Walking along the Swan River, past the boats bobbing up and down on peaceful Matilda Bay, it’s easy to forget that we’re so very close to the hustle and bustle of the city. Just up the road, there’s a new addition to the ever expanding Nedlands dining scene. Little Way is a casual eatery, open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. We booked our table for a leisurely midday meal.
Little Way is tucked into an old building that’s filled with character. There’s a nice flow to the neutral dining room, bar and outdoor area. The leafy courtyard would be wonderful on a warm Summers morning or for a sunny Sunday sesh with a glass of Pimms or two. On this rainy winters day, we’re happy to sit in a cosy little nook inside.
Little Way is a lot of things rolled into a neat little package. The early morning crowd love it for brunch and a coffee. By night it transforms into a trendy bar, where you don’t need a meal to order a drink. The wine list offers mainly West Australian labels, with a few Europeans thrown in for good measure. The rest of the drinks menu is made up of interesting spirits, local craft beers and cocktails.
I need a caffeine pick me up, so I order a flat white, which passes my “no sugar test” with flying colours. I only feel the need to add sugar to burnt, bitter coffees and this coffee, roasted locally by Loaded Coffee in Nedlands, is spot on.
Our waitress promptly brings us menus and water. The lunch menu is perfect for people who want it all, with a mix of brunch dishes and some of their dinner offerings too. To begin, we share a few small plates. The grilled chorizo, $14, with a good squeeze of fresh lemon is moreish.
Next up, we choose the crisp sweet potato, tomato and spinach arancini, $10 for three pieces. I think there is a tad too much potato – I like more rice in my arancini. But they’re tasty morsels, especially dipped in the harissa mayo and topped with creamy lemon ricotta.
The sweet potato, tomato and spinach arancini are perfectly bite sized!
The delicately crumbed squid rings, $14, melt in the mouth. On the side is a lime, mint and avocado mayonnaise. It is a subtlety flavoured creamy dipping sauce, which could do with a touch more lime for an added punch of citrus.
We sit back and enjoy the bustling atmosphere. Soon our mains arrive and I am wowed by the slow cooked lamb shoulder, $28. A very generous serve of moist pulled lamb sits on a mound of green olive tabouleh and Israeli cous cous. The dish is bursting with middle eastern flavours and finished with pistachios, mint, preserved lemon and yogurt.
Chef chooses the Angus burger, $23. The juicy beef patty is topped with bacon, caramelised onion and smoked tomato relish. Melted Swiss cheese oozes out of the brioche bun. Little Chef chooses the kids burger for $12. The burgers are both served with a side of rosemary salted chips, which are quite possibly the chunkiest chips I have seen. They’re a big hit with the boys and boy are we full!
The Carlins don’t say no to pudding – so for “research purposes” we share a dessert. The chocolate brownie, $12, is deliciously fudgy. Topped with a cherry compote, fresh strawberries, toasted almonds and a vanilla bean ice cream it ticks all our boxes.
For the most part the service is friendly and engaging. The only thing that lets it down is that none of the three wait staff that visit our table replenish our first empty water jug or ask us if we’d like to order another drink.
The menu is full of the usual culprits, though each dish is cooked well. Little Way is the proverbial little gem. A neighbourhood eatery fit for families, groups of friends or a casual date night. We like Little Way in a BIG way!
** First published in the Post Newspaper**
At a glance
■ Little Way
Phone 08 9386 3639
■ Opening times
Tues – Sun
7.30am till late
value for money 3
■ style – casual Australian/Mediterranean
■ wine –mostly local wines, with
a few NZ and European drops too.
■ Chef – Alex Lim
■ Owner – Michael Walker
■ feel – inviting & cosy. Great fitout
and a fab courtyard for fine days.
■ wheelchair access – yes
Small – $6.50 – $15
Mains – $19 – $40
Dessert – $10 – $26
■ all in all – lively eatery
with a tasty menu to suit
most tastes. Service is patchy.
Excellent local coffee.