RECENT years have seen a revival take shape in the CBD’s west end and it seems the city’s east end is now mirroring the trend with a renaissance of its own.
A myriad mixed-use developments have pumped life into the eastern part of Hay Street, with swish new small bars luring the commercial hub’s many legal eagles as well as the growing number of inner-city dwellers.
Canton Lounge Bar is the latest hip establishment to add vibrancy to this evolving area and is something of a (subtle) contemporary reincarnation of the old Canton Chinese Restaurant, which was once housed in the landmark building.
Heading up the kitchen is ambitious young chef Dan Moss, who hopes to pull in the punters as much for what is served on the plate as for what is poured in the glass.
Dan took the reins recently after returning to Australia from a culinary jaunt to the UK and Germany, with a two-year stint at the Michelin-starred London restaurant Oxo Tower and time at the Hilton Frankfurt taking pride of place on his CV.
An Adelaide native, Dan was drawn to Perth because it was the only capital city that he hadn’t visited.
“I grew up in a family that was involved in the airline industry so I was fairly privileged to do a lot of travelling but had never been to Perth,” he said.
“After being in London, I got back to Adelaide and not much was happening on the scene there – it was a case of the same old restaurants winning the same awards – so I made the move.”
Dan has drawn up a menu described as French-Asian fusion and geared towards casual grazing – groups of six or more will be offered a table arrangement but otherwise diners can choose from the various lounge-style seating.
The bulk of the menu is designed for sharing, though there are other more substantial dishes, including pizzas, pastas and salads.
Dan intends on changing the menu every three to four weeks. Current appetisers include tempura zucchini flowers stuffed with ashed goat’s cheese and pumpkin and served with tomato tartare, and Asian-fried squid with watermelon, mint and green mango salad.
While the relaxed bar concept appears far removed from the fine dining of Oxo Tower, Dan said the same philosophy applied.
“I am just adapting some of those concepts by still using nice seasonal produce but not the price tag or the portion,” he said.
And he is relishing the accessibility of varied produce, something he missed during his European travels.
“It’s just so refreshing to get back to Australia and have things readily available, especially the Asian ingredients,” he said.
“Back in the UK you would have to move heaven and earth to order some produce, like green papaya for instance.
“I would have to put up with people looking at me funny when ordering.
“There just isn’t as much to play with over there.”
Canton Lounge Bar will host a free cocktails and canapes tasting evening on Wednesday, March 11.
Bookings are essential on 9325 9900 or email@example.com