A few beautiful curves

Perth. The dullest place on Earth. 2000KM from Adelaide, which in itself is a big country town. Melbourne, is the epicentre of Aussie cool… or a second class London... All statements leveled my way in the last few months and all complete bullshit. This isn’t so much a full on defence of Perth more a few points to those who aren’t sold on this city. I obviously have a bit of a thing for this place, otherwise I wouldn’t have moved 14500 km (9000 miles in old money) to live here. I’ve got to say the city on the Swan River – the most isolated developed city in the world – has thrown me a few beautiful curves that I didn’t expect.


Perth’s summer festival season is in full swing with the Perth International Arts Festival and Fringe serving up a programme that is sure to meet the cultural needs of even the most ardent Perth detractor. My main festival picks are still to come but the Rachael Dease show, City of Shadows, was an unexpected joy. If a show about a grainy black and white world of murder, suicide and the darker side of human nature can be a joy. It works for Nick Cave I suppose. A hit with audiences in New York and a winner of last years Fringe, I was lucky to get a chance to see it. The clip below gives you an idea.

Away from the Festival, there’s Street Art, Street Food and… Beer. Which as some will know are a few things that make me tick. A city where people write on walls is my kind of place. The street food movement is taking off and there’ll surely be a further boom in this area.


The beer… sure, it’s $10 upwards a pint but it’s good beer and that’s worth paying for (I’m half way to not flinching when I get the bill). Mainly drinking the likes of Feral, Nail, Little Crteatures and the brewers of the Eastern states I’ll give a particular mention to the pint of 5AM Saint I had recently.  On keg, it was easily the best i’ve had… anywhere. Whether this says something about consistency, how a beer copes with travel, I’m not sure. It was just a nice reminder of home. One day it’ll perhaps be a keg of Magic Rock or The Kernel, but maybe this is a hop dream too far.


A few beautiful curves

Five, Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley, Perth

On my last visit to Perth back in 2010 the charms of 399 won me over. The relatively new bar had the perfect mix of service, style and character. On my return to Perth it’s Five, from the same team that once again impresses.


Set amongst the sprawl of bars on Beaufort Street our taxi driver isn’t quite sure which bar we are talking about. Luckily I have the Meister, to guide us to Five. It’s a bigger venue than 399 but the service and charm isn’t diluted. Our barman is nothing short of excellent, pouring water as we take a seat at the bar, offering a small sample of the Feral IPA when we show interest and shares his knowledge of the beer being served. This would have scored highly with me alone. Then comes the clincher. We are directed to the bottled list which is more than just a handful of big name European beers and a few Aussies for good measure, which I’ve seen alot elsewhere. It’s a great list whether you are looking to keep it local or want to taste the wares of a who’s who of European brewing (i’m particularly excited to find Mikkeler) – it’s the best of both worlds.

It’s Victoria’s Mountain Goat, Hightail Ale for me and a taste of Scotland for Meister with a Brewdog 5am Saint.


Further visits to Five only go to cement my view that this is a true Perth gem. Our barman Shane, recognises me from the previous visit, talks confidently about the beer and is able to make local recommendations. You may want to ask him to do his “London walk”. It’s pretty accurate.

With Feral’s Hop Hog IPA on tap and Jerry Fraser, Perth’s Oyster King in residence there’s no choice opn our final visit but to settle in for a Sunday Session.

Five, Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley, Perth

Five, Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley, Perth