bill’s bar and bites, leederville

table

I’ve always held divided opinions about the Leederville Hotel. Built in 1897, the structure has always been an established landmark in the town’s entertainment precinct. However, over the past five years its ‘Seedy Leedy’ reputation had largely eliminated any desire I had to walk through the building’s beautifully molded door frames.

All of this changed last week, when I attended a ‘long table dinner’ within the freshly renovated interior of the Hotel’s new pop-up establishment, Bill’s Bar and Bites. After tentatively stepping over the threshold, I was immediately impressed by the beautifully relaxed aesthetic. Warm exposed brick sat comfortably beside pared-back plaster, greenery and timber furnishings, effortlessly harnessing the charm of old-meets-new.

billsoutside

Venue manager Dwight Alexander is an affable gentleman who immediately makes you feel welcome in what has become his ‘second home’. He describes the menu at Bill’s in three words: ‘perfect for sharing’. Upon tucking into a plate of salumi, jamon serrano, crumbly fourme d’ambert, pickled stone fruit and green olives, I would definitely agree.

board

sangriaAward-Winning Executive Chef Damien Young (previously of The Butterworth Bar and Kitchen) and his tattooed right-hand man, Jeremy, have created a beautiful selection of quality shareable eats that range between $4 and $15.

We started with the above mentioned charceuterie plate and some duck and manchego cigars ($5 each with piquant green tomato chutney), all of which were perfectly accompanied by a dry glass of Fino and plentiful sweet Sangria ($27 for 750ml). These were followed by my favourite dish of the night, pink snapper ceviche. Soft slivers of sweet white snapper were perfectly complimented by creamy avocado, flecks of chilli and soft green herbs in a gentle blanket of acidity. I could’ve eaten an entire serving and left feeling satisfied. It was that good.

table2

But no, I didn’t leave. Instead, I tucked into tender slow-roasted lamb shoulder accompanied by house-pickled vegetables, warm jalapenos, soft goats curd and fresh green herbs. This was followed by slow-roasted, Baharat-spiced chicken with fennel and yoghurt, warm Moreton Bay bugs (accompanied by my favourite green of the moment, salty samphire cooked in burnt butter) and a tumble of roasted radishes with slippery Tuscan kale.

lamb

As I ate, I sipped on a delicious Spanish red, Felix Solis ‘Castillo De Albai’ Tempranillo ($10 glass, $44 bottle). Speaking of beverages, Bill’s prides itself on its $15 house cocktails and an eclectic mix of hops that start at $4.50 for an Emu Export before progressing through to a pleasing range of delicious craft beers.

Emu Export. I haven’t drunk from the red can since my bonfire days as a thirteen year old in the sticks of suburbia. I might have to revisit those days of happy abandon (with a side of Fremantle sardines).

menu

Our meal finished with Bill’s ‘dessert of the day’, sweet poached pears in anise syrup, fresh oozy figs and creamy mascarpone. Whilst slathering the goodness over sweet honey-toasted brioche, discussion naturally progressed towards the future of this beautiful pop-up bar.

cutlery

Hotel general manager Jason Antczak presently states that the Bill’s concept is time-limited to nine months, after which the entire Leederville Hotel site is set to be further developed.

Whilst the creative team behind the present Bill’s incarnation (including Perth creative Cale Mason and interior designers Project BLAK) are sure to come up with something equally impressive, I have to say that I’ve already become slightly attached to the warm, inviting goodness that is Bill’s Bar and Bites. I’m certain that this new addition to the Leederville strip will soon become a favourite of many.

window

Thanks to Georgia Moore, Damien Young, Dwight Alexander and Jason Antczak for your generous hospitality during the long table dinner. *See Bill’s full menu here.

Bill’s Bar and Bites

Open 7 nights, 4pm – late

742 Newcastle St, Leederville WA

(08) 9202 8222

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30 responses

  1. Okay those poached pears in anise syrup with the figs and marscarpone have my name written all over them. Beautifully written as always
    x

    • Thank you beautiful. It’s just such a shame that the lighting didn’t do the food justice… the dessert came out close to 9.30pm and all of my photographs were positively awful despite editing! I need to take you here one day xx

  2. I love these pop up restaurants. They are becoming quite popular (not here though) and I read about ones in the UK. I think it’s a great idea and something I thought about doing.
    This place sounds great though the food sounds phenomenal! I was drooling reading your post. I hope it becomes a perms ante establishment eventually.

    • Me too, I’m loving it! I’ll be disappointed if it finally disappears. Pop-ups definitely provide a whole lot of seasonal variety though… it’s exciting to try new places that sometimes transition into something else. Wish you could come visit Naz! x

  3. Sounds like a fun evening! Great food and people — what could be better? And pop ups are such a fun concept. Good post — thanks.

    • Haha… where did that comment come from Rika? There are no photos of me in this post! But yes, I’m part Chinese. I haven’t really been brought up with the culture though so I’m terrible at Chinese cooking and I don’t have any of the language skills to speak of! And yep, the bar is definitely a keeper! x

  4. Really great review and it makes me wish I were in Australia so I could visit the restaurant. Your descriptions of the different foods had me almost drooling on my computer. What a great time you all had to have had!

  5. Sounds like you had a great night out, Laura. The dishes you were served looked fantastic! Like you, though, I’m sure that I would have ordered more than just the charcuterie platter. How could I not when that platter was so delectable? The only problem I see is that the place has such a limited engagement. This is the kind of place I’d love to frequent for quite some time.

    • Yes, I feel the same John. I do hope that the establishment hangs around after the initial pop-up period, but I guess we’ll see what happens. The quality of the food and beverages is top notch. We were very spoiled in terms of the food – such a good night!

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