The Standard

Standard

Photography by Ross Wallace

standard 1Don’t tell my husband this, but I fall in love really easily. And all the time. Not with charming Italian men (one was enough, thank you very much), but with bars. Each new watering hole that pops up around town – and lately there have been plenty – becomes my new favourite. There’s Lot Twenty for its stay-all-day courtyard and surprisingly awesome food; The Flour Factory for its epic selection of digestifs and cured meats; and The Dominion League for the sheer fact that it launched with a Northbridge-wide parade, complete with a full brass marching band and cartwheeling kids. Can you really blame my fickle heart?

But anyone could fall in love with The Standard in Northbridge. First, there’s its fortuitous position on Roe Street. To the front is the new City Link Project, set to connect the CBD and Northbridge, and also to become Perth’s new civic hub. To the back, The Standard’s cosy courtyard – half of which is raised on a shipping container – looks onto newly reactivated Nick’s Lane, home to Sneaky Tony’s (a neighbouring small bar that’s equally swoon-worthy) and an upcoming small bar offering from Connections.

If that doesn’t win you over, then the bar’s jaunty vibe might. Pearl Jam and The Ramones play on the stereo, stacks of cinder blocks constitute the bar and wine racks, and blown-up photographs in Polaroid frames reveal the venue’s origins as an Italian social club and clandestine gambling den.

But it’s the food and wine that has my heart pattering. Chef Chase Weber, who made a name for himself rattling the pans at No 4 Blake Street, has outdone himself with a collection of clever, beautifully presented and affordable share plates. This is not your typical bar food.

Take the croquettes, for instance. Instead of gloopy, potato-and-cheese-filled balls, these are light and crispy crumbed shells filled with pigtails (yes, really) that are incredibly tender and juicy. Only the texture throws me – it’s exactly what I’d expect little pigtails to feel like on my tongue, and I can’t shake Babe from my mind. The three croquettes sit on a zippy beetroot puree topped with toasted hazelnuts and pickled horseradish for a bit of texture and zing. Their deliciousness overrides my guilt.

The seafood charcuterie board is outstanding. Ocean trout sashimi sit alongside an open tin of Don Bocarte anchovies and King George whiting escabeche. Alongside are thick slices of house-baked sourdough and the best kimchee cauliflower I’ve ever tasted.

But the standout dish is the lamb belly, which Chase explains takes three full days to cook. It’s juicy, extremely rich, and balanced by a forkful of the accompanying sweet and sour eggplant salad, the ginger grapefruit dressing cutting through the fat in the meat.

Throw in the friendly service, adventurous wine list and the rocking, summer-ready courtyard, and well, you’re bound to fall in love, too. Don’t worry, I can share.

By Renee Bergere

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Categories: Bars, Restaurants

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2 Comments on “The Standard”

  1. January 19, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

    Still can’t believe that my bogan town from 20 years ago is turning into this cool, boho vibe town. Loving these latest editions to Perth.

  2. gabrielletrenbath
    February 17, 2015 at 9:54 am #

    I visited the standard for the first time the other day and loved it.

    http://www.blogsbygabrielle.blogspot.com

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