Small Bars

Small Bars – Old Faithful

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Old Faithful – 86 King St, Perth

This place is another of my favourite small bars in Perth and I think it might just be my favourite food place in Perth as well. Old Faithful, in my opinion, is the absolute best Beer & BBQ place I’ve ever been to. If you love slow smoked meats then this is the place for you, and you should be able to afford it, even on a backpacker budget. I don’t think I’m the only one that loves this place either as they won Small Bar of the Year 2014.

About 10-15 minutes walk from our hostel is Old Faithful. Located on King St (down Murray St, towards West Perth), it’s pretty easy to miss unless you know what you’re looking for. If you’re heading down Murray St towards West Perth, King St is a small street running perpendicular to Murray St. Turn right into King St and it’s down the street on the right hand side, almost all the way to Wellington St.

The best thing about this place is the smell. Old Faithful is famous for their smoked meats  and the smell drifts out into the street; you’ll start drooling before you even walk through the door. When you do enter, the smell is unreal and your mouth will literally flood with saliva (or maybe that’s just me).

Seating at Old Faithful is mostly communal, with big wooden tables. They don’t take reservations, so you might have to hang around for a little bit, but generally waiting times are short. The decor is great, modern, but not pretentious. This is a place where you can relax and really dig in and enjoy your food, without it being fussy.

Pick what you want from the menu and head up to the counter at the back to place your order. You’re generally served straight away as all the meat, salads and other bits and bobs are ready to go straight away. Food is served on a big tray, with the food being loaded onto greaseproof paper or into little cups.

I can’t rave enough about the food. Obviously, if you aren’t a big meat fan, or aren’t a fan of smoked food then this place isn’t for you. If you are, then I really don’t think that the menu will disappoint you. Food is very reasonably priced for the quality and portion sizes and the flavours of the smoked meat are out of this world. My personal favourites are the Beef Fingers, Pig Ribs, Smoked Links and the Cornbread with Maple Butter. When I say favourites, what I really mean is that these are the items I usually order. Honestly, everything on the menu is damn good and I’ve never been disappointed by any of it.

A small selection of the meats available from Old Faithful

The home-made BBQ sauces on each table are the perfect accompaniment to the meat and are incredibly tasty.

So far, I’ve focused on the food, which you might think is strange since this place is a bar. The only reason I have done so is that to walk in here and leave without at least trying the food is almost criminal. It is that good.

That’s not to say that the drinks aren’t good! Old Faithful serves some amazing beer and cocktails. They have a great selection of Feral Beers (one of the best local craft beers around) on tap, including the usual suspects, Hop Hog and Sly Fox (my two favourites) as well as other beers and usually at least one cider. The beer really complements the BBQ, which was highlighted for me when I attended a special evening jointly hosted by both Old Faithful and Feral. You really need to try the combination of these beers and this BBQ.

Doesn’t the beer look good?

The cocktails are well crafted and also complement the BBQ well, although for me, personally, I think that the beer just sits better with the BBQ.

Watermelon Warhead – Feral Brewery

I really, really recommend this place and I hope this little write-up gives you some incentive to go and try it because I can’t recommend it enough. Don’t be afraid to dig in with your hands, in my opinion you should dive in and enjoy the food with as many senses as you can. If you want to take me with you as well to show you the way and recommend some things to try, I’ll be happy to do it for the price of my meal!

Small Bars – Mechanics Institute

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In Perth we’re lucky enough to have some excellent small bars, all just around the corner from The Emperor’s Crown. Slowly, one by one, we are going to list our favourites to give you something new to try while in Perth.

Mechanics Institute – Rear 222 William St, Northbridge

This is one of my favourite spots for a quiet drink. The entrance is down a little laneway just off James St, between the State Library and William St. Head up some steps and onto the deck and you’re there.

They serve some great drinks (and also food, mainly burgers, from Flipside down below). They have a good selection of craft beers, both local and international and mix up some great cocktails. They also serve booze and apple, basically your choice of alcohol with a freshly blitzed apple thrown in on top – refreshing, possibly healthy and maybe a little dangerous!

The staff are absolutely awesome, great at cocktails, friendly people with just the right amount of sarcasm added in.

If you’re a smoker, there’s a whole portion of the deck for smokers, allowing you to have a smoke while you drink, which is something of a rarity in Perth. It’s still perfect for non-smokers though as there is plenty of non-smoking seating available!

Still on my list to try is the Mechanics Institute Bloody Mary (pictured below). Looks like a perfect hangover drink to me…



This place is definitely worth trying, just trust us on this one.