A shopping centre is not usually my first port of call when it comes to discovering exciting dining venues. Increasingly, our suburban malls are morphing into all-round entertainment precincts, serving up quality dining options – be it at the Claremont Quarter, Mount Hawthorn’s Mezz and the soon-to be-opened Karriynup redevelopment.
The Fave is a new Italian-ish eatery, found at Floreat Forum’s outside plaza, amongst sushi trains, dumpling houses, a gourmet burger joint and of course, The Floreat Hotel. A children’s playground makes its alfresco dining area perfect for young families.
Chef/Owner Jake Jeong, previously of the State Building’s Post restaurant and now-closed Ku De Ta kitchens, opened up The Fave in late 2020. Billed as Modern Australian dining, the restaurant’s crowd-pleasing menu has a distinct Italian feel, with a few Asian components thrown in for good measure.
Stepping inside The Fave, you could be at a trendy restaurant on any dining strip in Perth. The airy dining room, dominated by a pizza oven, has warm timber, leather and brick tones. We linger by the door for a moment, not catching the eye of any waitstaff. I head to the counter, where a waitress is too busy making coffee to acknowledge me. After an awkward minute or two, and still without a warm welcome, we’re pointed toward our reserved table.
The all-day menu has brunch and lunch staples aplenty – eggs benedict, gnocchi, a steak sandwich, spaghetti and even a kimchi risotto. If you rock up at dinner time, that’s when the woodfire oven is cranking out traditional Italian pizzas.
Service is minimal. I place our lunch order at the counter, where a large table is eager to separate bill, leading to a long queue snaking to the door.
The small international wine list offers surprisingly good drops, Cullen being a standout. I pick a rich Cabernet Sauvignon, from Margaret River’s Credaro Wines, one of the region’s oldest family run wineries. It’s perfect sipping for a chilly winter’s day, with hints of cherry, blackcurrant and vanilla.
Despite the wait to order, our meals are sent from the kitchen in good time. A winter warmer – a generous bowl of braised lamb ragu ($26) is served topped with a mountain of parmesan. Tender pulled lamb is plentiful, weaved throughout al dente fettuccini. The celery and fennel sugo needs a little extra seasoning to make this peasant dish really sing.
Feeling health conscious, the on-trend health bowl ($19) leaves me feeling guilt-free, and with a little room reserved for dessert. All components are plated separately, around a mound of brown rice – a perfectly poached egg, orange juice cured salmon, smashed avocado, pickled carrot, plus a beetroot and corn salsa. I would love the salmon to have a solid citrus kick, though the punchy herb oil dressing is a winner.
The dessert menu is limited to the restaurant’s speciality, the curiously named croffle and whatever sweet cabinet goodies that day brings. A soft chocolate brownie ($6) is served warmed, and is wonderfully fudgy. I would have loved a little cream on the side.
The tiramisu croffle ($19) is a must try. Creamy espresso mascarpone is sandwiched between layers of this croissant-waffle hybrid. Finished with mocha jelly cubes and a dusting of coco, it’s a surprisingly light dessert. There’s plenty to share – but you may not want to.
While the indifferent service at The Fave doesn’t knock my socks off, the restaurant ticks most of the casual dining boxes. Food is well cooked, and could be elevated by the kitchen being bolder with flavours and seasoning. We’re planning a return visit for more of that marvellously mad croffle creation. The Fave is a welcome addition to Floreat Forum and is sure to become a local favourite.
The Fave – At a Glance
■ Floreat Forum,
5 Howtree Place, Floreat
Phone 6111 2998
■ Opening times
Wednesday 8am to 3pm
Thur/Fri 8am to 9.30pm
Saturday 7am to 9.30pm
Sunday 7am to 3pm
value for money 4
■ style – Modern Australian/Italian
■ wine – Both European
and Australian wines feature
on the small, quality list.
■ Chef/Owner – Jake Jeong
■ feel – casual, family dining
■ wheelchair access – yes
■ cost –
Entrée – $5 – $19
Mains – $20 – $37
Dessert – $6 – $19
■ all in all – a shopping centre eatery
that’s far from suburban. Interesting
picks on the mainly Italian menu,
be sure to try the croffle.