Based at the iconic Swan Brewery in Perth, and right on the river, there couldn’t be a better location for dinner. Previously this restaurant was Zafferanos, a stuffy and lacklustre Italian based joint that seemed stuck in the 70s with its cheese and cream heavy menu, so I am pleased to say that Cooee’s fresh, friendly approach to Modern Australian food is a breath of fresh air to this establishment. With head chef Alan Wise in place, the menu is appetising and delicious, and the vibe is definitely more upbeat, smart-casual and welcoming.
We booked fairly late in the proceedings and were offered a place on the long table with stools, or a small table at the back with high chairs with backs in them. Comfort is everything to me when eating, and I like my chair to have a back in it, so we chose the higher chairs. It was fine, but the waitress then offered us another table with a better view as long as we vacated it in time for the next occupants – we agreed to the deal and ended up on a nice table overlooking the river.
We were intrigued by some of the the wines on the menu and asked to try the vermentino, but when sampled, we weren’t keen, so decided to go for a Great Southern La Violetta sparkling rose, which was very drinkable. The waitress was very patient while we perused our choices.
The menu is designed for sharing or not, with smaller plates and larger plates. I love it when I can’t decide because the choices all seem so nice, and Cooee didn’t disappoint. I could have gone for vegan or vegetarian choices (both were available), but decided to go with a fish based meal. Choices for small plates included oysters, mussels, sashimi, pork belly, mushrooms, cauliflower etc. and larger plates included chicken, leeks, zucchini, steak, fish and wagyu.
I started with Fremantle octopus with vietnamese mint, lime and chilli. Beautifully cut slivers of octopus in a piquant dressing. This was lovely and fresh, clean and nourishing – the raw chilli was a little hot for me, but my partner happily stole my chilli to add to his own dish.
My partner chose the vegan mushroom tartare with radish and potato crisps (and my added chilli of course!). Again a delicious starter, and how can you go wrong with crisps on a plate – he was in heaven.
We both chose the fish for main which was Rankin cod with lemon, lentils, chives and capers. Sides were broccolini with crispy shallots and a hearty bowl of chips, skin on and perfectly fried. Everything was good – the fish was fresh and delicious, with a great balance of piquancy from the capers, lemon and chives.
We looked at the dessert menu and decided to pass as everything, tempting as it was, contained dairy. It would have been nice to see a non-dairy dessert option, but we were fairly full anyway.
Staff were friendly and inviting, and I enjoyed my experience here – will definitely be back for another visit.
Last visit date – February 2021