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!
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!
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.