PERTH loves a new restaurant.
Hunter & Barrel has been open for less than two months and the Raine Square newbie is already attracting big crowds.
When we arrived at 5pm on a Friday we were told they were fully booked, but thanks to some table shuffling they squeezed us in upstairs.
Hunter & Barrel has a sophisticated two-storey interior, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls creating a lively, urban backdrop.
The classy decor reflects the restaurant’s devotion to meat and barrel-aged beverages, with cushioned bar stools, leather booths, crystal decanter light shades and an antler chandelier.
We kicked off with the hot cheese dip ($13), a generous portion of silky mixed cheeses melted in a cast iron pot and served with fluffy, slightly smokey flatbread.
The delicious cheese has a smokey and moreish crust around the edges.
The main event here is meat, and the seemingly endless options include pork schnitzel ($29), Tasmanian kangaroo ($32), braised lamb shoulder wrapped in pastry ($32) and wagyu beef ($54).
There’s also a variety of coal-roasted meat skewers (beef, chicken, sausage, or pumpkin for the vegos).
The King’s Feast share board ($45 per person) is a great way to try most of what’s on offer.
It’s not every day you’ll hear me raving about chicken, but the thigh skewers were phenomenal.
The moist, tender poultry had a sweet and smokey basting that give it a chilli kick. We couldn’t stop raving about it between mouthfuls.
We didn’t think it could get any better, but the roast lamb shoulder was the best I’ve ever eaten. And I’ve eaten a lot of lamb.
It was sweet and moist and had a delicious, fatty flavour.
We thought we had saved the best for last, but unfortunately our eye of rump was underwhelming.
We had asked for it cooked medium-well, but it was overcooked and tough.
I’m confident the Hunter & Barrel chefs are more than capable of cooking a good steak, but this should never have left the pass.
It’s a shame we had to leave on a sour note, but the mishap with the steak won’t put us off returning.
I’ll definitely be baa…ck for that lamb.
by MATTHEW EELES
Hunter & Barrel
Raine Square, Murray Street