When it comes to beautiful venues in Perth, newcomer Young Love Mess Hall has aesthetics nailed. It’s not just the black paint, green feature wall or wood textures. It’s the sheer abundance of fresh plants cascading from the skylight in the ceiling that brings joy to the faces of diners.
It’s the kind of fit out I’d love to have in my own home (which is looking more and more like a conservatory these days). And after a big night at Beauvine the day before, it was just the place to enjoy a leisurely lunch with my girls Laura and Ai-Ling as we all tried to recover and reset back to base.
There’s something about a great aperol-based cocktail that really floats my boat. All three of us ordered the aperol, lillet blanc and grapefruit soda ($14.00) which was a nice balance of tart and saccharine, and a little too easy to drink! A bit of hair of the dog never hurts – right?
The bread and schmaltz butter ($6.00) came highly recommended by other diners nearby – and the dish lived up to all expectations. While the bread itself wasn’t anything particularly memorable (would have liked slightly warmer, crusty on the outside and fluffy inside) the butter was a revelation. Made with duck fat mixed in, it was screaming with rich flavour, and was pretty damn addictive.
Next we tried the crispy cuttlefish with butternut hummus ($17.00). I really liked the sound of this dish, but it didn’t quite hit the mark in terms of punchiness. While the cuttlefish was cooked well, it just needed some salt to liven up the palate – and the butternut hummus I found a little confusing. A pleasant enough plate, but not quite up my alley.
But the next one was just plain incredible. The Japanese succotache ($17.00) was easily my favourite for the lunch – filled with zucchini, eggplant, nori and edamame, it was bright, textured and layered. If I worked nearby I could see myself visiting here daily for lunch to gobble this down (and not share this time).
Our final two dishes were the carrots with soft curd and candied fennel ($13.00), and the crispy pork with fermented chilli ($10.00).
The carrots were an excellent example of vegetable dishes shining even without protein on the plate. The two curds (one plain, one saffron) were the stars though, begging to be eaten with or without the roasted carrots.
The pork sadly was a bit of a different story. Unfortunately it wasn’t crispy, and had slightly too much fat for my liking, though the meat itself was tasty. The fermented chilli on the side was yum!
In hindsight I think next time I’d prefer trying some of their other meat dishes like the chicken or steak instead of the pork. I’ve heard they’re delicious!
Oh Young Love Mess Hall… you are easily Perth’s prettiest restaurant. I’m really happy that the actual dining experience there matched up to the aesthetics, and I felt transported to someplace serene thanks to the luscious greenery surrounding us.