UPDATE – sadly this lovely restaurant has now permanently closed.
I went to the Red Herring for lunch today. What a delight. This is what I love about living in Perth – you can go out for a casual Sunday lunch in a fabulous setting, you don’t have to dress up too much, the produce will be local and good, the sun will shine (although it was a little showery today), and afterwards you feel fabulous – it’s like being on holiday, then you remember that you live here and you have to pinch yourself.
This was my second visit to the Red Herring, last time was fabulous, so I knew what to expect. The restaurant is right on the swan river, just on the south side of the estuary East of Freo. It has a large car park, and there is a wealth of activity going on in the river. Cruise boats chug past, it is next door to a small mooring area where the boats bob gently up and down, joggers and their dogs trot past on the footpath, and the local seabirds go about their business outside. There are mooring posts right outside where the restaurant has it’s own private jetty, and a pelican usually takes up residence on top of a post. Today was no exception and the pelican was there preeening his feathers and resting in the sunshine. Guillemots and seagulls whizz around from air to perching spots, and we watched a diving bird (which looked like a kind of white throated grebe) dive down and catch a sizeable silver fish.
Our waiter Grant, informed us that there were dolphins around, and earlier five of them had put on a display for the customers.
When you book, ask for a table by the window, then you will not miss out on the river activities.
The restaurant is fully licensed, but I chose a non alcoholic cocktail called a Drink and Drive which contains strawberries, lime and ginger ale:
The restaurant has a range of items on the menu, but I know that the fish here is very good so I chose fish and seafood courses.
For starters I ordered half a dozen oysters, but they brought me a dozen by mistake. I was allowed to eat them all for no additional charge. I like my oysters natural, with just a squeeze of lemon, but did try some with Tabasco (they brought me both varieties of Tabasco) which made a nice change.
My companion chose scampi with a verjuice and kohlrabi remoulade and a scampi bisque.
For main I had the special Red Emperor which was served with a salad of potatoes, radishes, peas and spring onion. The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked – I really enjoyed it.
My companion chose another special of barramundi which was served with a tomato and fennel risotto.
We shared a side dish of peas with speck ham and lettuce which was delicious.
Feeling nicely full, we were not sure if we would need a dessert, but decided to look at the menu and were tempted by two triumphs, firstly Apples, Apples, Apples which was a dutch apple cake with caramel sauce, an apple sorbet and a Granny Smith Apple jelly. The items on the plate complemented each other perfectly.
I chose an ice cream sandwich with chocolate mint ice cream and chocolate sauce, held together with hazelnut meringue biscuits.
The whole meal was very enjoyable, and as I left, I asked myself why I don’t dine here more often. I’ll be back very soon.