When I think of a small bar in Perth that is cosy, intimate and perfect for a date night, The Cabin in Mt Hawthorn definitely springs to mind. It feels warm and inviting as soon as you step inside and with the low lighting, exposed brick, wood fire, couches and heated balcony, it’s perfect all year round. The inside space actually looks and feels like someone’s lounge room and the decor would be right at home in a cabin in the woods.
We were there for a mid week dinner and it wasn’t overly busy although I’ve been here on weekends before and it has been packed. The menu is designed around share plates and they use free range, seasonal and local produce where available. There are so many delicious sounding things on the menu and as there were a few of us we just kept ordering dishes to share until we got full.
First up was the smoked zucchini and ricotta gnocchi pops with roasted tomato and confit garlic aioli. These sounded amazing and I love gnocchi, so expectations were high, but I was a little disappointed. They were more like arancini and it felt like taste and flavour had been a tad compromised for the novelty of the dish. I could see what they were trying to do and it sounded good on paper although unfortunately it wasn’t a favourite but maybe I just expected too much with this one. I would have rathered a couple of simple, tasty arancini, or a small plate of gnocchi.
Next was the pork and lemongrass tacos with pickled coleslaw, garlic mayo, cucumber, ponzu and coriander. These were pretty good, fresh flavours coming from the coleslaw and garnishes and the pork was tender and flavoursome.
The next dish was definitely my favourite of the night (so much so we had to order another round), buttermilk fried chicken, popcorn crumb, pickled celery, kohl rabi slaw and blue cheese ranch. The chicken was so juicy, just like it should be, with a nice crunch and the blue cheese ranch was a great accompaniment. The acidity from the slaw helped to cut through the richness and made this a real standout dish.
We also tried the pan fried squid with piquillo peppers, parsley and piri-piri which wasn’t as tender as I would have liked. It was a vibrant looking dish but sadly didn’t taste as good as it looked. It had some good flavours and a bit of chilli warmth but it wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been due to the chewiness of the squid. The duck pâté was great, something I love ordering, and this was a pretty good version, creamy and tasty. I just wanted a bit more pâté to jelly ratio, there was a nice generous serve of the toasts though which I appreciate.
In our second round of ordering we chose the nachos with spiced braised lamb, tortilla chips, jalapeño pesto, avocado puree and tahini yoghurt. This was a surprise hit for me. I was expecting a pretty standard nacho dish but it came out deconstructed as a kind of make your own. This meant there was no soggy chips and you could create the perfect mouthful. The lamb was amazing, nicely spiced and tender and the tortilla chips were light and crunchy. Great dish.
To finish off we had the roasted beetroot, fermented beets, pickled pears, beetroot relish, goats feta and leaves, a nice fresh salad to come out with the Tuesday special of overnight beef short ribs. Oh my goodness, the beef ribs were divine. If you need an excuse to go out on a Tuesday night, there it is right there. The meat was falling off the bone, melt in your mouth, heaven. The ribs were a large size and after everything else we had devoured we really appreciated the staff only delivering one portion for us to share. I was also glad they suggested ordering a salad as the meat was quite rich so it was good to have the freshness to balance it out and end the meal perfectly. I unfortunately couldn’t get a photo to do the ribs justice so you’ll just have to head there yourself to check it out.
There was some definite hits and a couple of minor misses with the food but all in all, a great night. I’ve been to The Cabin a few times and always had a great experience, the atmosphere is warm and inviting, service is friendly, food is tasty and share style which I love, and they have a great selection of wine too.
The Cabin is definitely a great date night venue (also good for first and second dates), one of the cosiest bars in Perth and will suit any occasion.