We reviewed this venue, then known as The Brown Fox, a few years ago. It was adequate and did everything it said on the box. With the addition of new owners Chris and Foni Pollitt, and a new Head Chef, everything has been stepped up a few notches.
Gone is the dingy interior, now there’s welcoming subtle blue/grey hues and chandeliers to lighten up the bar. The dining room is elegant. If you’re after something more casual, sit on a high table near the bar or outside on the veranda along with the West Perth office workers.
Foni, along with her husband Chris, have spent many years in hospitality all around the world. Their very different experiences bring a lot to this gastro pub. Foni has had a polished, silver service career in high end restaurants as a Maître’D, as well as opening many gastropubs in the UK and Canada. Chris ran some of the hippest bars in East London. Head Chef, Shannon Wilson has rattled his pans all around the world, including at Necker Island for Sir Richard Branson, no less.
As we arrive for lunch, there doesn’t seem to be any wait staff on the floor. We seat ourselves on the veranda and find menus, unsure if table service is on offer. It is and after our wait person arrives, the service is on the ball. At Mayfair Lane you can dine on traditional pub fayre, like bangers and mash or choose something a little fancy, like their lamb assiette. I’m here for one of their signature dishes, the steak tartare, which some have said is the best in Perth.
The extensive wine list is a little bit special. Foni, is somewhat of a Sommelier extraordinaire. The certified wine educator has created what is arguably the best wine list of any pub in Perth. There’s a large choice of by the glass wines and I pick a French rose, feeling confident that it will be a cracker. The pale rose Château Les Crostes Cinsault Grenache is indeed a tasty drop.
I start with the famed steak tartare, $22, which is always a good measure of a kitchen. Ultra-fresh raw steak is bound together with herbs, shallots and a spiced mayo then topped with a gooey, soft-boiled quail’s egg. I scoop at the delicious tartare with the house made game crisps. It’s spot on.
At $21, the three pan-fried scallops are a touch on the pricey side. Served with a creamy pommes purée, vanilla tomato compote and a verjuice jus, this light dish has well balanced, punchy flavours.
There is an aged selection of steaks listed on the blackboard. Today’s pick is tenderloin, scotch, sirloin (on the bone) and the massive 620g Chataubraid. Chef, ever the carnivore, chooses the Chataubraid, $95. The large cut of beef, the thick part of the fillet, is served deliciously medium rare and is full of flavour. On the side is a Madeira mushroom ragout, wonderfully crisp duck fat potatoes, dressed greens and a pot of buttery béarnaise sauce.
The classic fish pie, $26, is indeed a classic dish. Like the other comforting pub dishes on Mayfair Lane’s menu, it’s executed well, with a golden mash top, crusty on the outside and perfectly creamy on the inside. The piping hot filling of flaky salmon, peas and a white sauce is full of flavour.
We finish with a shared Baileys cheesecake, $16. The boozy dessert is nicely plated and served with a quenelle of Baileys ice cream and chocolate tube filled with Kahlúa cream. Scrumptious!
Mayfair Lane has a brilliant attention to detail, from their personalised cutlery to the humorous sayings on their menu. The pub and dining room found on leafy Outram Street isn’t just about long Friday lunches or after work drinks. It’s well worth a visit on any day of the week, for a tasty pub meal, which is full of finesse. I’ll certainly be back to delve a little deeper into that amazing wine list.
At a glance
■ Mayfair Lane
72 Outram Street
Phone 9425 5222
■ Opening times
Monday to Saturday
11.30am till late
value for money 3
■ style – Gastropub
■ wine – there is a substantial
wine list made up of wines
from all around the world,
sure to please any wine buff.
■ Chef – Shannon Wilson
■ Owners – Foni & Chris Pollitt,
Greg & Lisa Eastwood and
Anthony & Jessica Nichols
■ feel – inviting and lively.
■ wheelchair access – Yes
Entree $3 to $22
Main $15 to $95
Dessert $9 to $16
■ all in all – a true gastropub.
Quality food, an excellent
drinks offering and good times.