Strange Company, Perth

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

It's all happening in Fremantle. Not only has the local footy team locked up the minor AFL premiership, but Western Australia's port city is kicking majors in terms of eating and drinking, too. Last week we shared the joys of Manuka Woodfire Kitchen; now we turn our attention to Strange Company, a confident newcomer that has hit the ground running. From its comely aesthetic to the earnest welcome and winning drinks list, Strange Company nails the essentials. The food offering is just as likeable. Cheese and cured meat boards work for group situations, but the really good stuff is in the "bites" section of the menu. Grilled sardine and baby broad beans on toast, and prawn cocktail on brioche are winning exponents of the delicious things-plus-bread formula while a deft arrangement of charred baby Brussels sprouts and tempura-fried broccoli betray chef Ricky Mandozzi's adventurous streak. These plates might be priced and built for one, but there's enough good eating on offer to turn any after-work tipple into dinner and drinks. And isn't that the sort of (pleasant) distraction we all look for in a good local?

Strange Company, 5 Nairn St, Fremantle, WA, (08) 9431 7373, Mon-Thu 4pm-midnight, Fri-Sat 2pm-midnight, Sun 2pm-10pm

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