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Budburst, Perth

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Budburst, Perth.

Are you workshopping the idea of opening a neighbourhood bar? Before you go registering social media handles, hit the newly opened Budburst for a masterclass in getting the fundamentals right. This might be Rachael Niall's first tilt at the role of publican, but years in the wine industry have given her a keen sense for what works. Gracious, guest-centric service, comfortable stools at a copper bar of sensible height and a thrillingly succinct wine list that takes in everything from slurpable Corsican pinot noir to wild-fermented South African chenin blanc (and that's just by the glass): it's a compelling package, especially once you factor in the kitchen's contributions. While Budburst prescribes to the small-plate school, veteran chef Gwanael Lesle has eschewed the modish Latin tropes in favour of cooking closer to his Gallic heart. Great charcuterie and an utterly satisfying croque-monsieur are wins for the old school, while braised lamb neck and cumquats with a savoury, spiced eggplant reduction betray an adventurous streak. A welcome addition to Mount Hawthorn's ranks.

Budburst, 406 Oxford St, Mt Hawthorn, WA, (08) 9444 3406

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