One of my favorite places to eat, on past trips to Perth was Harvest, a wonderful laid-back space in North Freemantle. Brunch at Harvest was a must on many a visit. Sadly, Harvest closed down in 2013. So, when I heard that owner Clint Nolan had opened a new place, this time in Northbridge, I marked it down as one of our possible must-try restaurants for our March 2014 trip. And then, later, when I started reading some of the early reviews and blog posts about Pleased to Meet You, it quickly became the one restaurant in Perth that I knew I simply had to try.
And boy was it worth the visit. Pleased to Meet You is the kind of place you wish would open in your neighborhood, i.e. the kind of place you wish you could stumble over to on any given day of the week, for a casual drink and some awesome tasty unpretentious grub in a cool but almost secret space staffed with ultra-friendly and, of course, attractive staff.
Pleased to Meet You is also perfectly on trend with what is happening on the cutting edge of the global food scene. All over the world, in trendy cities spanning from Berlin to Detroit to Tokyo and even Singapore, hip, food and experience driven eateries have been changing the face of these city’s dining scenes. A decade ago, I’d have scoffed at the idea that sleepy ol’ Perth would be at the forefront of the global dining scene, but things have changed. Perth is hip these days. Hipper in some ways than my home town of Singapore. So it only makes sense that someone like Clint Nolan would create a restaurant like Pleased to Meet You there and change the game in his city’s restaurant industry.
So, what are those global hipster characteristics that Pleased to Meet You has? Cool, raw industrial yet still homey space? Check. No dress code, i.e. a respect for customer’s individuality? Check. Craft beers, craft cocktails and artisan wines? Triple check. Unpretentious food cooked with secretly ultra-refined techniques that combine familiar favorites with cult ingredients and novel/global flavors? Check. Wait staff that look like the ideal customer and act like your best friend? Check. And a soundtrack that you want to download into your iPhone immediately? Check. No name on the doors or anywhere else on the street? Check. And no reservations? Check.
Right now, Pleased to Meet You is the hippest place to eat in Perth, representative of what is happening in not just Australia’s food scene, but the global restaurant industry.
Of course, it doesn’t matter how hip you are if your food sucks. And, thankfully, Pleased to Meet You’s Food is very, very good. The small, regularly changing menu is divided into 5 categories: Small; Bread; Garden; Animal; and Sweets. One blogger described the food as “food truck chic” and in many ways the description is apt. The food features quick service classics like tacos, sledders, ramen, and ceviche, but reinvented in a fun, fusion fashion.
Everything my wife and I tried was excellent. I especially loved the cornbread with maple butter; the duck taco with corn salsa, the grilled WA oysters; the BBQ flank steak and the roast pork ramen. The beef tongue ruben bao was good but not something I’d probably order again. And the suckling pig was good, but a little porky, if you know what I mean.
If Pleased To Meet You is indicative of where Perth’s culinary scene is headed, then I’m thrilled. Not only because of the great food and experience but because of where it means Perth as a city is headed—gastronomically, that is.
Celebrating Australian food with Tourism Australia. To find out more, check out the best of Australian road trips.
Pleased To Meet You
38 Roe Street, Northbridge
Perth, Western Australia.