THE CABIN, Mount Hawthorn
by STEPHEN POLLOCK:
Mount Hawthorn, I apologise.
In the quest for manna, I have often overlooked you: the polite, middle child of Leederville and North Perth.
According to Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler, middle children are “people pleasers”, and The Cabin on Scarborough Beach Road certainly elicited a Voice grin.
The menu was gourmet tapas, grouped into Small, Smaller, Smallest and Bert Newton.
It had a nice mix of seafood and meat, with a few curveballs like Kalbi braised beef shin tacos and Lamb belly lettuce cups.
There were also dedicated sections for desserts (deconstructed summer trifle, snickers in a glass) and cheese (French Morbier, Italian Crucolo).
Me and ‘er indoors decided to share olives ($6), quail breast kievs ($22), smoked duck ($27), octopus ($8) and yabby popcorn ($14.5).
The Cabin’s decor swayed between quirky and chic with the poise of a tightrope walker: leather couches, exposed brickwork and deer heads all rubbed shoulders in a cosy nook.
We, however, elected to sit outside on the stylish balcony, where mist guns and sun blinds tamed the midday sun.
First-up was the house-smoked “Fremantle” octopus, in a lively Riesling and red vinegar marinade.
Plenty of nippy kick and tender chunks of octopus kept me happy.
Across the table, the good lady was busy de-pitting olives.
“They have a lovely citrus, chilli and garlic dressing,” she enthused.
Suddenly, our pretty vista of Mt Hawthorn was sabotaged by a replica General Lee, which groaned up Scarborough Beach Road, its driver head-banging to Mötley Crüe.
The Cabin had a nice range of European beers and I toasted “Girls, Girls, Girls” with a bottle of Pilsner Urquell ($9).
The highlight of the meal was the quail breast kievs with parmesan gremolata and dill mayonnaise.
The gamy punch of the quail was complemented by the smooth mayo and zesty gremolata—haute comfort food.
Another gem was the yabby popcorn, which came with a refreshing salsa fresca, and smokey aioli.
A playful twist on a seafood classic.
I was slightly disappointed with the smoked duck with fig and port puree, which didn’t have enough zing to get my taste buds jangling; perhaps my fault for eating it last.
The Cabin is the best small bar I have been to in Perth (and I’m Scottish so I’ve been to a few). Swanky without being pretentious, refined without being haughty.
It is the model to which others should aspire—even Tommy Lee.
The Cabin Small Bar
174 Scarborough Beach Road, Mt Hawthorn
Phone 9444 6214