May 8, 2012 at 9:16 PM  

Sounds really great - I'm definitely going to have to pay a visit new time I'm in town:)

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