621 Wellington St, Perth
Ph: (08) 9483 9600
Polenta to love at Peppers
Peppers Kings Square Hotel has opened its doors, and its ground floor restaurant, Stage Bar + Kitchen, is ready for service.
Located between Perth Arena and the CBD on Wellington Street, it’s conveniently located for dinners before a show, or lunches in the city. Parking is available a few blocks away if you don’t mind a short walk, or there is valet parking available for $38, and the train station is within walking distance.
We went in for lunch just a few weeks after they had opened, and so they had only partially rolled out their menu, but were excited about the new additions that they would soon be making.
Executive Head Chef Craig Spence explained that his focus for now is on small sharing dishes. While his background is European, having come from Saint Andrews in Scotland, he likes to draw inspiration from a range of different places when designing a menu.
The first two dishes we tried were the polenta chips, which are served with a pesto mayonnaise, and the crispy calamari. The polenta chips were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, and the tangy dipping sauce complemented them well. The squid, battered in polenta, and accompanied by dried lemon and chilli is a vibrantly coloured dish. The lemon looks like it might just be a garnish, but don’t be fooled; the lemon really adds to the taste of the dish. A nice cold white wine, possibly a chardonnay, would go well with this dish.
Next we had the hush puppies and the sliders. The hush puppies are also made using polenta, and are a novel take on the classic hash brown. Beer battered in Eagle Bay beer, and served with chilli jam and sour cream. These were a great little sharing plate. The sliders were a bit more substantial, and could easily be a meal on their own. Each of the three sliders was different. One is Cajun chicken, another is beef and bacon, and my personal favourite was the spicy barbecue pulled pork that was cooked in Feral Hop Hog. The sliders would definitely be better with a beer, possibly a pilsner or the Hop Hog itself.
Lastly, for dessert, we had the lupin cake. Served with a mascarpone type cheese and rhubarb sauce. The cake blew me away. It was reminiscent of short bread, but the lupin gave it a texture that was totally new to me. The cream cheese and rhubarb sauce stopped the dish from being too dry, and made for a very memorable dish.
Overall, we were really impressed with the presentation and quality of the food. The menu is definitely designed around sharing plates, with most sitting at around the $10 mark. The plan is to further extend the menu to include more pizzas, and an extensive breakfast menu including cured bacon, freshly baked bread and crispy eggs.
They are vegetarian and celiac friendly, good for casual meals, romantic dinners, and business functions. The same full menu is also available as room service upstairs in the hotel. Also, keep an eye out for their light shows across the facade of the building on the hour every hour in the evenings.
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