I love coming back to visit Bunbury, the place where I grew up, mostly because this is the place where my family and childhood friends are, not because I necessarily loved Bunbury. However in recent years Bunbury has definitely been upping it’s game, fuelled by passionate people bringing life into the town with street art, community events, food and music festivals, and a growing collection of new bars, cafes and restaurants putting this town on the map.
A recent trip down south included a chance to catch up with some special friends for dinner and Market Eating House was first on my list. After a sneaky pre dinner drink at Lost Bills (another fantastic new Bunbury venue) we headed down to Market and I was instantly excited. The restaurant has a warm, welcoming vibe that draws you in, exposed brick, hanging pendants, open kitchen, and a nice big bar area to sit and hang out. Design wise, this place definitely feels as though it could belong in any major city but it still has a lovely country charm to it and bumping into people I know reminds me I’m still in Bunbury!
The menu is designed with sharing in mind, focussed on their charcoal grill and wood fired oven and stars fresh and seasonal produce. It didn’t take long to decide we had to try the ‘feed me option’ at $45 per person, a bountiful selection of their dishes so you get to try most things. There is also a ‘feed me more’ option at $55 per person if you’re super hungry, but be prepared, you will certainly be fed. On ordering we were asked if there was anything we didn’t like, couldn’t eat, allergies etc to ensure any dietary requirements were met. Ordering done and the wine poured I was looking forward to seeing what would hit the table first.
First up was a selection of their snacks and small plates, smoked and spice nuts, braised olives with chilli, hummus with ground lamb, spices and raisins, baba ghanoush with smoked yoghurt and some warm turkish bread. Both the baba ghanoush and the hummus were standouts for me, delicious and moorish and I had to remind myself there was plenty of food still to come.
Next up, more small plates, some of which weren’t on the menu which highlighted the beauty of the ‘feed me’ option, leaving it up to the chef to surprise us. Our waiter had mentioned at the beginning of the night that they had some beautiful fresh figs which they would be using, they had even crafted a cocktail to showcase this in season beauty. Our next dishes were grilled haloumi with spiced date, pulled pork wrapped in filo pastry (an interesting take on a spring roll that was both savoury and sweet) and some toast with crème fraîche, figs and prosciutto. The figs were another standout for me, just can’t beat a simple dish with flavours that work using fresh produce. Yum!
Our last selection of dishes were bigger plates, proteins and salads, including lamb with spices and tzatziki salad, fattoush, middle eastern rice, a whole fish and a side of chips with feta and oregano. I was already starting to feel full so had no idea how we were going to eat all of it but we definitely gave it a good go. The salads were interesting and full of flavour, with pops of pomegranate providing balance, the fish well cooked and tasty but the lamb was my favourite. A nice amount of spice, melt in your mouth tender meat and accompanied perfectly with yoghurt, cucumber and fresh herbs, this was delicious.
With full belly’s we jumped at the offer of the good old ‘doggy bag’ and with our leftovers divided and packaged up into a couple of containers we were happy. I would have loved to have tried the divine sounding desserts but I just could not eat another thing, I guess it just means I’ll have to go back.
With the fantastic food, great atmosphere and amazing service it’s no surprise this place has really taken off with popularity soaring quickly. There’s a lot to love about Market Eating House, hats off to Bec and Brenton and thank you for bringing your passion for food and the hospitality industry to Bunbury.
Put it on your list for date night with your partner or a night out with friends, and for those who don’t live in Bunbury, make the trip, or spend some time here on your way further south, there’s more to offer than you might think.