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KITSCH BAR | Leederville
I love restaurants that transport me to faraway
places. Be it with their settings or their foods,
there is nothing quite like a place that makes you
feel you are somewhere else. Step into Kitsch Bar,
Ian Lawless s much-hyped eatery in Leederville,
and you could easily feel you are in a side alley in
Bangkok or a garden restaurant in Shanghai. Per-
haps it s the lanterns, wooden benches, frangipanis
and dimly lit dining nooks. Maybe it s the singular
Asian-inspired menu. All in all, it s got a great feel.
Much of the seating is outside and would be
perfect on a balmy evening. However, the night
we went was stormy and cold, so we opted to sit
at one of a few long tables opposite the kitchen.
Order a glass of Babo "Bianco L Isolano" from
Sicily or a German Riesling and peruse the menu.
I have a girlfriend who tells me she is a little over
the whole tapas thing. Overdone, she thinks. I,
however, love it. I was brought up with my parents
constantly entertaining and it was always done with
lots of different dishes that everyone shared. It s
communal dining at its best and I tend to find it
always makes for a great night. But each to his own.
Try the sesame prawn toast with lemon and
ponzu sauce. This superb reincarnation of your
local Chinese takeaway staple is anything but ordi-
nary. The toast is crunchy and the plump prawn in
the middle is perfectly cooked. The ponzu with a
lemon twist gives it a finely crafted sweet and sour
Steamed pork dumplings were a favourite. Per-
fectly formed, steamed for just the right amount
of time and served with a hot chilli sauce, they
were melt-in-the mouth and bursting with fresh,
Opinion was divided on what was the standout
dish. The coconut mussel pancake was deli-
ciously different. Crispy wafers wrapped around
beansprouts and mussels served with green mango
and a tangy sweet chilli vinegar. Excellent. Or
the Vietnamese fried pork. Cooked as it should
be, the pork succulent and well-seasoned, with
the skin crispy and coming away nicely from the
juicy meat beneath.
If it s your thing, finish your meal with the
tapioca pearls with pandam ice cream. Creamy and
light, it s a textural experience.
A couple of dishes didn t quite hit the mark but
it didn t matter at all. Kitsch has breathed life into
a quiet part of Oxford Street -- next door to the Re
Store -- and is doing something different and excit-
ing. Check it out.
OPEN Tuesday 5pm -- 10.30pm, Wednesday to
Saturday 5pm -- midnight, and Sunday 2pm
-- 10pm. Small bar licence. 229 Oxford Street,
Leederville, (08) 9242 1229.
Twenty minutes out of Pemberton, Stonebarn
is a boutique retreat, featuring six luxuriously
appointed guest suites and situated within
160 acres of lush forest, rivers and dams.
The food was a highlight, with manager and
French chef Xavier Poupel serving some
sublime French fare. The management will
have changed by the end of May, and at
the moment we've no idea who the new
managers are going to be. It'll be interesting
to see, because this place has developed a
reputation for its fine food, available only to
guests staying at the retreat.
Vietnamese fried pork.
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