I sit with a cocktail in hand on the deck of one of Perth’s most anticipated new venues. A Bali favourite, Ku De Ta has opened its first international outpost in Perth, one thinks as Perth natives are most familiar with the chilled chic of the Indonesian restaurant and beach lounge.
Ku De Ta Perth doesn’t borrow from its Bali counterpart, except for the luxe vibe, water views and smooth soundtrack. For a true Bali experience, Ku De Ta will soon will have Bintang on tap.
Natural and organic materials are used throughout the venue, many incorporating a little piece of WA. Reclaimed timber from the Bunbury Jetty is used for bench seats. Dark wood is used throughout and the space has an industrial feel.
Architect Perparim Rama has created three distinct spaces at Ku De Ta, each with a different purpose. The Deck bar sits above the Swan River offers casual food, including gourmet pizzas.
A second area, West, steps things up a notch with a focus on fresh seafood and charcuterie share dishes. Ku Dining is their contemporary a la carte restaurant.
Apart from its stunning setting on the Swan River, the thing that immediately grabs me is the sheer number of staff. They’ll be needed when the 850 capacity venue gets busy. They are well versed in engaging customer service and knowledgeable when quizzed about their offerings.
After pre-dinner drinks on the Deck, we head to West without a booking – a bit risky in opening week, but for an early midweek dinner, we think it will work. We’re greeted by a group of wait staff and after a shocked gasp that we did not have a booking, we are ushered to a table which we are happy to hand back by 7.30pm.
The menu descriptions name just a few main ingredients for each dish, which adds to the element of surprise. I guzzle down three freshly shucked oysters, with a dash of a zesty vinaigrette.
Chef tucks into the whipped Wagin duck liver ($6) served on grilled seeded soda bread and topped with fermented plums. It’s a cracking dish.
A plate of local cold cuts ($28) is sliced from the hanging meats at the bar. The Australian sourced charcuterie of spicy salami, coppa and house pork rillettes are served with pickles, a dollop of herb mustard and bread sticks. I would have preferred a lavosh to drape my meat on, rather than the thin sticks.
The popular Lyonnaise salad ($16) is served in many French Bistros. Made up of fresh frisée, for its unique texture, crunch and subtle bitterness and scattered with tender pork cheek and a deliciously runny sous vide egg.
A bowl of Goolwa cockles ($21) arrives steaming and topped with deep fried shallots. The fragrant South Australian pipis are cooked in a house made Asian XO sauce. Unlike a lot of shellfish, these have an excellent meat to shell ratio and are wonderfully tender.
West’s Chefs cook the thin minute steak ($32) to perfection. The tender steak is served with shimeji mushrooms and a creamy Cafe de Paris sauce.
“Frank’s fries” ($9) aren’t quite the type of fries we expect. Golden triple deep fried chunks of baby royal blue potato are served with a light and spicy cheese whip. We can’t get enough of the crisp morsels.
The top dish has to be the hazelnut chocolate dessert ($15). Luscious praline is topped with a milk ice cream and finished with crumbled freshly baked cookies.
It completely eclipses the other dessert of sesame custard, plum and ginger granita ($15).
The food is well executed, though after sharing nine dishes, we did expect to walk out of there with our tummies a little fuller. I chatted to Head Chef Liam Atkinson who told me that West is designed to be a space where Chefs would like eat at on their day off and my Chef most certainly did.
The food is on trend, without being pretentious and at the oyster bar you’ll find daily specials of yabbies, marron and more. There’s a good drinks menu too.
Ku De Ta is an impressive venue, with great attention to detail and a relaxed feel. Welcome to Perth!
At a glance
■ West at Ku De Ta
On The Point
306 Riverside Drive
Phone 6324 1100
■ Opening times
Mon & Tues 5pm till late
Wed to Sun 12pm till close
value for money 3
■ style – Modern Australian
■ wine – a varied wine menu, with classic
and Indonesian inspired cocktails too.
■ Exec Chef – Dan Fisher
Head Chef – Liam Atkinson
■ Co-owner – Guy Neale
■ feel – unpretentious, industrial chic
■ wheelchair access – Yes
Plates $4.50 to $40
■ all in all – West specialises in fresh
seafood and Australian charcuterie,
with an international feel
to its informal grazing dishes.