Summer vibes and fairy lights at The Standard
When the mercury’s up, the floor is packed at The Standard (thestandardperth.com.au), an airy, light, inside-meets-outside venue in Perth’s Chinatown. Out back is a bar in a sea container pumping out playful jugs of punch. Its roof is an excellent dining spot, not least for the city skyscraper views. You can dine until midnight Monday to Saturday and the big tip here is the caramelised kangaroo with sesame soy custard and pineapple – the chef’s sweet and salty take on a Thai ma hor (AKA Galloping Horses).
Mexican fiesta at La Cholita
If you suffer from vertigo, don’t look down: the floorboards at hip La Cholita (lacholitanorthbridge) are interspersed with perspex, granting a view into the depths of the tequila-obsessed venue. Constantly buzzing, there’s a clever ‘holding bay’ where basic dishes such as ceviche and guacamole can be ordered, keeping punters happy while waiting for one of the up-cycled tables or bar stools to become available. Authentic fare is pumped out until midnight from Sunday to Thursday, pushing on until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. Don’t miss the stuffed jalapeno taco, with beef picadillo and walnut sauce.
Find your food crush at Young Love Mess Hall
Huge skylights illuminate Young Love’s (younglovemesshall.com) moody charcoal and emerald walls, and shine on plants cascading from the ceiling. It’s like being in a deep cave flooded by a shaft of sunlight, only there are delightful share plates arriving before you (and that never happens underground). Feast on the fusion bowl of Japanese succotash, or the purple yam splashed octopus tentacle, through to 11pm Tuesday to Thursday or all the way until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Bacon and booze heaven at Varnish on King
A New York speakeasy-style whiskey bar down the quieter end of haute couture strip King Street, Varnish on King (varnishonking.com) serves banging dishes with an extra dimension. The menu winds back after 10.30pm but the mainstay, The Bacon Flight, is available until its midnight close. We’re talking four styles of bacon, lined up with four matching American whiskeys. Could it get any better for the bacon lover? We think not. Cheese boards and desserts are on too, but who’s listening after the words ‘bacon flight’?
Savour Australia’s best Thai at Long Chim
This cranking venue only just slides in – the kitchen shuts down by 10.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays and earlier during the week – but we just couldn’t ignore the street food mecca of Michelin-star chef, David Thompson, Long Chim (longchimperth.com). After all, it’s regarded as Australia’s best Thai, and with the chilli factor amped to the max, it’s somewhere you won’t forget in a hurry. Brave souls should grab the feisty larp, while careful foodies might stick to the pad thai. Whatever your heat tolerance, don’t you dare miss the betel-leaf parcels.
Midnight cravings at The Flour Factory
Until the clock strikes 12 almost every night of the week (except Sundays), The Flour Factory’s bar menu, featuring crab and avocado rolls, bone marrow brûlée and beef ribs served with a seaweed glaze, is hot culinary property (theflourfactory.com). A century ago this inner city bar-cum-bistro was a flour mill and its giant windows and high ceilings enhance its warehouse feel. Venture upstairs with an expertly mixed cocktail and out to the distressed-brick rooftop-bar for added kicks.
Thrice the fun at Petition
The team who created Little Creatures brewery have again joined forces to birth three new venues: a craft beer haven called Petition Beer Corner, a charismatic bistro named Petition Kitchen, and a svelte cellar called Petition Wine Bar and Merchant (petitionperth.com). Housed in the re-imagined heritage surrounds of the State Buildings, hopping from one to the other is popular with Perthians, particularly given the eats continue until 11pm in Kitchen and midnight at its siblings. Order the spiced pork collar and the puffed grain and broccoli salad, amped with walnuts and sheep milk feta, and thank us later.
The basement bar serving lobster toasties
Halford Bar (halfordbar.com.au) is a decadent cocktail haven squirreled away in the Safe Room of the circa 1897 WA government Titles Office. Hefty, steel bank-safe shutters are still on the windows. Nowadays, it’s a velvety, 1950s lounge bar that sits beneath the pavement, glinting with gold-mirror tabletops, gold-hued furniture and gold-patterned floors, lit with artful illumination specially created by a lighting pro at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. The kitchen stays open until midnight Monday to Wednesday and rocks on until 2am Thursday to Saturday, serving cured meats, fancy cheeses and the pick of the bunch: the crayfish with dill and salmon roe mayonnaise on brioche.
House-made pasta at Shadow
Shadow Wine Bar (shadowwinebar.com.au) is a sexy, low-lit restaurant seemingly made for a sultry dinner-a-deux – there’s even a back laneway entrance. It kicks on until midnight, seven days a week, serving a European-inspired menu of ceviche and carpaccio, fetta stuffed zucchini flowers and crab spaghettini stung with capers. Better still, it neighbours funky Alex Hotel, meaning a bed is only metres away if you over-indulge.
Porky goodness at Pleased to Meet You
Mess hall-style tables see punters perch shoulder-to-shoulder as they attack pigskin crackers dipped in avocado salsa, pulled pork sliders, and coal-roasted suckling pig shavings licked with chimichurri sauce in this dim-lit eatery. Notice a trend? The executive chef-owner worships all things porcine, and his international travels inform the menu. Orders are cooked on the spot yet dishes come out impressively quickly at PTMY, which makes this place a perfect late night go-to. The kitchen doesn’t close until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.