THANK God for Catholicism.
On Monday my wife had some obscure religious holiday which meant we could nip up to Perth for lunch.
We decided to try Apple Daily Bar and Eating House, a renowned Asian fusion joint in the Print Hall on St Georges Terrace.
The interior was very plush with lots of burnished wood, marble and period touches, reflecting the building’s historic past (it was built in 1932 for The West Australian newspaper and designed by architect Lt-Gen Sir Talbot Hobbs).
But it didn’t feel stuffy and the Apple Daily had some funky neon lights, parasols and Asian newspapers on the wall, giving it a contemporary twist.
The restaurant specialises in Asian-style tapas, encouraging you to share dishes like Shark Bay scallops miang, sticky twice-cooked pork belly, and crispy smoked barramundi salad.
But with everybody doing it tough right now, we decided to go for the “Express Lunch”, which had a small selections of mains and a dessert for $25.
My wife was getting into the swing of her papal holiday with a panda colada ($17) – a cheeky twist on the pina colada with mountains of ice and coconut.
“Praise the Lord!” she said, as she sipped the impressive looking beverage.
“It’s a great lunchtime cocktail and the alcohol is hidden very well.”
It wasn’t long before the pleasant waitress arrived with my twice-cooked sticky pork spare ribs.
The ribs had a dark, rich sticky glaze, and there was a nice latent heat from the red chillies.
The meat was on the verge of falling off the bone and tasted amazing when combined with the caramelised onions underneath.
This effete street food was utterly delicious and I couldn’t get enough of it – 10 out of 10.
The dish even came with expanding towels to wipe your hands – creating a bit of a spectacle as the waitress poured water onto two tablets which sprung up like the Tower of Babel.
Across the table my wife was tackling her mountain of Kimchi fried rice, which was nicely presented with diaphanous sheets of seaweed.
“The pork belly is beautifully cooked and the dish is well balanced with a nice mix of cabbage, spring onions and egg,” she said.
“The crunchy garnish adds some texture and the chilli oil creates just the right amount of heat.
“It’s a tasty and very filling dish. Good for a cold day.”
For dessert my wife enjoyed a dainty pot of coconut sago with mango pieces, which she said was refreshing and cleansed her palate after the smoky kimchi.
The restaurant was busy on a Monday lunchtime and there was a mix of people enjoying a sophisticated bite to eat in the city.
Service was great throughout, with the irrepressible waiter telling us about our dishes and the ins and outs of my wife’s cocktail.
The express lunch at Apple Daily is a great option for a high quality meal at an affordable price; whetting your appetite to return for the share plates.
Apple Daily Bar and Eating House Brookfield Place
Print Hall – Level 1
125 St Georges Terrace printhall.com.au/the-apple-daily/
by STEPHEN POLLOCK