The Resident is the new kid on the Hampden Street block. The venue, previously known as the Byrneleigh Hotel, has moved into Nedlands with a fresh new look.
The stark interior of white walls, soaring ceilings and crisp white furniture is softened by the use of light woods and fresh flowers. Outside there’s a courtyard dominated by a large boab tree.
By day, this neighbourhood bar enjoys a café feel. Locals can get their smashed avo fix at The Little Resident” – the café space that flows into the bar. By night, the venue has a buzzing pub feel and a DJ spins the tunes at their popular Sunday sessions.
We sit at a high table, looking over the small, yet interesting wine list of six whites, six reds and bubbles. The wine offering rotates regularly and has a focus on natural, certified organic drops. I find the vegan Geyer Muscat of Alexandria, a very easy drinking wine, with exotic notes. There’s a selection of local beers, spirits and cocktails too.
The menu is described as “casual Italian”, though we don’t immediately get the Mediterranean feels, since pizza and risotto feature so heavily on all bar menus. At The Resident you’ll also find burgers and ribs, thought the menu is by no means typical pub fare – there are no parmis here! Instead you’ll find food for the health conscious. There’s a fresh mix of local produce, lighter options and more gluten free dishes than you can poke a stick at.
We order at the bar and request that the two smaller dishes are served first, entrée style. You just never know in this day and age of share plates and food arriving “as it’s ready” from the kitchen.
First to land on our table is a burger, which was to be Chef’s main, followed swiftly by the small plate of squid, my pork belly main and then the asparagus. Oh dear, our request didn’t seem to have been passed onto the kitchen. The otherwise well drilled wait staff are friendly and only too happy to please. Our waitress suggests that the mains get returned to the kitchen, but rather than leave them warming under the salamander, we opt to keep them all.
We tuck into our mountain of food, hardly knowing what to eat first. Chef’s Italiano beef burger ($28) is huge. The juicy, thick patty is wedged between a toasted bun, oozing with meted smoked cheese, pickles and salad. A generous bowl of chunky fries are served on the side. The burger goes down very well with a pint of craft beer.
A small plate of local crispy squid ($16), topped with parmesan and pine nuts is served with cherry tomatoes. The tender morsels are complemented by a zesty salsa verde.
Pretty as a picture, crisp asparagus spears ($17) sit upon a sweet and creamy saffron honey aioli, scattered with roasted hazelnuts and edible flowers. Admittedly, the asparagus goes rather well with my pork belly, but it’s no side dish.
Moist pork belly, topped with crackle, ($30) is indeed a cracking dish. The tasty belly is served on a bed of peperonata, a fragrant, traditional Italian capsicum and tomato sauce. Thinly sliced fennel and crisp green apple give a burst of freshness and the plate is scattered with toasted red rice, giving another layer of crunch.
For dessert, I go out on a limb, and try something little bit different. An Eaton Mess ($15) with bacon. Call me a traditionalist, but I love the simplicity of strawberries, meringue and cream. The addition of candied maple bacon, whilst not terrible, doesn’t float my boat. The fatty, salty bacon cuts through the creamy vanilla ice cream and is too sweet for my liking.
On the other hand, the chocolate brownie ($15), is a crowd pleaser. The fudgy brownie is served warm, with the hazelnut ice cream quickly melting alongside it. The scrumptious dessert is garnished with candied almond shards.
As far a neighbourhood waterholes go, The Resident seems right at home on Hampden Street. It’s a chilled out space, the kitchen team knows how to cook food well, and the price tags will not make your eyes pop when reading the menu. Welcome to the ‘hood!
At a glance
■ The Resident
156 Hampden Road
Phone 9386 9183
■ Opening times
12pm till 12am
value for money 4
■ Style – Modern Pub
■ Wine – a small but well
considered list of mainly local wines.
■ Head Chef – Grant Greyling
■ Owner – Donnacha Reidy
■ Feel – casual, laid back
■ Wheelchair access – Yes
A La Carte – $9 to $34
Pizzas – $19 to 26
Dessert – $15 to $27
■ All in all –
This Nedlands newbie is a pub,
but not as we know it. Fresh eats,
crisp décor and reasonable prices.