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20 great Perth dishes for under $20

A taste sensation for under a twenty is something to cherish

Canteen Pizza
Photograph: Supplied/Rebecca Mansell Marinara pizza from Canteen Pizza, $20
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Perth’s vibrant food scene has no shortage of treats that won’t bust your weekly budget. These dishes are creative, tasty and made by Perth’s most innovative chefs. And you can dine in confidence knowing these places accept your American Express® Card.



Photograph: Max Brearley
Restaurants, Seafood

Avocado, sourdough, poached egg and hummus at Odyssea, $19

City Beach

Coastal dining options have stepped up in recent years and Odyssea is one of the key players in this oceanside boom. Here, good coffee and next-level breakfast plates are the order of the day. Thick-cut wedges of sourdough toast, charred on the grill, are laden with avocado, an oozy poached egg and fresh coriander. A thick savoury hummus and seeds add texture. But there’s more, with the warmth of chilli coming through and sweet jewels of pomegranate. A winner.

Photograph: Max Brearley
Restaurants, Modern Australian

Duck thigh, celery, buttermilk and Davidson plum at Balthazar, $18

Perth Central

Known as one of the CBD’s best restaurants, Balthazar is also undoubtedly one of its best wine bars as well. The informal bar area is the perfect place for a few smaller plates and a look at the extensive wine list. Sliced duck thigh, meat succulent and skin crisp, is the hero, served in buttermilk, with a scattering of shoots and fennel pollen. While there are less formal plates, this is a chance to dip in and out of one of the CBD’s best menus.

Photograph: Max Brearley
Restaurants, Italian

Zia’s Crostoli at Lulu La Delizia, $9


While Joel Valvasori-Pereza is known as Perth’s top pastaio, turning his hand to daily specials, there are a few must-have sweet staples on the menu of his Subiaco pasta bar. Zia’s Crostoli is his version of the Venetian pastry that some will know as Angel’s Wings. Ribbons of fried pastry, dusted in sugar, they’re crisp and surprisingly light. While icing sugar is the norm, Valvasori sticks true to his family recipe, with granulated sugar.

Heritage Wine Bar
Photograph: Max Brearley
Bars, Wine bars

Tomato nectarine, buckwheat, elderflower at the Heritage Wine Bar, $18

Perth Central

With chef Matt Carulei in the kitchen and one of the CBD’s best by-the-glass selections, Heritage Wine Bar has been turning heads of late. Using late-season tomatoes that sing variety and colour, Carulei hits the mark on salt, sugar and acid. Elderflower from his own garden adds a taste of his own English heritage, used in a cordial and to dress the dish.

Bar five
Photograph: Max Brearley
Bars, Wine bars

Steak tartare at Five Bar, $20


Five Bar in Mount Lawley has the feel of a Beaufort Street original these days. Alongside a solid drinks offering, Five is pushing a pub-style menu with a wealth of well priced options. The steak tartare is at the rustic end of the scale: diced rump steak with Worcestershire sauce, capers, shallots, gherkins and parsley in the mix. A generous heap of crisp crostini hits the bread-to-tartare ratio perfectly.

Photograph: Max Brearley

Mac ’n’ cheese bites at the Merrywell, $18


Crown Towers has its fair share of fine dining options in Rockpool, Bistro Guillaume and Nobu, but sometimes you need the sheer comfort of a pub menu. The Merrywell offers this in spades. Mac ’n’ cheese bites are straight from the fryer, hot, a crisp outer shell giving way to oozy cheese. Basic smoky barbecue sauce and a cold beer complete the comfort.

Photograph: Max Brearley
Restaurants, Indian

Lamb ribs at Sauma, $16

Perth Central

Twice cooked, marinated in sweet tamarind and served with chilli, radish and fresh coriander, this dish is the definition of kickass. It all hangs upon its lengthy method of chargrilling, braising, resting and marinating before the ribs are fried on service. It’s a process that takes up to 2 days and is gone in seconds. An outer pungent crust of tamarind gives way to to sticky lamb with a pleasing elasticity.

Photograph: Max Brearley
Bars, Wine bars

Calamari, pangrattato, brava at Shadow Wine Bar, $15


Not to underestimate Sue Hutchins’ full menu at Shadow, there’s a certain joy in the small plates of the bar menu: simple, well balanced dishes that are perfect fare for a quick glass and a bite to eat. Calamari lightly fried, with a crisp pangrattato (bread crumb) running alongside offers texture. With a squeeze of lemon and paired with wines from home and away, one plate can easily turn into three or four.

West Ku de Ta kingfish sashimi
Photograph: Max Brearley
Bars, Cocktail bars

Smoked kingfish sashimi, mandarin, and furikake at West, Ku De Ta, $19

Perth Central

The various faces of Ku De Ta are carving out a stellar reputation riverside. While there may have been a few opening bumps the menu at casual diner West is kicking serious goals. Firm smoked kingfish sashimi is a standout, served with a mandarin gel, and sprinkled with Japanese dry seasoning furikake. Mild white kimchi, made in house, shows a high level of care with this dish.

The Reveley
Photograph: Max Brearley
Bars, Pub dining

Wagoga Gardens at the Reveley, $18

Perth Central

From the first floor dining room at the Reveley you can see Elizabeth Quay taking shape. Wagoda Gardens – proudly billed by the server as vegan and delicious – is a construction of heirloom carrots, samphire, radish, zucchini, apple, and a linseed crisp that mirrors the cranes on the Quay. A lupin purée adds texture among savoury and sweet notes.

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