Having not checked out Eamon Sullivan's freshman entrance into the Perth food scene; Louis Baxter (yet), I was imminently curious about his combined restaurant efforts with fellow Olympians, Steve Hooker and Jamie Dwyer. They're big names in the Aussie sporting industry, but as Eamon proved during his Celebrity Masterchef days - one can't undermine a sportsman's other talents. I had heard very little about Bib & Tucker before visiting, not because it's not worth talking about - but after having been myself, I can see why not many would want to share this great all day dining spot with the rest of Perth!
The back story to my visit to Bib & Tucker, involved a rare free Saturday for one of my best friends and I. It's my life blessing to be surrounded by doctors; with 3 out of 3 close friends being "doctors" (Medical Doctor, Dentist and Psychologist), and as regular readers will know, my partner M is also a Medical Doctor. Although this means that my health may well largely taken care of for the rest of my life, it does mean that it's hard to schedule in some downtime with my nearest and dearest. Upon getting out of the car, I breathed deeply - the smell of the sea was amazing and I felt incredibly blessed that we were able to squeeze this lunch into our schedules at such a beautiful venue.
Having arrived just before 12:00PM on a Saturday, we were surprisingly not met with a queue. We were seated indoors immediately and given a few moments to read over the menu, whilst taking in the view. I was disappointed that they don't do an all-day breakfast gig here, especially over the weekend but irregardless, the lunch menu looked great!
My dear best friend had actually already been to Bib & Tucker before and wanted to try something new. She's adorably indecisive, but the waitstaff were very patient and offered a few suggestions of pizzas to try. I was awestruck to discover that she was worried that there might be too much Pulled Pork on the Sanchez pizza. Honestly, can there ever be too much pulled pork?
But, she went with the waiter's choice anyway and we were advised that this pizza would definitely be, "a little different". Of course, we chatted away and did not realise how different "a little" could be until the dark wooden board was placed on the table. It resembled more of a Pide than a Pizza and I was especially curious about the little off twists at the end.
Like my previous surprising encounter with cilantro at Mary Street Bakery, I largely enjoyed it as a flavour boosting garnish. The housemates and I affectionately refer to cilantro as "臭柴", which means "the smelly vegetable", but hey...maybe the stuff is growing on me! The dish was very visually appealing but there just weren't enough little blobs of everything to justify the $27 price tag for what was quite a small pizza.
Having said that, the flavours were fantastic! The meaty pulled pork was met with sweet, caramelised bursts from the charred sweet corn. The avocado and cilantro were also really fresh, but I didn't get much of the smoked chilli. It was tasty, but I think that this dish was a little overpriced. Then I realised - oh that's right, I'm (very willingly) funding the beautiful beach location too!
Can I immediately admit that I was impressed? I'm a consistent pasta orderer when it comes to lunchtime menus and often find myself getting severely disappointed. The fettuccini was expertly made; perfectly cooked al dente and well coated in the gorgeous juices from the mushrooms. These were well put together, classic flavours and unfortunately, only one thing was missing for me...SALT! Even after stirring in the soft, crumbly ricotta, I still felt the need to take a pinch from the small salt dish on the table. When the original flavours of the dish compliment each other so well and the quality of the pasta is definitely the best that I've had (Yes, they've dethroned Beaufort Street Merchant in my opinion!), I'm not really going to kick up a fuss over seasoning to my own taste at the table. It was a very generous serving and I was definitely too stuffed to indulge in dessert just yet after this one!
Just as we were finishing our food, this had already become one of those dining experiences where I'm already thinking of what to enjoy next time I return. By the time we were halfway through our lunch, the restaurant began to fill to all corners - I definitely recommend reservations for weekends or for large groups. Despite how busy it was, we were quite well taken care of throughout the entire time...maybe a little too well taken care of! There was a little blunder with the service as although we were clearly done and about to call for the bill, one of the waitstaff had already served it to our table. Yes, business is business and customer turnover is important, but I still get a little irked when waitstaff take it upon themselves to deliver the bill to a table. Even if it's close to closing time, your customers will understand and appreciate you more if you politely approach the table, mention that you're closing up in x number of minutes and ask if you can offer the bill. Other than that, if we weren't in a hurry that day - I would have probably liked to stay awhile, chatted and we would have definitely ordered drinks or something sweet afterwards. But of course, that wouldn't have had the chance to happen if the premature bill syndrome cropped up!
For those who live a stone throw's away from Bib & Tucker; I'm extremely jealous! What could be more glorious then beginning your day with the sound of the seas and a coffee? Although I didn't have one this time, the fact that they start serving from 6:30AM definitely gives me all the more reason to come back again soon. I'm looking to try their breakfast menu next time - the Truffled Eggs and Huevos Divorcados definitely sound enticing. They also do a "Get your Bib On" for a table of 4 or more, which includes a fruit platter, toast with house-made jams, wood fired baked eggs and flatbread with zaatar. I think that Bib & Tucker may very well become the new No. 4 Blake Street (Breakfast|Lunch and coming soon, my Dinner Degustation posts!) for me, where I'll contract a "gotta catch them all" and aim to tackle all three Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner menus. I wouldn't hesitate to come back to enjoy the beautiful beach settings and with such vast offerings, how could I resist?