A perfect view at Bib & Tucker

When it comes to beautiful beaches, we’re pretty blessed in our state with a plethora to choose from. And as the sun comes out and sparkles down on the water, it’s the perfect excuse to head down to the seaside to enjoy what we have right on our doorstep. Finding an appreciation for nature and the ocean is very easy when you go to a venue like Bib & Tucker in North Fremantle. Open, wooden decking with a view over white sand and crystal water… it’s the ideal spot to while away your weekend days. So on Sunday, that’s exactly what my friends and I did. 

To my own surprise, I haven’t actually had a normal meal at Bib & Tucker yet! I’ve eaten their food at the Taste of Perth festival and chomped my way through a special cocktail dinner for the launch of Truffle Kerfuffle earlier this year. So I was really excited to be a ‘normal diner’ and see Head Chef Scott Bridger and his team have to offer.

The name comes from a tale of two bushrangers 1978 called Bib and Tucker and seeks to embody their ‘elegant rascality’. With the decor laid back but impressive, there’s an open view of not just the water, but also into the kitchen which is definitely something I like to perve on. The food is fresh, with most of the produce locally sourced – all contributing to their modern Australian menu style.

We arrive at 12pm for lunch, only waiting about five minutes before we’re attended to, and another couple minutes before being shown to a table. I’m really surprised since normally the wait list is quite lengthy (I’ve tried to eat here a couple times but given up because I was too hungry to wait) since it’s such a popular spot. It seems fate is on our side and I’m definitely not complaining – happy to sink into the strangely low chairs as we take in our surroundings. It’s so bright and airy!

We start things off by ordering a juice each. Vee, Jay and I opt for a fresh orange juice ($7.00) while Linda opts for a fresh orange, apple and watermelon juice ($7.00). I love that they come out in the plastic sealed cups like you’d find at a bubble tea place! 
The orange juice is fantastic – teetering on that tightrope of sour and sweet, while screaming with orange goodness. It just sings in my mouth and while initially I think it’s a little on the pricier side of juices, the size of the drink is more than reasonable so I’m definitely happy. 

The menu at lunchtime at Bib & Tucker is extensive, and it seriously takes us about 15 minutes or so to choose. There’s definitely a case to share, with some incredible items like the duck tacos and charcoal roasted cuttlefish jumping out at me. But we all decide to order separately so I make a mental note to bring my boy back for lunch when he’s finally off weekends next year.

For her lunch, Vee orders a dish Linda tells us has been her go to menu item the last few times she’s been there. It’s also definitely on my shortlist to order – the 12 hour warm lamb salad with Israeli couscous, saffron, zucchini, mint, dukkah and labne ($29.00). It looks amazing! A beautiful mound of yellow couscous from the use of saffron supports tender, juicy segments of lamb and cool, refreshing zucchini ribbons. I love anything with dukkah as it’s something I make at home often, and adore that combination of spices which are the perfect accompaniment to lamb.

Both Linda and Jay order a serve of the soft shell crab slider ($9.00) to enjoy alongside their lunch items. It’s a glossy bun with a generous serving of the crisp crab, avocado, green chilli and cordiander. I have to admit I was tempted to get one too but I made do with a bite of Linda’s. This will definitely be something I order all for myself when I return – it’s such a great combination of ingredients and smacks you in the mouth with flavour. I don’t think I’ll ever get over my love affair with crunchy soft shell crab.

Deciding not to go for her warm lamb salad again on this visit, Linda orders the bruschetta which comes with goats cheese, wilted greens, pea shoots, crispy pancetta and a 62 degree egg ($24.00). It’s drizzled with some sticky balsamic vinegar to draw out the flavours on the plate. I love a good slow cooked egg and while I was too busy eating to snap a pic of that tantalising yolk porn dance as it bursts forth, let me say it was definitely seductive.

I actually didn’t get to try this dish, but Linda tells us it’s nice, though she pushes the wilted greens to one side – they’re not to her liking and she tells me she didn’t realise it would be those particular kinds of greens. That being said though, everything else on her plate is gobbled up quickly – and I particularly like the sound of the crisp pancetta snapping as she bites into it.

Jay actually surprises me with his order of the ocean trout tartare ($23.00). It’s only when it comes out that he confesses he didn’t realise it was raw – but that it tastes good. Phew! It looks beautiful, those chunky but even diced cubes of trout sitting atop a harissa aioli and accompanied by a watercress salad and strips of crispy skin.

I try a bit and it tastes as delicious as it looks. Soft, unctuous and well flavoured with the addition of dill. There’s something very enticing for me about raw fish – I can never get enough, so this is a dish right up my alley. In fact if my memory serves me it’s the one I ordered at Taste of Perth from the Bib & Tucker stand!

My lunch choice of the large tostada with quinoa, charred corn, avocado, pomegranate, orange tahini sauce and fresh herbs ($22.00) is just plain gorgeous. While I’m all too happy often to eat vegetarian dishes, on this occasion I decided to add on chicken ($6.00) even though it’s a protein I’m not that partial to. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll fight you for a piece of fried chicken (especially a drumstick) but in general, I grew up in a house where chicken was more of a rarity due to my mum being worried about the hormones injected into them. Nowadays where free range, organic and hormone free chicken is more readily available, it does appear a little bit more often when she cooks us dinner. 
The salad is everything I hoped it would be, and immediately I start memorising the flavours so I can try and roughly recreate it at home when the whim strikes me. I know some people avoid quinoa because it’s the ‘in thing’ with health nuts, but I actually am quite partial to it. I like the slight nuttiness, the texture and the way it absorbs the flavours it’s cooked with. I often will stock up on supplies of quinoa at Kakulus, where it’s much cheaper than supermarkets. 
When I told my boy about my salad he couldn’t help but remark that it sounded like lots of my favourite things on a plate. He’s right! The charred corn is sweet and smoky, offering little bursts of juice as I bite down. The pomegranates are also sweet, but slightly sour too which is perfect for balance in the salad against the creamy avocado. I enjoy the dish so much, and even the chicken is tasty – perfectly cooked with not even a hint of dryness even though it’s breast meat. 
I also order a serve of the hand cut chips with rosemary salt and aioli ($9.00) for us all to share… though Vee and I seem to polish most of them off! They definitely hit the spot and while there’s not many of my usually desired crunchy chips, the softness of the potato works well with the creamy aioli. I like that they’ve kept the skin on them, there’s so much flavour in that part of the potato!
After we finish eating we’re all feeling quite full and sated. It’s such a lovely way to spend a Sunday catching up with your best friends and soaking in the sun and view. In summer this will definitely be the place to be for a meal and drink, so I’ll need to make sure I get back soon before the hoards of crowds get even larger. 
We could have sat there forever but there was a line of patiently waiting diners, so in the end we finished up at that point, taking our leave from Bib & Tucker and heading over to Claremont Quarter to see our friend Salma’s newly opened store, Gyptian. Make sure you check it out! There’s some truly gorgeous leather bags, jewellery and homewares all at a decent price. You can spy some of the goods below (I have that cream bag and yes, it is amazing). 

I’m so glad I finally got to experience a proper dining meal at Bib & Tucker  Hearing very mixed reviews, it’s always nice to be able to decide for yourself and for me, I liked the day so much. It’s healthy, delicious and fresh food which is exactly what you would want when eating next to the beach. While the prices are a little on the dear side, I guess that’s somewhat normal for restaurants water adjacent. But in saying that, I didn’t feel that I was being ripped off for the prices we paid – and I was definitely full when we left!

Yes, the service is a little hit and miss but I think it’s due to the size of the venue. While everyone was friendly and helpful, we were initially seated at a table that was actually reserved for a large group and then moved on to another table. That didn’t bother us at all, we were happier to be on a private four person table instead of a share bench. And placing our orders was easy – it was only when we were done and trying to get a server’s attention so we could pay that I could see what people meant by some service issues – it took forever and in the end we gave up and went to the counter to take matters into our own hands. However all of that being said, it was just a minor blip and didn’t change my opinion of Bib & Tucker. Will I be back soon? Yes, definitely, I really enjoyed it. It’s refreshing and tasty and has a view worth returning for alone.

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  • Reply
    Martine @ Chompchomp
    11 November 2014 at 11:49 pm

    I have only been here for the TK launch and then tried their food at Taste. I do need to check them out as a "normal" customer!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    13 November 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I was exactly the same until this trip there! But it was sooooo good 🙂 loved it!

  • Reply
    17 November 2014 at 5:37 am

    I ALWAYS order that lamb salad whenever I go. The tacos are incredible too, def need to order them when you go next time!!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    17 November 2014 at 11:47 am

    I had my eye on the duck tacos! I'll have to remember to get them next time, hopefully I'll be back soon 🙂

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