Entertainment Book 09/10: 25% off total bill (up to $25 value)
Ess Bar has taken over the old Clancy’s Fish Pub in the Subiaco Village along Hay Street. For those familiar with the fast food joint strip along Hay Street, Subiaco Village is the little complex that’s just right next to Hungry Jack’s and KFC. It’s amazing how many food joints there are that I never knew about!
Hidden in a little corner, you wouldn’t know it existed other than the little board that sits outside the village, shouting out their various special deals. It’s really the only way to know that it exists – well other than word-of-mouth.
From the outside, you wouldn’t think too much of it because they didn’t do much to it but when you walk in, you’ll be greeted with an abundance of space that’s really quite surprising. The decor is excellent – elegant, classy but laid back at the same time, giving it an awesome casual overall feel to the place.
One should take note of the the Reception area that’s hidden over the corner of the bar, and next to the kitchen. The two times I have been there, I was only served when I approached them at the Reception - a tad strange but I guess that’s how they know if people just want a drink, or to actually sit down and have a meal.
The seating area is not that huge, but it does accomodate for at least 50-60 people, with a function room just adjacent to the main dining area. Coupled with a TV near the booths, it’s difficult to get your butt off the once you’re seated, especially if you’re footy fan on a Saturday/Sunday when a game is on!
Anyhoo, onto the food & drinks. This place serves a good range of alcholic drinks for those boozies like me. From tap beer, to bottled beer, from wine, to cocktails, they seem to have thought of everything! Well, they should really – since they’re a bar. :)
I will be doing two visits into a review, so here were the orders over the two visits for drinks:
- Krombacher fully imported
- Pure Blonde
- Fat Yak Pale Ale
- Beez Neez
- Ess Bar Flirtini
The size of the pints were good, and so were the midi’s. The Flirtini was apparently good, and I had a sip of it – very special! ;) And with that little cherry down below the glass – why not? :)
Onto the food… the next time I do go back there, I will be trying the tapas that they offer. Quite a range, and after looking at others having a go, I think it’d be worth the shot! Altho’ I do think tapas are generally a tad overpriced here in Perth.
Here were our orders over the two visits:
Moroccan Sweet & Sour Bread with Pomegranate Molasses (wow? we thought so too!)
Fish & Chips
Just a Burger
The sweet and sour bread came out looking really appetising, and with a recommendation for it in the menu (quoted “a must try!”)… we were excited to try this dish.
Taking it at first munch, it was a strange but somewhat delightful feeling in the mouth, giving it that lovely zest (from the pomegranate). I must say it doesn’t taste as good when it’s cold, so when it’s served, attack with full vigour! It was certainly a different sort of bread-dish, and one that people should try if they’re adventurous with their food explorations.
Not a fan of onions? Remember to tell them not to sprinkle them because the taste (and smell) does seep through as you tuck into the dish.
I had tried the steak sandwich on my first visit with S.K to Ess Bar, and we were quite literally blown away by the standard of the cow in between those bread slices!! They had such tenderness that is quite rare in steak sandwiches these days, and with such lovely sauces they have smeared together with the salad and cow, it was a sheer delight eating it!
The chips that came along were probably as close as it can get to the best chips in town! They are now tied in with Armada (a review tha really is overdue and will come soon!) and Globe Coffee House with having the best chips in Perth (from what we’ve tasted thus far of course).
Crunchy and covered with a nice batter, KUDOS!!!+++ for Ess Bar’s chips!
One thing to note tho’. S.K. and I are not fans of onions (raw onions especially), and when they mentioned onion rings in the menu, we instinctively thought it was those large raw onion rings you would occassionally find in steak sandwiches. But NoOoo. We were fooled by our own carelessness! These onion rings were the nice fried ones you would get at HJs (see picture). So don’t make the same mistake if you’re like us – fans of HJ-type onion rings and not fan of raw.
The fish and chips were served with the same awesome chips as the steak sandwich, and a good amount of tartare sauce, that will leave you with some extras after you’re done I believe (unless you’re the sort of person who smothers the sauce you have with abundance :)). The fish itself that day was a tad fishy but for some reason tasted quite nice. The only thing I was put it down on is the dry-ness of the fish. Might have been a bit over-fried, causing the meat inside to dry up a tad.
There was a nice serving of salad too, making this dish a really nice size for a hungry diner.
I didn’t get to really analyse the tartare sauce but this dish is probably a notch down from the steak sandwich in my humble opinion :)
And then there came the burger…
The burger was served with a little chinese-teacup worth of aioli, which I will get to later.
The buns used for the burger were nice and crisp, but it was stacked a bit too much inside that it was a bit tough to have a bite of the full burger. Even for a big-mouth like me :)
That said, it’s lovely to see all the greens inside the burger, with the patty inside nice and thick.
The beef patty had a peculiar taste which left me feeling “hmm, let’s have another bite to see what’s really in this” a few times. It wasn’t till the 4-5th bite that I realised there was a good amount of herb being mixed into the patty giving it its really strong aroma. I’m not too big a fan of herbs, so this was not a plus for me.
The aioli on the other hand was just bursting with flavour, and was a good accompaniment to the burger (and chips for that matter). It was an average meal and I wouldn’t be ordering this again.
And you thought I was done. What about DESSERTS!
The one dessert that we decided to try is what I’d like to call the main attraction to Ess Bar.
I won’t let you guess what it is because you would realise it’s quite obvious which item really stands out the most as being a unique, strange and yet really entising option.
I, for one, am looking forward to the sister and her family popping by from the USA to come try this awesome dessert!
For $18, it is well worth the money and will put a smile onto any child’s face (including the adults who think they’re still entitled to their ‘childhood fun’ once in a while).
Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
toasted almond biscuit, chocolate kahlua mousse, brownie ice cream, chocolate mud cake and truck load of treats
Need I say more?
The one thing you will probably need is some proof of the pudding visually.
I think the pictures speak for themselves, but I will explain the little bits.
The house – is the almond biscuit
The truck – well, the literal translation of “truck of treats”
The ice cream – the best I have tasted in a while now!
The mousse and mudcake – ever wondered why they even built a house out of the almond biscuit? :))
And there are two little choc fingers popping out as the chimney. Absolute brilliance I’d say!
Don’t be fulled by the look of it – I know it doesn’t look like much when you see it in the pictures, but the plate was M.A.S.S.I.V.E.
The highlight for us girls that day was definitely the almond biscuit and the brownie ice cream – both so yummy that we wish there would be more!
The truck itself was really hard chocolate, and should only be eaten by the not-so-faint hearted. Try getting a strong person to break it. I tried forking it down in the middle but I guess I didn’t have the inner strength that D.P seem to have possessed.
The other treats? Just the usual lollies you’d find in a candy store, except that the strawberries and cream jelly was different AND yumm!
I give this beautiful dessert a 4.5 out of 5 (mostly for the creativity and the generosity of the ingredients) on its own!
The three of us ordered some coffee as well (not knowing the sheer size of this dessert), two cappucinos (pictured) and a mocha…
The Caps were served with some sugar and a choc-coated meringue, which unfortunately didn’t melt when you place it in the mouth (boo).
The mocha turned out to be hot choc, much to the slight dismay of D.P. It was served with a couple of marshmallows and we should have known.
Overall, this place serves rather good food, and is a lovely place to just chill out over the weekend on a saturday/sunday afternoon with family or close friends.
The one thing that would be nice to see an improvement in for this establishment would be the service. We found ourselves trying to get the attention of the wait staff for a good 20 minutes just to order our desserts. It was not a lazy attempt from us, but it seemed as tho’ they weren’t too interested in our business, and I for one was getting impatient.
They could really give more attention.
If not for the service, this place would have been one of the better places I have been to for lunch, but it was really quite disappointing to be waiting 20 minutes just to order some desserts, and much less to say, get our order of mocha stuffed up!
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T. (a.k.a Miss Egg)
Telephone: (08) 9381 5099
Address: 531 Hay Street, Subiaco WA 6008 (In the heart of the Subiaco Village)