INDUSTRIAL workshop and Bali resort rub shoulders in surprisingly perfect harmony at Chinta, now relocated to North Perth.
Formerly in atmospheric digs in Dianella the new premises ratchet things up to a whole new level.
Huge steel windows onto Scarborough Beach Road, raw brick, polished concrete floors, massive industrial lights and corrugated tin ceilings mix it with tropical ponds, water lilies, palm trees, and a smattering of deep, hooded wicker chairs.
“What a lark to sit back in one of those concealed from the hoi polloi ,” I thought, looking enviously at a couple of fellow diners. If only I hadn’t lingered in the eatery’s gift shop, lusting after a gorgeous silk top.
My lunch companion arrived, and having knocked off a particularly good ginger, beetroot, orange and carrot juice ($7.50), while waiting I was ready for food.
Fish of the day was barramundi ($25), and I was a tad nonplussed when told it was in mushroom broth, but throwing caution to the four winds thought “why not”.
The huge chunk of fish swimming in soup was like nothing I’d eaten before, and was magnificent.
The semi-clear broth was dark brown, perfectly salted and packed with a great mushroom flavour.
The fish was firm, the skin still crispy, and the combination of flavours and textures, including dainty rice noodles, was fantastic.
My companion couldn’t go past the lamb shanks ($24) and says they brought back the joy of life sucked away by a lacklustre leaders’ debate.
“While the lamb melted away like a budget black hole, there was a conviction and firmness about the accompanying broccolini which was sadly lacking in Mal and Bill.
“And while they danced around the big issues, Chinta serves them up – a full, richly flavoured tomato sauce that reminds you of why it’s good to be eating out rather than stuffing your money under your mattress in case some bugger kills off that sweet negative gearing deal you’ve got going.
“This is a meal with substance, style and soul; all the things election 2016 (the double disillusion) is not.”
We finished our meal with a couple of excellent coffees and cakes ($5.50), for me a warm fig cupcake, soft and moist and topped with a slice of fig, for my mate a baci, which was rich, but could have done with warming to room temperature to really lift the texture and flavour.
by JENNY D’ANGER
29 Scarborough Beach Road, North Perth
open Mon–Fri 7am–4pm,