Tis the season for merriment and indulgence! I’d been researching where to dine in December, to enjoy a Christmas menu with all the trimmings. Though unless I want to dine exclusively on the 25th of December or bring fifteen work colleagues with me – there is no room at the inn for this couple of foodies hoping for a traditional Christmas spread. So onto plan B – a feast fit for a king!
We find The Four Factory on Queen Street, in inner city Perth, where restaurants are heaving with office Christmas parties. As the name suggests, the renovated 100 year old building was once a flour mill and has returned to its roots, albeit in the guise of a bar. It’s a fusion of many things; a New York deli, Spanish bodega, cocktail bar and a kitchen. The Flour Factory prides itself on making almost everything in house – in the butchery and bakery with its own flour mill.
Stepping through the entrance, we notice the aroma of freshly baked bread. Chef and I are greeted and seated in the dining area, away from the main bar. As the bar starts to fill up, we enjoy the festive atmosphere, which is a little loud at times. The Flour Factory’s soundtrack – with everything from Johnny Cash to “Going Loco down in Acapulco” is eclectic and fun.
The drinks menu is home to the CBD’s largest gin and fortified wine collection. If that’s something that tickles your fancy, then you’ll love “The Sherry” rooftop bar upstairs.
I order a fruity Villa Sandi Prosseco to sip whilst we look over the menu of roasted meats, charcuterie and gourmet hotdogs. We choose the “Big Feast”, $75 per person, a three course chef’s choice meal that is shared by the table.
We start with an aperitif. The Flour Factory’s very own vermouth is made with Howard Park.
A basket of freshly baked sourdough, served with house-churned smoked butter and a charcuterie board are the first morsels to arrive. The waiter presents us with today’s selection of house cured meats and pickles – though he’s not sure of what each item is. There is chorizo, bresaola and more. I particularly relish the ox heart pastrami.
On Zomato, The Flour Factory is described as “child friendly”, so rather than bothering with a babysitter, we happily took Little Chef along with us. He was warmly welcomed and though there is no children’s menu, he happily chowed down on a gourmet rueben dog; beef sausage, smoky pastrami, sauerkraut, shavings of gruyere and thousand island dressing, $15. I think it’s fine to take a well behaved child along for lunch or an early dinner – but probably not too late – as it can become quite a noisy bar.
Onto second course and Chef’s eyes widen with glee when a large platter of Rangers Valley Wagyu appears at our table. The marbled piece of grain fed beef is smothered in a rich jus. It is cooked perfectly medium rare and melts in my mouth.
Also on the platter are crisp duck fat potatoes. Served with a drool worthy bacon mayo, they are fluffy on the inside and so very moreish. The perfectly cooked asparagus is served with smoked egg yolk, crunchy puffed wheat and a sharp parmesan cream.
My only grumble about the platter is that most of the components are lukewarm. This is mainly due to the food being presented on a wooden board and the meat served sliced and fanned means it doesn’t hold its heat well.
Next we have a sweet collection of cheese and dessert. We’re both wowed by the subtly of the King Saul Blue cheese dish. The very first unpasteurized Australian cheese is $300 a kilo and liberally crumbled over sliced yellow grape tomatoes and a celeriac and fig puree. We scoop up the dip-like creation with crisp lavosh. It’s superb and I make a mental note to try to recreate it at home.
We end on a sweet note with a malted milk ice-cream, chocolate and salted caramel dessert. The caramel is stick-to–the–top-of-your-mouth delicious.
The house made white chocolate truffles are scrumptious too.
Though there is not one turkey in sight, mouth-watering meats coupled with roasted veg and scrumptious desserts make it a festive feast indeed!
** First published in the Post newspaper **
At a glance
■ The Flour Factory
16 Queen Street
Phone 08 9485 1711
■ Opening times
Monday – Friday: 12pm till late
Sat: 4pm till late
value for money 4
■ style – American/Spanish Deli
■ wine – well rounded local
and international wine list.
Focus on gin & fortified wine
■ Chef – Matt Carulei
■ Owner – Andy Freeman
■ feel – inner city warehouse
■ wheelchair access – yes
Small – $6 to $35
Large – $15 to $50
Dessert – $5 to $14
■ all in all – trendy venue,
though a little noisy. Excellent
food and smallgoods, most
made in-house. Interesting drinks list.