We visited The Merrywell recently – in fact we’ve visited the gastro pub many times since it opened just over 6 months ago. It’s a fantastic addition to Crown. The Merrywell is a breath of fresh air. The venue is stark contrast to the dingy (and now closed) Paddy Hannans. It is incredibly popular and more often than not, we choose to dine a little earlier, just to make sure we get a good table in the beer garden. On a warm night, it’s just a stunning spot for a few drinks.
The term “Gastropub” isn’t really bandied around very much in WA – it’s most widely used in the UK. In the early 90s the first gastro pub popped up in London. It was a new concept, where the focus was also on a restaurant within the pub. The standard of food was much higher than the traditional “pub grub” of bangers & mash and a ploughman’s lunch. The phenomenon caught on and now there are thousands around the world. Even Heston Blumenthal runs a few gastropubs – like The Hinds Head in Bray (UK).
The Merrywell’s menu is modelled on American “dude” food. In other words JUNK FOOD, done VERY well. The Chefs, Sam DeMarco and Grant MacPherson hail from the States and nobody does junk food better than the good ol’ US of A.
We had a few dishes to share;
Mac & Cheese Bites ($15)
This came with house made HP sauce; just as tangy as the real deal. These were pretty good and very cheesy.
Lollipop Buffalo Wings, Blue cheese fondue & celery sticks. ($21)
Oh my goodness – These were very tender and much spicier than we were expecting! They had a big tabasco kick. This was balanced by the beautiful creamy fondue. It was delicious. REALLY REALLY YUMMY.
For Mains we had…
The Merrywell Angus Burger (Aussie style) ($28).
This was stuffed with sharp aged Cheddar, Bacon, a Secret Sauce and Caramelised onion. We decided to go “Aussie Style” for an extra few bucks, as I’m rather partial to Pineapple and Beetroot on my burgers. The fries were deliciously crunchy. The burger paddy itself was cooked medium-rare. It was pink in the middle and super juicy!
D-Man and G-Mac BLT ($28)
Chef loved his meat-overload. The BLT came with Porchetta, Pork Belly, Panchetta, SSU Egg, Rocket, Tomato, with a Bacon Aioli, sereved on Bacon Bread. He was impressed.The egg was oozing through the sandwhich and it was complemented further by Crisp onion rings. This also came with a side of pickled chips. Yep, you heard right. I’m all for trying something new, but I don’t think Perth was ready for this one!! Potatoes cut like chunky chips, but uncooked, just pickled!! They were super crunchy, very acidic and just plain odd. But otherwise this BLT was a winner.
The Merrywell didn’t disappoint. The vibe is great. The service is good. Sometimes it can be a victim of its own success with hard to find outdoor seating and slightly slow service. We thoroughly enjoyed it and almost went into a deep fried, salty coma – but that’s what dude food is all about; Delicious, brash, comfort food.