THE weather was just what Perth needed, with black clouds dumping buckets of water. And how better to spend a wet public holiday than enjoying a pub lunch.
The Oxford in Leederville has been serving punters since 1906, but while you’ll still find time-honoured pub fare such as parmigiana and steak sarnies the menu has also moved with the times, offering the likes of panko (Japanese breadcrumb) crusted arancini and tempura prawns.
Or in my case a mushroom risotto ($24), which packed a real flavour punch with a great parmesan finish on the tongue and just the right level of saltiness.
The traditionalist member of our party ordered the parmi, a chicken version ($27.50).
“Sometimes the chicken is dry, but this is nice and moist, and very cheesy,” she said, tackling the huge serve with gusto.
Stealing a chip or two I can vouch for them being terrific, crisp on the outside, with a soft potato centre.
The third member of the group ordered the very English-sounding steak and ale pie ($24.50).
“Tender beef and a rich sauce,” he said, adding a spoon would have been handy to get to the residue in the narrow-based bowl.
“But the potatoes were handy to soak up the sauce,” he said.
The roasted gourmet potatoes were perfectly cooked, fluffy and flavoursome, and the broccolini on the side firm, he reported.
A couple of very pleasant New Zealand dry whites ($8.50) from the well rounded drinks menu added to the relaxed ambience of the garden eatery, one of a number of dining spaces in the historic building.
With a wall of greenery, huge water feature and soaring, part alsynite ceiling, it was great on a wintery day, and no doubt equally pleasant in warmer weather.
Throwing caution to the wind, we ordered a dessert apiece ($12).
My sticky date pudding was a tad dry, but a great caramel sauce, thickened cream and ice cream saved it.
My companion’s tiramisu was a coffee shot of pure decadent delight, and the vanilla bean brulee with berry compote and ice cream was fantastic.
by JENNY D’ANGER
The Oxford Hotel
368 Oxford Street, Leederville | open 7 days