Cafes, Restaurants and Dining in Perth, Western Australia.

The Vic

226 Hay St Subiaco
Phone: (08) 6380 8222

Lunch at The Vic

The Hay Street façade has hardly changed in 30 years, but inside it’s a different story. Hiding behind the traditional pub front, is a sophisticated restaurant with a casual, relaxed atmosphere. In the football season they provide face-painters to paint kid’s faces in team colours while mum and dad have a relaxed lunch before the game. Eagles’ players can often be seen here, especially just after a game. On Wednesday night they have half-price steaks and cheap cocktails on Thursday. Friday lunch is the busiest time of the week, and on Friday nights, songbird Nat Ripepi plays an acoustic session from 5pm to 8pm.

Coming into spring, head chef Shane Kingston has re-vitalised the menu. My colleague sampled dishes from the new menu one sunny afternoon in October, starting with the Share Plate – slices of grilled Bierstick (spicy smoked sausage), delicate puff pastry scrolls filled with ham and cheese, wedges of toasted pizza bread, cream cheese and chives dip, and skewers of Tandoori Chicken. It made a good starter for the two of us, and would be great between four people as a snack with drinks. We washed down these savoury morsels with a glass of Sticks Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley in Victoria – quite a nice red – but we both agreed that the platter would be perfect to go with Beer.

Next we tried the Double Roasted Pork Belly, perched on an apple and potato galette, served with a salad of roquette, roast sweet potato, basil leaves, dried shallots and salsa, and drizzled with a fig vincotto. We enjoyed a very nice glass of Lobster Reef Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand, which was a summery wine, snappy and fresh, not too dry, not too sweet (just the way I like it), an excellent match for a superlative dish. The pork (which had been marinated for 24 hours in honey and soy) was lean, tender and delicious. There is something special about the combination of pork and apple – it’s a flavour marriage made in heaven. Apple puree can be runny, but mixed with mashed potato, shaped into a cake and grilled till it had a nice crispy crust; it was just fantastic with the pork. The salad was interesting too, and the fig vincotto turned out to be a delicious fruity sauce; this was definitely the standout dish of the day.

We also enjoyed the Pesto Prawn Salad – a light summery dish with warm, grilled Australian prawns drizzled with tangy pesto, surrounding a tasty mixed leaf salad with avocado, honey-coated walnuts, orange segments and salsa. A glass of Stella Bella Sem Sauv Blanc from Margaret River, with a slightly less fruity, mellower flavour, complemented the prawns and walnut salad nicely.

The Prawn and Schinkenspeck Pasta – penne pasta with Australian prawns, onion, roast pumpkin, roast capsicum and spinach finished with olive oil and topped with parmesan – was also nice but by this time we were pretty full so we couldn’t really do it justice. In case you were wondering, Schinkenspeck is another name for Parma or Black Forest ham. The Cape Mentelle Chardonnay from Margaret River that accompanied the pasta had a drier taste than the previous whites – in fact I thought it tasted like a white that wanted to be a red.

These dishes were all under $26 and the pork in particular was terrific value. So if you’re looking for a really nice meal in the Subiaco or West Perth area – at a reasonable price than give The Vic a try – you’ll be glad you did!

By Georgina Goss

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