Most people in Perth have heard of Clancy’s and it’s association as a place to visit for seafood. For me, I always think of the Fremantle version – for my friends they often refer to the Cannington one. But I’ve only recently been informed that there is actually one not too far from where I live, over in City Beach. Cue the ideal place to dine at while one of my best friends, Carly and I catch up.
The setting here is very beach shack meets fishing boat; the clientele perched high on stools or low on wooden chairs. It’s loud and bustly and the staff are young but relatively attentive (though we were given water immediately… but never any glasses to drink it with).
We arrive for an early dinner since I’m a bit on the feeling sorry for myself side after an epic night of drinking at Rottnest, which lazing on the beach during the day has only helped so much.
The menu at Clancy’s is quite large, with offerings from sea to land to everything in between. But after a night at the Rottnest Hotel eating pizzas and other extremely heavy food items, I need something fresh but hearty. The Chilli Mussels with Sourdough ($26) immediately leap out at me from the page. I love chilli mussels.
When they come out they look so promising; a nice haphazard pile of mussels with chunks of tomato and garlic clinging to the shells. The sourdough is a generous little loaf that I quickly ask for butter to accompany since there’s not very much sauce at the bottom of my chilli mussels bowl.
The mussels taste good and have been cooked to just the right point. But I’m a bit disappointed in the lack of chilli used and the stinginess of the sauce. It needs a greater depth to the thickness and serving itself. It’s just that little bit watery and because there’s not much there it cools fast and isn’t able to keep my mussels warm (they’re stone cold by the time I finish eating).
Carly’s chosen the Grilled Fresh Fish + Chips, Tartare, Pickled Onion & Fresh Greens ($29.50) for her main.
The salad is vibrant and is more eyecatching than the fish, which looks a bit pale and like the grill marks are more for show than to contribute to the cooking process. The fish itself tastes really fresh, which is all you can really ask for! It’s flaky and grilled in a way that retains all the tastes needed when eating this food item. It looks a bit dry which it is on the outside, but the inside is really enjoyable and juicy. The chips are chunky and starchy and go down a treat with my hangover.
We share a helping of the Fried Polenta Chips ($6) which have a sprinkling of thyme salt and a generous serving of aioli.
Polenta is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but I tend to enjoy it more often than not (only not when it hasn’t been cooked properly). Frying polenta sits so at home for this carbohydrate; it becomes crumbly but crunchy and doesn’t seem as oily as potatoes can in fry form. They’re pretty moorish but are definitely filling!
Clancy’s in City Beach is a place that I can see many locals flocking to for the convenience and overall generally pleasant experience. There’s both pros and cons with the dishes, but on the whole it is a place that delivers more positives than not. And when it comes down to it, it’s local, fairly priced and has a view that is worth coming back for – especially when you catch it at sunset. It’s just plain gorgeous.