Native plates at Freo’s Stable Hands

Stable Hands


After opening Up Town in Cottesloe earlier this year, the same team (brothers Phillip and Anthony Arnold) have now created another offering – Stable Hands in the heart of Fremantle.

With a focus on native Australian ingredients and quality coffee, my food squad (Laura, Ai-Ling, Andjelka and Kira) and I were expecting big things. After all, venturing out of our normal inner city haunts meant we were seeking delicious, soul-satisfying eats. 

Stable Hands

 

The decor is rustic and simplistically beautiful. The lighting upstairs dim and slightly warm – a photographer’s nightmare, but enjoyable for patrons to feel like their whisked away someplace cosy and private. Downstairs natural light streams in as baristas churn out fresh steaming cup after cup. 

The menu was to be honest confusing. It’s definitely a mishmash of ingredients, some of which I questioned the combinations. Certain lines promised gluten free dishes, though when we confirmed upon ordering (we have two gluten intolerant eaters in our group) the waiter told us that some were actually incorrect. While I can understand that in the early days of a restaurant opening they need a bit of time to settle, this worried us all as it was only confirmed when we questioned some of the items and not volunteered by the wait staff. 

Stable Hands

Stable Hands

Instead of selecting a dish each, we decided amongst the five of us that we’d share a range of different items so we could taste as much of what Stable Hands have to offer. 

The black rice porridge with infused rhubarb, quandong compote and baobab yoghurt ($15.00), gluten free, was comforting and well balanced. A nice introduction to their menu though I would have liked a bit more punch to it.

The winter green and pearl barley risotto with burnt lemon, fennel crisp, hints of black truffle ($21.00) was written on the menu as gluten free, but in reality wasn’t thanks to the use of barley. It was a small size serving, and I liked the use of broad beans throughout. Did the burnt lemon add anything? No, I’m not sure it did. 

Stable Hands

Stable Hands

Stable Hands

The gluten free warm shredded pork salad with parsnip, bean shoots, bitter leaf, tanami apple dressing and poached egg ($17.00) was one of my favourite dishes for the morning. The egg was cooked perfectly, oozing out onto the other ingredients like a silky, decadent dressing. 

Stable Hands

Stable Hands

Stable Hands

The crispy pork belly with compressed melon, hot cakes, smoked ricotta, yuzu caramel and truffle ($22.00) was the most confused of all the dishes we tried. The hot cakes were fluffy and perfectly cooked, but that’s the extent of the positives. The pork belly was more chewy than crisp, the ricotta bland, and the caramel and truffle worked against one another. 

The gluten free rosella compressed watermelon with goats curd, heritage salad and balsamic pearls ($17.00) sounded really promising… but sadly it didn’t deliver. It was a small serving – definitely not something I would find satisfying if I ordered it on it’s own. 

Stable Hands

All in all, our breakfast at Stable Hands was unfortunately more miss than hit. We really wanted it to be a knockout, but in reality it was lacklustre – something I can only hope was a case of teething issues rather than the norm. 

What was most disappointing though was when we went to give the staff feedback, they were quite resistant to take any of it on board. Just some thoughts around having a clearer explanation that the dishes aren’t your normal breakfast size, it’s much more aligned to share food. And while I’m all for the promotion of native Australian ingredients, I think it needs to be done in a way that makes sense, and enhances the other items on the plate – not wars with them. Fingers crossed for the venue things improve in the future, and our experience was an isolated one. 

 

Stable Hands Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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