Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published January 7th 2012
The 3 Most Overrated Places in Perth It's easy to find lists of places you've simply got to visit in Perth. Too easy, in fact. After a certain point the choices grow to an unmanageable number. For those of us who don't want to spend their lives ticking off a list of restaurants and tourist attractions, it can be more useful to know where not to go: those places that don't live up to the hype.
And those places that seem to be stuck in the past.
Here are a few examples, and feel free to share any others in the comment section below. Working together, we can expose Perth's occasional flaws and give visitors a much happier experience – or, alternatively, slander respectable establishments. The options are endless.
The Beaufort Street Merchant
The Beaufort Street Merchant is on 488 Beaufort St, Highgate. The website proudly boasts of its uniqueness: it's a bar, a fine wine store, a brasserie and a provedore. Each dish comes with a hefty price tag, which is normal for fine dining. Be aware, though, that you're paying a lot of money for a relatively small amount of food – for quality, not quantity.
Such an imaginative logo.
By and large, the food lives up to the price tag (if that sort of thing is what you're into). However, there is one area where the Beaufort Street Merchant doesn't deserve its praise: the coffee. A place that prides itself on serving good breakfasts should really do better than weak, tasteless coffee. Those who enjoy their breakfast with an orange juice have nothing to worry about, but the rest of us ought to give the Beaufort Street Merchant a miss.
Pickled Fig Pickled Fig, on 9/21 Ocean Drive in North Coogee, is another café-slash-restaurant that focuses on good breakfasts – and like the Beaufort Street Merchant, it mostly fails. The location is ideal: perched on the lip of South Beach, with an expansive view of the waterfront. The menu is broad, including vegetarians and gluten-intolerant people. Unfortunately, the actual food is poor. Expect small, dry pancakes, gritty salad and so on. Pickled Fig seems permanently understaffed – probably due to a shortage of hospitality workers – and patrons often find themselves waiting for a long time just to be served. For some people, prime location covers a host of problems. If you're not one of those people, don't bother with Pickled Fig.
At least the logo looks good.
Perth Tram Tours It seems like every major Australian city is jumping aboard the tram-tourism bandwagon. For anyone who's actually ridden a tram before, it's hard to imagine why. Visitors to Perth are invited to pay twenty-four dollars to sit on a wooden replica tram – on wheels – for an hour as it trundles from Kings Park to Burwood Casino and back again. Commentary is dispensed over the speakers as passengers squint at buildings through the windows.
This is what part of a tram looks like.
Honestly, if you're capable of walking around Perth, saving your money and going for a city stroll is a much better option. That way you'll avoid the headache-inducing rattle, the engine fumes, and the occasional rollercoaster effect as the tram turns a tight corner.
Love the Beaufort Street Merchant or Pickled Fig? Think that riding a tram is a spiritual experience? Know a place that's more overrated than any of these? Share your thoughts in the comments – we'd love to hear from you.
I can understand how someone from Melbourne would think Perth food establishments are overpriced. There are several contributing factors that I am aware of: some food has to travel further (from the eastern states - not everything can be sourced locally), waitstaff are harder to find due to a large proportion of the young workforce following the mining boom (restaurants have to offer higher wages to attract staff) and rents are higher than in the east, forcing up restaurant prices.
In regards to this article, it seems to be less about the worst of Perth and more about the author increasing the click rate to articles he has already written.
Erm, as someone new to Perth, none of these places were on my list of things you 'must' visit in the first place. And, yes, I did read lotsa websites and my old school Lonely Planet. Most things I've visited (and I haven't visited those cafes which are not tourist attractions in the first place) have been pretty much as expected. And I expect service and quality to be a little patchy in a small city. If I had to nominate an overhyped 'attraction' I'd nominate... E shed markets in Freo - same old stuff, all made in India or China, which you would find anywhere in the world.
I totally agree, it is full of tat.
If you're looking to buy worthless crap for your nearest and dearest then take a trip to the E Sheds.
As China is attempting to flood the world with worthless crap the E Sheds "markets" appears to be their first dropping off point...!
Frisk. Small Bar. and Helvetica Bar are absolutely ridiculous. They're marketing strategy has them all over the internet and the city, in your face about how incredibly alternative and fantastic they are. They're hipster bars filled with pretentious first year university students who think they've lived. I am personally not inclined to spend $18 on a drink that comes in a jar. It's not kitsch it's pandering, and it's pathetic.