23/05/2006 - 22:00

Table 78 aims to take West Perth beyond the nine-to-five

23/05/2006 - 22:00


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Perth restaurateurs Damien Brown and Hayley Rooke want to change the way West Perth goes about its dining.

Table 78 aims to take West Perth beyond the nine-to-five

Perth restaurateurs Damien Brown and Hayley Rooke want to change the way West Perth goes about its dining.

The young couple has recently opened Table 78, a casual urban styled restaurant at 78 Outram Street, West Perth.

Setting up shop where the old Haskins used to be, they want to encourage more people to visit the area beyond the nine to five hours.

“We have had a lot of support from the locals already,” Ms Rooke says.

“The lunch crowd in West Perth is very good but getting them in for dinner is a bit more challenging.

“The whole place kind of shuts down after 5pm.”

And what Table 78 has to offer West Perth is quite appealing. The happy marriage of three heritage-listed houses has created a stunningly individual, casual and contemporary dining space.

Much of the renovation work was done by Mr Brown and Ms Rooke last Christmas. In effect there is now one house for the restaurant, one for a private function room, and another for staff quarters and storage.

The restaurant comfortably seats 75 and has space for 50 in the courtyard.

By far the most striking feature of the space is the vintage style wallpaper that adorns many of the interior walls. Bright colours and motifs add a sense of vibrancy to the rooms, says Mr Brown, who took inspiration from his time at London restaurants.

While the pair previously headed up the Mount Street Café, Mr Brown was sous chef to Ben O’Donoghue at Montes in Knightsbridge, London.

Table 78 has employed the talents of sous chef Matt Novak, who worked with Mr Brown under renowned perfectionist Janni Kyritsis at Sydney’s MG Garage.

“I spent three years in London and really loved it. The food scene there is amazing,” Mr Brown says. “With this place, we’ve tried to capture some of that gastro-pub revolution that went through the UK.”

Mr Brown’s menu is seasonally driven, featuring Italian and Mediterranean influences. But there is a blend of different culinary strands among the menu items, such as tempura-battered oysters, fresh home-made linguini with prawns and chilli, and roasted salmon on French lentils.

Table 78 features an impressive and uncomplicated menu, with a carefully selected range of delicious mains and side dishes.

The wine list includes many popular Western Australian and South Australian varieties, with all the wines specifically chosen to complement the menu.

But anyone who knows Mr Brown and Ms Rooke from the Mount Street Café will know they haven’t left breakfast out of the loop. Their cafe breakfast follow-ing was about as fiercely loyal as you can get for a cafe in Perth, and while many were sad to see the couple leave the busy spot, they can now find the same care being taken in West Perth.

And Table 78 really does treat breakfast well with toasted coconut bread, thyme roasted tomato and avocado and double roasted smoked ham toasty just some of the choices to be made.

“Breakfast at Mount Street really was our bread and butter,” Ms Rooke says. “We have always tried to be creative with it; you know breakfast doesn’t stop at eggs.”

Now looking to capitalise on new surroundings in a great location, they are just opposite the Italian fine diner Perugino’s, Mr Brown and Ms Rooke believe that it will be the simple things that will make Table 78 a success.

“Repetition is the key,” Mr Brown says. “That’s what makes a place a success.

“The ability for a place to do something well once, and for someone to return and have it done just as well is so important.

“Consistency in restaurants is crucial. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a hamburger, it is what makes a place.”


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