Treat your tongue to a good time

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OXFORD HOTEL, Leederville

by JENNY D’ANGER:

Somewhat like that disturbing TV commercial for beer with the tongue that goes out at night in search of a yearned-for flavour, my tongue is obsessed by memories of burnt caramel and fig icecream.

I keep my mouth tightly closed at night fearing it will come loose and scrabble down dirty pavements to the Oxford Hotel in Leederville.

Probably wouldn’t do it a lot of good as the fig ice cream is very seasonal, due to one of the chef’s sisters having a fig orchard.

Apparently over summer they featured in quite a few inventive dishes, both sweet and savoury.

The ice cream ($8.50) was sensational, creamy with chunks of sweet fig and a fantastic burnt caramel flavour following in its wake.

I’m heading back before it’s all gone.

I almost wasn’t going to have sweets as the wild mushroom pappardelle ($24) was quite filling. Not to mention rich, with a topping of delicious parmesan crumbs.

The last of a piping-hot crunchy garlic-baguette was used to wipe the plate clean.

I’d taken my baby brother along for lunch—he’s just 50 the little darling. He toyed with ordering the lamb and sweet potato pie ($24.50) or a pub-food classic chicken parmigiana ($23.50) before opting for the Redback battered snapper ($22.50).

The dish sparked reminiscences of younger days in Lancelin with our fisherman dad, who’d taught my brother a lot about fish, but not so us girls.

In those days a lot of fish and chip places sold shark as snapper and dad would know—he sold his fair share to them.

But this snapper was the real deal, a thick slab of perfectly cooked flesh in a great beer batter, and the regular and sweet potato chips were pretty good too.

Harking back to dessert, baby bro had the cherry, apple pie ($8.50). While delicious it didn’t quite come up to those mother used to make, but they were her signature dish and to be frank not many do.

There’s a comfortable homeliness about the delightful old Oxford Hotel. It’s the sort of place to meet up with friends, or head to after work with colleagues, or drop in for lunch with your brother.

by JENNY D’ANGER

Oxford Hotel
368 Oxford St, Leederville
9444 2193
open for meals seven days
noon to late

 

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