It's a good time to be a wine drinker in Perth. Restaurant wine lists have never been bolder or more diverse; burger fans can smash glasses of skin-contact chenin blanc and chilled reds at selected Short Order Burger Co and Hoodburger outposts; and wine bar numbers continue to grow with heavy hitters such as Casa, Petition Wine Merchant and former GT Bar of the Year Wines of While spearheading the movement out west.
The newest member of this grape-loving fraternity is Bar Rogue, a cosy, split-level space opened in December by Sarah and Liam Atkinson of Le Rebelle fame. Banquettes and other couple-friendly settings dominate the ground floor: a Tinder hotspot in waiting. Groups congregate on the mezzanine where they'll find large tables, the semi-open kitchen, plus a framed black-and-white photo of Meatloaf (the late singer, not the dish). While there's no meatloaf on the menu, there is a fine duck scotch egg made with merguez-spiced lamb. Crunchy, delicious and nostalgic, it's a fine advertisement for Bar Rogue's full-throttle style of snacking. Although crisp-shelled lobster "tacos", spiced tofu curry puffs and the aforementioned scotch egg work as meals for one, Bar Rogue's menu is best tackled with pals, especially pals that crush on Asian flavours as much as head chef Sofika Boulton does.
Beef short ribs cut LA-style across the bone are marinated Korean-style and grilled in a Big Green Egg to produce cow of pleasing savour and chew. Betel leaf parcels of smoked oysters and pickled rockmelon draw simultaneously on the worlds of Thai cooking and Tim Burton. (The Siamese call this miang: here it's "Beteljuice! Beteljuice! Beteljuice!") Hunks of cold, boneless fried chicken with a fragrant yuzu sauce summon the ghosts of lemon chicken past. Eating leftovers straight out the fridge never felt so bougie, not least because Bar Rogue's version comes with fromage blanc and caviar, plus the bar's booze selection – below-the-radar wines from around the world, imaginative cocktails, Aussie beers – is packed with interest.
Now factor in a squad of front-of-house professionals and you're looking at a polished newcomer whose arrival promises good things for both wine fans and the Beaufort Street area.
Things along this inner-city thoroughfare feel like they're picking up as recent arrivals (Si Paradiso, Le Rebelle) join seasoned campaigners (El Publico, Mary Street Bakery) in their mission to advance the local food and drink discussion. Is Perth about to witness the rebirth of a beloved precinct? It's too early to tell, so watch this space. We know an excellent new address to do this watching from.