PERTH, Australia
One thing I appreciate about Australia is its willingness to preserve the past — good or bad. Take, for example, The Stables Bar, a popular restaurant and bar built in the refurbished landmark residence and stables of 19th Century businessman Jonathon Butterworth.

The bar, tucked away in a cobblestone courtyard of the tiny Hay Street lane way in Perth’s Central Business District, is the perfect location if you want to drink outdoors on a warm night. When I went for an early dinner, the two-story bar was packed with after-work happy hour drinkers enjoying a beer or cocktail in the outdoor courtyard with strings of light bulbs or the second-floor deck with a view of the city skyline.

The dining room where I was seated had the masculine charm of a Colonial library, and like I read in many of the local reviews, the service was friendly and welcoming, making me feel like I was just going to my buddies’ home to drink and eat.

Reasonable Menu
The menu has a nice mix of bar food and dinner entrees, and for the first time during my trip I wasn’t facing sticker-shock with the prices. Many of the small plates were reasonably priced, and even the dinner entrees were comparable to San Francisco, including dishes like braised lamb shank (AUS$26 or $24.15) and whole roasted chicken (AUS$29 or $26.90).

Special of 5-spiced crispy quail with capsicum relish, AUS$16 or $14.85

Special of 5-spiced crispy quail with capsicum relish, AUS$16 or $14.85

Like what I do back home sometimes when I’m drinking alone at the bar, I created a nice meal with a few appetizers, which actually came close together one after the other to my table. I downed my food with a glass of Little Creatures Pale Ale (AUS$9 or $8.35), a popular Australian beer made in Fremantle, which I had visited earlier in the day.

To eat, I ordered a couple of daily specials, including the seared yellow fin tuna with cracked wheat and crispy white bean salad, AUS$16 or $14.85, which were chunky bites of tuna (still raw in the center) on a huge bed of the white bean and cracked wheat salad, and a plate of five-spiced crispy quail with capsicum relish, AUS$16 or $14.85. I liked how the quail was pan-fried to the right crispness, but I didn’t really detect a strong five-spice flavor.

I rounded out my meal with some vegetables, ordering a side of panzanella salad (AUS$8 or $7.40) that offered up the freshness of tomatoes and cucumbers.

The Last Bite
While the food might not be especially fancy, they work perfectly with a cold glass of beer. And with the festive vibe and welcoming staff, The Stables Bar is the type of no-fuss neighborhood spot I would drop in often and make myself a regular if I only lived in Perth.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4 camera snaps

2.5snaps

 

 

The Stables Bar, 888 Hay St., Perth, Western Australia. PH: +61(08)6314-1300. Open Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to late; closed Sunday. Reservations, major credit cards accepted. www.thestablesbar.com.au

The Stables Bar on Urbanspoon

Special seared yellow fin tuna with cracked wheat and crispy white bean salad, AUS$16 or $14.85

Special seared yellow fin tuna with cracked wheat and crispy white bean salad, AUS$16 or $14.85

Looking out from the inside bar to the guests enjoying drinks in the outdoor space.

Looking out from the inside bar to the guests enjoying drinks in the outdoor space.

Side of panzanella salad, AUS$8 or $7.40

Side of panzanella salad, AUS$8 or $7.40

 

3 Responses to A Review of The Stables Bar in Perth, Australia

  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    I like how you explored the local hangouts, not just the glam, big-name restaurants. They give you so much more insight to everyday life in the country. Looks like a fun place to gather with friends for a pint or cocktail.

    • Ben Ben says:

      This is pretty popular and have been written up a bit, but definitely a local feel. When I went everyone looked like they just got off work. I like going to places surrounded by locals, and blending in. Although my camera probably screams “tourist!” 😉

      • It’s ok to be a tourist ^_^ I am a local and I carried my camera around all the time!

        Great blog post by the way, hope you’ll enjoy your visit in Perth.