I WAS texting my friends about Amani just five minutes after my first visit.
The list of superlatives included the friendly and attentive Samantha behind the bar, who was quick to help out with a schooner of Gage Roads Single Fin ($5 during happy hour).
I knew my mates would appreciate the simple, share-style food at this petite, late-night wine bar.
Amani is warm and inviting with an intimate ambience. It was perfect for a quick feed with a mate in Leederville before a late session at Luna Cinemas across the road.
Wanting to try a range of food, we ordered the Feed Me menu ($30pp).
It’s a well-polished assortment of bar snacks, with each serving as delicious as the next.
Kicking things off was a grazing board piled high with pungent cheeses, slices of jamon and grilled chorizo, olives, sundried tomatoes and a vibrant beetroot dip.
It was so moreish my mate and I barely spoke a word until we demolished the entire dish.
Food that doesn’t include meat usually leaves me feeling unsatisfied, but the grilled halloumi was pleasant enough and I was comforted that the milk used to make the salty and squeaky cheese came from an animal.
The prawn tacos were all style with no substance and my least favourite dish.
I applaud the chef for thinking outside the box and using a deep-fried wonton wrapper as a taco shell, but these were over stuffed with too much filling and not enough prawn.
If you’re going to offer a prawn dish, it really needs to be the hero.
Redemption was found in the chicken sliders. Simple, but utterly delicious.
There was a generous amount of moist chicken fillet, with jalapeno cheese and sweet pepper filling out the mini burger.
I can still taste the delicious American mustard, which added a welcome kick.
The kitchen was more than happy to substitute sweet for savoury when we asked to swap our double chocolate brownie for a bowl of shoestring fries.
It was further testament to Amani’s great customer service which had us excited for our next visit.
It may sound obvious, but it’s important to remember the priceless adage that first impressions last.
by MATTHEW EELES
Amani Ber & Kitchen
1/162 Oxford St, Leederville
Phone 9444 7761