To be honest, I hadn’t heard that much about the relatively new Cork and Bottle in Bassendean but when it came to planning a long overdue catch up with a good friend and she suggested we check it out I was looking forward to it. These days I mostly find myself out and about in the city due to the close proximity of work and home but I really love venturing out and trying small neighbourhood bars and restaurants because they just keep getting better and better. The Cork and Bottle is no exception and comes with oodles of charm.
On entering the bar I couldn’t help but notice the lovely alfresco area out the front with its wine barrels, stools and enough plants to create it’s own little sanctuary. Great spot for warmer days but as this night was rather chilly everyone was keeping warm inside. Inside there are lots of cosy spots to sit, the mismatched furniture giving a warm, homely charm, although they were a bit out of proportion. We had large big comfy armchairs that sat very low paired with a table that was much too high to eat comfortably (made us feel like little kids which was a bit amusing) with other couches in the space paired with coffee tables that seemed too low. Going mismatched is trendy and good in theory but often not the most practical when it comes to eating, luckily we ordered share style finger food so it didn’t bother us too much. Regardless of the furniture the space is definitely inviting, all be it a little daggy, but there in lies the charm of this neighbourhood bar and I was eager to get stuck into some food.
We ordered the chicken liver pâté (one of my favourite ‘go to’s’ on a menu) which came out on a generous wooden paddle with crunchy bread and lavosh crackers. It was a lovely big serve of pâté which was creamy and rich in flavour although the bread had perhaps been in the oven too long as it dried out and went hard quite quickly. The other thing I wasn’t too keen on were the additional condiments on the plate, caramelised onions and gherkins. Maybe it’s just because I don’t like gherkins or because I initially thought the onions were raisins but I felt the onions were an odd addition and didn’t really go. For me I would have just been happy with the pâté on it’s own.
Our next menu choice were the arancini balls, another generous serving, they seemed a bit dark in colour but it was possibly just time for an oil change in the fryer as they were still nice and crunchy on the outside and oozy on the inside. I can’t actually remember what was in them but they were subtle flavours, nice and cheesy, and were served with creamy aioli.
Last but not least, the scallops, beautiful seared scallops with gremolata and crushed prosciutto served in their shells. These were perfectly cooked, melt in your mouth and with complimentary flavours that allowed the scallops to shine. This was my favourite dish and left me wanting more.
The food, as with it’s setting, is mostly relaxed, some sophisticated tapas dishes but mostly heartier pub style food like sliders, pies, nachos and loaded wedges. The service is friendly and welcoming but there’s no table service here so don’t expect fine dining but with generous portions and good flavours there is something for everyone. They also have a pretty good wine list but before heading out check up on their dress code policy (especially come summer, no thongs or boardies) so you’re not disappointed.
The Cork and Bottle is a great addition to Bassendean which I’m sure the locals are loving and for those that don’t live in the area get out and explore another suburbs hidden gems and be swept up in some old world charm.