In times where we’re seeing new restaurants open weekly, and old ones close their doors due to our current economic state, it’s almost unheard of for one to celebrate seventeen years of business. But then again, there’s nothing regular or expected about Mount Lawley’s staple bistro, Must Winebar. Owned and operated by Chef Russell Blaikie, Must is an institution.
For years it’s been the place to go for a classic French meal. Heavenly baguette flown from France itself. Crispy duck legs. And that angel hair pasta with crab. The wine list has always been notable and impressive; the food nothing short of satisfying. But with times changing, even the best of venues need to adapt to suit modern tastes and dining styles.
Must’s recently revamped menu is a move away from regimented entrees, mains and desserts. Instead there’s a newfound focus on vegetables and share dining. That’s not to say you can’t come down and order single servings, but for the most apart it’s about a shared experience.
WA’s oldest rotisserie over is in use here, turning free range chooks that have been marinated with herbs and yoghurt. This is a must order; accompanied by green beans, potato puree and jus gras for only $55. You won’t get a better roast dinner at this price. Also on the large share dishes part of the menu is a $75 600g dry aged Hyden sirloin steak that is a great example of good produce treated with respect.
Other dishes worth highlighting on the menu include the famed Must charcuterie plate (complete with my favourite parfait, pork rillettes, duck sausage and more), the Tedesco Farm cauliflower fritters with green tahini, dill and Aleppo pepper, the Smoky Bay South Australian oysters, and the pork cheek with apple, quince, Goldfields Honey and farro crisp.
I have a lot of nostalgia about Must Winebar. Some amazing dates, some amazing catch ups and always amazing food. And I’m so happy to see that their revamp has kept the level of impressiveness at the same heights it was before.
There’s a new Must in town: and it’s definitely a welcome breath of fresh air on this old classic joint.