Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Contents 68 scoop WINTER 2010
William Street creates sensory overload.
The pungent smell of an Asian mar-
ket (this finely tuned snout detected
notes of dried shrimp, dumplings and crisp pastries);
the haunting sounds of solo chanting emanating
from the Perth Mosque and the sight of slender-
limbed fashionistas swinging their oversized handbags
flood my first impressions of this urban footpath.
A short walk from the heart of Northbridge, I
wasn t quite sure what to expect of my adventure
up William Street. Known more for its nightclubs
and misdemeanours, would this goody-two-shoes
find anything to do that would still make her
mama proud? But, considering I had chosen
mid-Saturday afternoon to explore, my dignity was
unlikely to go awry and I sauntered in, ready to
discover why the masses have been flocking here.
In recent times, the section between Brisbane
and Newcastle Streets has built a solid reputation
for Asian eateries, with names such as Viet Hoa and
The Red Teapot garnering a dedicated following.
The Red Teapot was closed but Viet Hoa was still
packed to the rafters with hungry diners tucking
into wide bowls of soup and plates piled high with
noodles and sizzling meats.
A few stops on from Viet Hoa, I stumbled
across an old hunting ground, The Moon Cafe,
where many delicious midnight feeds with
drunken girlfriends had occurred in my younger,
wilder days. The only craziness occurring at
The Moon on this Saturday afternoon was verbal
warfare, with the Perth Poetry Club members
waxing lyrical to their hearts content. Every
Saturday between 2pm and 4pm, the Club meets
to hear featured guests speak and to share their
own works on an open stage. The Club draws an
eclectic crowd of around 30 to 40 and they welcome
all and sundry (visit perthpoetryclub.com for more).
Back out on the street, the buzz made me feel
as though I was on holiday.
Shoppers rushed by with bags bursting with
groceries -- William Street is the perfect place to
hunt down unusual ingredients for Asian cooking.
My foodie instincts pulled me into The Indian
Supermarket where I goggled at the aisles filled
with a multitude of chutneys, from green tamarind
to spicy mango, countless varieties of incense sticks
and a wide selection of ayurvedic teas (the tulsi
mint has been my drink of choice since).
While Asian groceries dominate the strip,
fashion is still present in the form of Lala Orange
and William Topp. Right next to The Red Teapot,
Lala Orange is a small boutique with racks of
Australia s latest fashion talent, and vintage pieces
for guys and girls. They ve recently branched into
homewares, gifts and magazines so it s a good spot
to browse for birthday presents or maybe a little
somethin somethin just for you. Lala Orange is
open Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 6pm and
Saturday from 11am until 5pm.
William Topp is closer to Brisbane Street but
worth the extra steps to have a look. For the
person who s difficult to shop for, the quirky finds
in William Topp should provide some inspiration.
Brightly coloured new and old (depending on your
feelings about things from the 70s and 80s being
old ) homewares, furniture, jewellery and gifts are
sourced from Italy and Scandinavia, plus there are
plenty of Australian designers. The shop is open
Tuesday to Friday from 11am til 6pm, Saturday
from 11am until 5pm, and Sunday from 11am til
4pm (visit williamtopp.com which regularly alerts
shoppers to the store s sales).
After all the shopping, there s nothing better
than sitting down with your partner-in-crime
to gloat over who has the best purchases with a
martini. What? It was Saturday afternoon after
all! Make your way to 399 Bar where you can pull
up a stool or spread out in a booth with a glass of
wine or, like me, something in a cone-shaped glass.
Just make sure you have a spare jumper if you visit
after the football as no "team jumpers" are allowed.
I m tempted to return on a Tuesday for 399 s
$20 deal of a Chicago-style hot dog and Plymouth
martini, but I m afraid for my pristine reputation.
I must have a friend who has a Tuesday birthday
coming up... if not, it s time I sought one out,
because I know just the place I ll take them.
HOLIDAY AT HOME
William Street, Highgate
« by lisa o'neill
"BACK OUT ON THE STREET,
THE BUZZ MADE ME FEEL AS
THOUGH I WAS ON HOLIDAY...
SHOPPERS RUSHED BY WITH
BAGS BURSTING... I GOGGLED AT
AISLES FILLED WITH CHUTNEYS
AND INCENSE STICKS."
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