Cafes, Restaurants and Dining in Perth, Western Australia.

Stable Hands

8 Bannister Street, FremantleDSC_3001
Ph: (08) 9430 7309

Rustic Lofty FREO

Being a Freo boy, I’ve always been a huge fan of Fremantle’s smaller boutique venues. More specifically, those oozing a rustic off-the-main-drag vibe enhancing Fremantle’s quirkiness.

Stable Hands on Bannister Street had only just reopened in August 2018 after a forced closure for a few months due to structural damage and safety issues with the building site next door.

BeetrootVFriends of mine who are fully immersed in Fremantle’s culture had raved about Stable Hands’ food, extensive drinks menu and warm atmosphere for months. In fact, it always seems to pop up in our conversations. I now agree wholeheartedly.

I was immediately drawn to the textured white-washed high walls fringed and framed by dark timber and exposed beams. The central stairwell connecting all levels of the heritage building is a stunning feature to the lofty design.

Arriving late in the afternoon Venue Manager Michael Hegerty warmly greeted us and recommended
a variety of shared dishes and matched wine pairings. Already excited by the culinary journey presented to us, Head Chef Reece Lardi soon joined us for a chat at our table. There was a sense of welcoming warmth from the beginning.

We began with the sizeable and succulent Fremantle octopus on a pillow of a thick and tasty romesco sauce nestled into a blood pudding with foraged greens. The octopus was firm and a lovely contrast to the soft and crumbly pudding and almond surprises throughout. The zesty and fruity aftertaste of the 2016 Parish Vineyard Riesling (Coal River Valley in Tasmania) worked well with this dish.

Part two of the journey was a colourful Beetroot tarte tatin, with house-smoked mozzarella, olive and beetroot gel garnished with purple RabbitVbasil and bright red crisps. This was by far the most visually appealing dish and a battle of sweet and sour flavours on my taste buds. The smokiness of the dish was further enhanced by the 2017 Marq Wild Ferment Chardonnay (Margaret River) recommend by Michael.

Our third dish was a tasty Bouillabaisse with a stack of whiting fillets, clams and scallops, light snapper mousseline and saffron rouile. This was by far the hero dish for me. The combined saltiness of the stock and fresh seafood juices melted in my mouth. A sip of the fresh 2017 Chaffey Bros Grenache (Barossa Valley) sealed the deal for me as a perfect combination of food and wine.

The final dish was a Rabbit leg confit with a cherry tomato marmalade, saddle roulade with whiskey rhubarb and pancetta. The portions were generous and distinctive, and I particularly liked the contrast between the sweet marmalade and the beautifully cooked rabbit. I found the pancetta to be an interesting component to the dish and everything flowed in flavour. The dish itself matched beautifully with the aromatic and spicy South Australian red Vinteloper Touriga Nacional (Langhorne Creek).

Following our meals, Chef Lardi surprised us with a trial taste of his experimental Pickled juices marshmallow. An inventive and creative little combo. I was thinking to myself, ‘How could this possibly work?’ It did, and like everything on the menu, was executed with purpose and a passion for detail in presentation and flavour.

by Cam Allen

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