So Shall Alice: Mary’s


There are five things I look for when I’m going to a new venue. Good food, good booze, good atmosphere, good service and nice toilets. Rarely does a place check all five boxes so completely. Mary’s surprised me and well and truly checked them all!

By day, Mary’s is the well known Mary Street Bakery, providing Mount Lawley with an awesome bakery, coffee house and breakfast/brunch/lunch spot. By night, it becomes something much more.

Four of us went for dinner, an impromptu girl’s night. We were seated at a lovely corner table and as we looked over the menu I was truthfully a little hesitant. I have stupid dietary requirements like no egg and not too much soy and that can make it hard when eating out. We were also with someone who doesn’t like their food to be too messed with so in theory we were in for a bit of a challenge.

The choice of drinks is interesting, but works well Thai basil, plum and green apple; and single origin coffee infused soju and Pink Granades (gin, grapefruits, maraschino and bitters) before choosing an amazing Orange Wine to accompany our food.

The venue manager bought over an assortment of dishes for the table, tailoring and removing to suit dietary requirements as needed. Starting with crispy chicken skin, we the dove into fried sweet potato dumplings with white miso, raw white fish with ginger and sesame, aged rump tartare with smoked oysters, squid ink tagliatelle with scallops and ending with a watercress, avocado and black rice salad.

Every dish we were given worked as a pair, in a group or as a standalone dish. The tenderness of the fish and the bursting bubbles of the rice in the salad were absolute winners. I was excited to keep eating and to keep trying different combinations. The dumplings and the salad were standout. The rice was unique took me back to my childhood, reminding me of popping candy.

To finish the meal we were presented with doughnut ice cream and peanut butter crunch on toast and a dark chocolate mousse with a ginger nut brownie. I didn’t realise the food could be more impressive, but that was the icing on the cake. The sweets, which were large, were rich and bold but not overpowering. They complimented the rest of the meal.

To accompany the amazing meal, was the wonderful service and atmosphere. 12” vinyl’s filled the room with music and the staff were exactly the right kind of attentive; offering us suggestions for booze or a dish and engaging us with discussions about the new wine list and why the menu is designed the way it is.

With the vast array of new and amazing eateries in the Mount Lawley area I was worried that Mary’s would become another easy and OK option for dinner but it is cemented its place as somewhere special for dinner, something to celebrate and something to be remembered.

Mary’s, at 507 Beaufort St, Highgate, is open Wednesday – Saturday nights

This was published by Out in Perth. Read it here

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