Meat Candy, Northbridge

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PERTH | Meat Candy, located at the unfashionable end of Northbridge where William and Brisbane street intersect, is the first restaurant owned by chef Ben Atkinson (Cantina, The Old Crow), and opened to a lot of anticipation late last year. Atkinson’s’ reputation for creating quality food, along with the promise of Nashville hot chicken, had people looking forward to “Perth’s Belle’s Hot Chicken“, but over the past few months, Meat Candy has proven itself to be much more than that.

The restaurant is housed in what feels like an old house, with the use of brown and mustard, wood and laminate creating a homely, 1970s space. The font and graphic design of Meat Candy also takes its cues from this era. It’s intentionally daggy, which makes it a little bit cool, and it works. The front patio is reminiscent of the outdoor space at Old Crow, and feels more like someone’s back yard than a restaurant. The restaurant’s soundtrack, a mixture of soul, funk and hip-hop, suits the space perfectly.

The menu features an assortment of American favourites with several nods to Australian, Country Women’s Association Cookbook inspired creations. It’s comfort food that’s designed to be shared and, much as is the case with the decor, it’s food that’s designed to elicit feelings of nostalgia.

The famous Nashville style hot chicken lives up to expectations. Free range WA grown chicken is sourced from Vince Garreffa, and is marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce (your choice of  southern, medium, or hot) overnight before being double coated with a seasoning of flour, baking powder, paprika, oregano, pepper, garlic, onion powder and salt. It’s then fried until golden brown, resulting in a piece of chicken that has a thick, crispy exterior and super tender meat. It’s served on white bread with pickles, shaved onion ranch sauce and a choice of sides, along with some feisty house made XXX hot sauce. Atkinson told us that the menu is constantly changing and evolving, but the chicken is one thing that will always be on there. One bite of the stuff and it’s easy to see why.

While the fried chicken is undoubtedly the must order item on the menu, the rest of the menu is no slouch. The corned beef tongue tacos, served with red kraut and paprika yogurt, offer a smoky, salty and sour flavour explosion. The ox tongue is made tender via sous vide before being slow cooked in Meat Candy’s indoor smoker and the flavour is outstanding. Another highlight is the hot maple glazed lamb ribs, served with blue cheese mayo and celery to cut through the richness of the flavoursome, fall of the bone lamb.

The corn, cooked simply with ‘green sauce’ and parmesan, strikes a nice balance between lightness and intensity, while the roasted beets with garlic yogurt and sumac provide a refreshing reprieve from the heavier items on the menu.

The one lowlight for us is the mac & cheese, which contains croutons with Old Bay seasoning, that detract from, rather than add to the dish. Something is missing here, and while it’s not bad, it’s not the moreish umami bomb that we go to mac & cheese for. Dessert could also benefit from being pared back a bit – the peanut parfait with chocolate mousse and plums is tasty, but after a few bites it becomes a bit too rich.

The drinks list at Meat Candy is short and focused. Bar manager Patrick Carpenter (El Publico, Late Night Valentine, Angel’s Cut by the Trustee), has created a cocktail list which features refined versions of the classics like the negroni, old fashioned, and gin fizz. Beer features a mixture of Aussie and American drops ranging from the crafty end of the scale (Pirate Life, Gage Roads, Feral) to the not so crafty, but 1970s theme fitting, Emu Export. The wine list features and handful of Australian wines, with a few Argentinian wines, including a surprising sparkling wine from Mendoza. For those who don’t want alcohol, a selection of house-made sodas is also offered.

If you’re not in the mood for a meal, one of the five bar stools that surround the curved, copper top bar in the side room next to the kitchen provide a great space to enjoy a drink or two, have a chat with the bar staff, and sense the machinations of the kitchen. If you to decide you want something to eat, the full menu is available at the bar.

Meat Candy opened with a lot of expectations and has managed to exceed them. Great food and drinks, keen pricing (a ‘feast for the table’, at $39pp provides more food than you need), and a fun, unpretentious atmosphere make Meat Candy a winner.

Meat Candy

465 William Street
Northbridge
Western Australia 6003
Australia

Telephone: 0412 632 758
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://meatcandyperth.com.au/

Open
Tue – Thu: 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 12:00pm to 10:30pm

Meat Candy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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