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Creatures of pleasure

A vibrant atmosphere, good beer and quality food have convinced David Pike to pencil Little Creatures Brewery in to his diary for a second visit.

LIVELY little creatures were buzzing around the restaurant at Little Creatures Brewery when 14 of us visited for dinner on a recent Saturday night. Our night out at Little Creatures was a relaxing experience in surroundings that almost compel you to have a good time. The brewery was bursting at the seams with punters who were full of the joys of life, or at the very least full of the pale, amber or pilsner fluid on offer.

Although the brewery advises customers that it doesn’t take bookings, an exception was made for us, as we were such a large group.

On the strength of Saturday’s experience, however, I would have been more than happy to have just rocked-up and positioned ourselves around one of the tables opposite the main bar.

On arrival we tracked down our table and settled in to enjoy a few refreshing brews. One of the lively restaurant crew introduced herself to our table and, by the end of the night, she knew most of the members of our group by their nicknames. This attitude was typical of all the staff we dealt with – not only were they helpful, but all seemed to be really enjoying themselves. Their approach was casual yet very professional.

Most of the menu lends itself to casual eating and the sharing of dishes, and the attentive staff will make sure enough tucker is coming your way.

All orders are plugged into palm pilots and sent to the various drink and food preparation stations – a system that ran like clockwork for our table.

We were treated to a slow, steady stream of dishes from the menu throughout the evening, as we required.

It was a similar story with our drinks orders.

When in Fremantle it is hard not to order mussels, and our table’s selection had the little ocean dwellers prepared in the half shell with an intriguing macadamia nut herb crust ($14). An easy dish to share, as you don’t have to don an apron. Other delights sure to tempt many of our group back to Little Creatures were the rolled eggplant filled with feta, olives and red pepper pesto ($11), spring vegetable ricotta tart with roasted pumpkin seeds ($13), and marinated olives with feta ($6).

Of course, when you are drinking a couple of cold brews you need a few bowls of hand-cut frites at $5 per bowl. All these starters were fresh and presented with flair and, most importantly, all were full of flavour. If there had to be a favourite, however, it was perhaps the squid with coriander and lime ($14) that came away with the top vote.

One of the members of our group decided to go solo and ordered the rib-eye steak with salad and frites, which was prepared to order and met with approval from our solo flyer. Individual meals range from $12 for a salad through to $19 for the rib-eye steak and $20 for the fish of the day.

The selection of tapas includes freshly shucked oyster at $2 each, marinated kangaroo with chilli jam ($14), or prosciutto-wrapped tiger prawns ($17).

A wood-fired pizza oven holds centre stage in the open kitchen at Little Creatures, and everyone knows that pizza and beer go hand-in-hand. There are plenty of choices and there was no problem in adding extra toppings or banishing others. Pizzas range from $12 to $15 and were a manageable size. We tried the wood-fired pizza with blue cheese, pear and rocket topping; mozzarella, prosciutto and thyme with an addition of chorizo sausage; and the prawn, shiitake and coriander pesto pizza. There weren’t too many crumbs left so you would have to assume all met with approval. The only pizza that was a little out of left field for me was the blue cheese number.

If you are not a beer lover … fear not, the wine list at Little Creatures is well priced. And there’s plenty of variety, including several wines from the less-commercial wineries among the offering, with a bias to Western Australia’s boutique producers. The wine list prices range from $20 to $33.

All in our group suggested they would head back to Little Creatures Brewery for another night out. We spent about $20 per person for food and, while the lively atmosphere may not be for everyone, I certainly will be heading back for another night of casual, inexpensive dining.

Restaurant meals for review are paid for by Business News.

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