Share and share alike

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Share food @2x

Tapas, antipasto, aperitivo, yum cha, grazing plates… No matter what any given nationality might call it, we’re dubbing it quick-and-easy food. And this summer, it’s the best solution to that great conundrum: ‘Where do we go to eat that’s cheap and cheerful, and easy to share?’ Particularly with festival season now in full swing, the last thing you’d want to be doing is fussing over a menu with friends when you’re all just aching to fill up and head off to the big gig.

But back to the semantics of tapas, in some cultures, dining on small morsels used to be a subsidiary action to the main event of drinking (tapas were literally dishes used to cover Spanish pub-goers’ beverages; dim sum was mere accompaniment to Chinese high tea), but nowadays the food itself is taking centre-stage.

Small bars in Perth are being bombarded with customers ordering “a little bit of this, a little bit of that” off the menu, demanding two plates of everything “so that we can all, you know, taste a bit of everything”.

Highgate’s Enrique’s School for to Bullfighting (we’re still loving that kooky name) has been around for a couple of years but is still very popular for its tapas-honed degustation menu.

El Publico diagonally across the road goes one further and insists you drink a specific tequila to match each rustic mini dish.

New rooftop bar Déjà Vu in Northbridge, Perth, offers everything from ‘boutique’ sliders (our favourite: the BBQ shredded jackfruit, lemon myrtle aioli and red slaw mini burger) to ‘banging beetroot pesto’ with goat’s cheese and arugula. Another standout on the Déjà Vu menu is its charcoal pizza, its key ingredient working to cleanse the system and help rid toxins while tasting so, so, so good! (Note: a full review of Déjà Vu’s rooftop bar will be published in Cream soon).

DJV Tapas @2x

Boutique sliders are a great, easy choice at Déjà Vu in Northbridge, Perth.

Delve into the heart of Perth and The Spaniard provides an array of Spanish bar bites and creative cocktails over two levels, while Andaluz Bar sees a contemporary twist on traditional Spanish flavours and textures on their extensive menu, including juicy pork belly bites to die for.

But it’s not all Spanish influence on the tapas menu, with Brika in East Perth proffering traditional Greek meze style dishes such as pork croquettes (spelled officially ‘kroketes’), spicy artichoke keftes, and capsicum stuffed with rice, mushroom and pine nuts.

Tempting meze plates at Brika, East Perth.

Tempting meze plates at Brika, East Perth.

For something simple but delicious, Gami Chicken & Beer has just opened up inWhitfords Shopping Centre in Hilarys as well as a signature restaurant in Perth City. One taste of this Korean-style chicken made with 17 herbs (take that, Colonel Sanders!) and you’ll know right away why Gami has been such a huge hit in Melbourne, with almost a dozen outlets peppering the city and its inner suburbs.

Yummy chicken that's easy to over-indulge in at Gami Chicken & Beer.

Yummy chicken that’s easy to over-indulge in at Gami Chicken & Beer.

Indeed, we can probably thank Melbourne for the return to a tapas-style dining trend. Share-dining has been big in the Victorian capital for the better part of the past three years, with must-hang venues such as Kong, Portello Rosso, and Jardin Tan all famous for their ‘small selections’ share menus. And, yes, the restaurant that started it all – MoVida – is still hot enough to frequent.

Traditional meatballs, Portello Rosso-style.

Traditional meatballs, Portello Rosso-style.

A recent addition to Melbourne’s tapas bar scene is Lona in St Kilda which serves the tastiest tacos, sliders, and grazing boards while also allowing you to skip the decision-making in favour of the $30 chef’s tasting menu. (Rest assured, it’s all good!).

Lona in St Kilda offers excellent tapa options.

Lona in St Kilda offers excellent tapa options.


While Pablo Honey in St Kilda also delves into Latin American flavours, offering the likes of chilli-braised pork cheek, chargrilled squid with chorizo, and Spring Bay mussels with ham.

More delectable tapas, from Pablo Honey in St Kilda.

More delectable tapas, from Pablo Honey in St Kilda.

One thing is for sure, tapas is top of mind for diners in Melbourne and Perth this summer.

Whether this revival of hors d’oeuvre-style dining is related to a recent fascination of ‘everything multicultural’ in the kitchen, or an addendum to the ‘a little of everything is okay, too much of one thing is not’ philosophy, one thing is for sure – we’re loving the variety.  Antonino Tati





Andaluz Bar & Tapas

Basement Level, 21 Howard Street, Perth



3 / 177 Stirling Street, East Perth


Déjà Vu Tapas Rooftop Bar & Restaurant

Upstairs, 2 / 310 William Street, Northbridge


Gami Chicken & Beer

Whitfords Shopping Centre, Marmion Ave & Whitfords Avenue, Hillarys


El Publico

511 Beaufort Street, Highgate


Enrique’s School for to Bullfighting

484 Beaufort Street, Highgate



229 Oxford Street, Leederville



Claremont Quarter, Shop 117, 1 Bayview Terrace, Claremont



749 Newcastle Street, Leederville




David’s (a classic for Chinese dumplings)

4 Cecil Place, Prahran


Gami Chicken & Beer

Outlets in King Street and Little Lonsdale Street, City; Hawthorn; Fitzroy; Carnegie; Box Hills; Eastland; Fountain Gate; Knox and Southland


Jardin Tan

Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra


Kong (the most inventive Korean we’ve tried)

599 Church Street, Cremorne



64-66 Acland Street, St Kilda


Pablo Honey

68 Acland Street, St Kilda


Portello Rosso

15 Warburton Lane, Melbourne