I’m a good sport. If you put ribs and rum on your menu for $20 I will take you up on your kind offer. Especially in Perth.
A work colleague put me on to Public House. Often work colleagues treat me as an out-of-towner. Even though I spent 30 years in Perth, I now barely recognises half of it! So I am happy at my decision to follow her lead.
I cannot even remember what was here on the corner across Victoria Avenue from The Duxton? But whatever it was, this is a vast improvement. It is a outdoorsy, South American themed (but not in an over the top way) bar and restaurant that is on relative terms, sparsely populated tonight, but knowing Perth it is absolutely heaving between 5pm and 7.30pm on Friday night. I would happily come for the drinks, but tonight I’ve worked late and it is time for a quick feed.
The menu has a lot of really great sounding dishes which are predominantly to share. There is an oddly informative couple of sentences at the top of the menu giving the story behind the food, and the South American BBQ theme is matched by some excellent and unique wines from that continent, many of which are offered by the glass. There is nothing too crazy here but it’s not safe either. A step in the right direction while the restaurant builds its reputation.
The BBQ wagyu ribs with crispy potatoes is too hard to pass up with a glass of Mount Gay rum thrown in, which I decided to have neat. I also can’t go past the “Solar Viejo Crianza Rioja” for its name, and pretty much name alone. The wine is great but maybe my choice was a bit too easily overpowered by the food, proving the rum to be a good match.
The ribs are beautifully slow cooked, easily coming away from the bone, with a delicate and restrained smokey BBQ flavour. The flavour is not as deep as you can get with more marinating but that isn’t a criticism. The potatoes have a terrific crunch that works with the softness of the wagyu, and the chilli sauce is a good accompaniment but it could have been a little more generous in both spice and quantity, for my taste.
The service is excellent – but it is quiet. In any case the floor staff seem like they’re enjoying themselves and they are well informed on the menu and specials. If they can keep this up at busier times they are very good.
Public House was an unknown. I’d never heard of it and it is on the border of the main CBD heading towards East Perth. There’s a good chance I’ll be here again sometime soon and the chicken ribs are next on my eating agenda.
Back at Public House again, on a Wednesday again too, and it is an amazing Perth evening. Everyone is outside there is no space left, so I have pretty much the same table as last time. The ribs and rum is now $25 (be warned) which still is pretty good value (if you like rum).
This time I am eating the Peruvian fried chicken ribs (soaked in cola) which comes with an interesting creamy sauce that has a touch of spice. The ribs are good but no more. Some are quite succulent; some are bordering dry. The spice needs to be turned up a notch because I wouldn’t normally be eating the chilli garnish (a Peruvian chilli called aji amarillo) but I am this time. The lime for some reason is so dry it is like it has been squeezed already so I don’t get one drop from it (which would have added a nice zesty kick). What is noteworthy on a positive side is that there is a lot of chicken for $14 and it is a dish that I would recommend for grazing while having a beer without hesitation.
I also had the buttermilk bun slider. It is a delicious, light bun with diced pork in the filling. While it is on the border line at $8, I definitely recommend it.
Service tonight is a bit hit and miss, but I am the first (yes, first) customer the waitperson has ever served so there is no critique here other than she needed a lot of help from the more experienced staff. I’ll be back because Public House is a nice spot to enjoy a drink and have some on trend food in a part of the city that is lacking of options. Next on the agenda is a Friday night drinks!