Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Mundaring Hotel Revisited

Home > Perth > Dinner | Escape the City | Hotels | Lunch | Restaurants
by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
Published October 8th 2014
Jim's back and he's brought great food, great service
More than in any other branch of the hospitality industry personality counts in running a bar.

The broad term 'Mine Host' evokes the mix of charm, warmth, character and skill required for this most difficult challenge.

This being the case, the public responds to those who manage it - hence the wildfire spreading of the news 'Jim's Back' among the patrons of the Mundaring Hotel as Jim Middleton returns, having spent the last while down at the Bassendean Hotel.

Jim has brought a new team with him while retaining the best of the previous crew, such as Jacinta.

Mundaring Hotel, Jim, Bistro, Tapas, Leigh
Jim, Chef Alfredo and Leigh (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)

The new management consists of Jim, of course, Venue Manager and partner Leigh Couper and chef Alfredo (not Italian, despite the name) who together are bringing the Mundaring Hotel back to its glory days while having a few innovative plans in hand for the immediate future.

The menu has been extensively over-hauled with the familiar and comfortable dishes retained and some less 'pub grub' dishes put in place for the more adventurous.

The dining area is now called a 'Bistro' and with good cause as these are not the usual dishes that one might find in a country hotel.

We dined en famille very shortly after the change of management and were enchanted with the options.

The entrée course is re-envisaged as a selection of 'Small Bites', in preparation of the Tapas-style lounge to come.

A range of some seven or so to begin with and more planned. We ordered a few so that we could share and sample - which is, of course, the intention of this style of dining.

Mundaring Hotel, Jim, Bistro, Tapas, Leigh
Morcilla on a slate at Mundaring Hotel (Photogrpah by D Sutherland-Bruce)

Priced between $9 and $16 and including oysters at $3 each as Kilpatrick, Rockefeller or Natural.

We chose Morcilla (a Spanish blood sausage) which comes with mixed olives and grilled Hallumi cheese. If you've never tried blood sausage then this is a good place to try.

We also had the Smoked Hock Croquettes which were absolute perfection and came with blackberry puree, a remulade and port wine Derby. The croquettes are made with pulled smoked port hock and were delicious in the extreme.

Mundaring Hotel, Jim, Bistro, Tapas, Leigh
Chef Alfredo's aranchini (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)

The last we tried were the Arancini - an ancient Sicilian delicacy becoming very fashionable now. The name means 'little orange' because of the shape, and are rice balls stuffed, in this case, with pistachio, smoked cheese, pumpkin and tomato paste, crumbed and fried. Served with an elegant Saffron aioli they were superb.

I am quite keen to try the rest of the small bites, but we were just as keen to try the mains - divided into 'Hands On' (burgers and sandwiches) and the more formal.

The Hands On includes such tempting suggestions as the famous Steak Sandwich ($21), a Piri-piri Club sandwich ($19) and a few hamburgers, including the new American import so beloved of Gordon Ramsey - the 'Slider', a kind of mini-burger served in sets.

These ($19) are three with lamb and pistachio patties crème fraîche, smoked cheese, fennel and onion jam, rocket and mustard mayonnaise served with chips.

I saw several going past to other tables and it was with difficulty I prevented myself from mugging the server for her tray.

Mundaring Hotel, Jim, Bistro, Tapas, Leigh
Steak dinner (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)

The Green Farm Burger ($17) is a true vegetarian burger, with a field mushroom, oven roast tomato, grilled Halloumi, rocket, pistachio (for which Chef Alfredo seems to share my passion), mustard, mayo, grilled zucchini, roast capsicum, spiced roast pumpkin, Crème fraîcheand a beetroot and blackberry chutney.

Angela, who likes a good salad, had a Grilled Chicken & Spinach Salad ($24) it came beautifully presented with a superbly poached egg on top with the best-cooked asparagus I've eaten in a very long time. The asparagus was served with every dish I'm happy to say so I could steal from everyone's plate.

Mundaring Hotel, Jim, Bistro, Tapas, Leigh
Grilled Chicken & Spinach Salad (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce

Jess and I had steaks - a Scotch Fillet ($32) and an Eye Fillet ($34). Perfectly cooked to request and as tender as those cuts can be, while being full of flavour and richly sauced.

James, in an unusual choice for him, chose a Thai Beef Salad ($24) of Black Angus beef, soy, cashews, a slaw of apple and pear, green beans, radiccio, sesame, crispy hokkien noodles, bean shoots and a sharp chilli mayonnaise.

Leigh, who was most attentive to the patrons offered a glass of red to accompany my steak - I left the choice to her and was very glad I had. A wonderful, rich, full-bodied wine. A perfect complement to the steak.

Mundaring Hotel, Jim, Bistro, Tapas, Leigh
The infamous Sticky Date Pudding (Photograph by D Sutherland-Bruce)

The sweet course is currently limited to a single dish - a Sticky Date Pudding with caramel sauce ($10). Now I make a pretty fair Sticky Date Pudding myself and would back it against most chefs.

After trying Chef Alfredo's, I sent a message back to the kitchen. A simple one; 'You bastard'. Light, rich and delicious it was better than mine to a degree. (Angela said my sauce was better, but she was just being a comforting wife. I know the truth when I taste it.)

We followed our excellent meal with very good coffee and waddled out to the car.

As well as the meal we consumed the Mundaring Hotel offers Kids Meals, daily specials (Monday to Thursday $13) - Friday 'Rump and a Pint - $25' and has a whole range of goodies in the planning stage.

The Mundaring Hotel is a good, comfortable country pub, an up-market Bistro, a relaxed, informal family restaurant and a purveyor of fine dining at exceptionally good value for money.

I think, if this is a sign of the new management we can all say with feeling. 'Thank goodness, Jim's back.'

Very Highly Recommended Indeed.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  113
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? The best gastro-pub food in the Hills
When: 7 days a week
Phone: 9295 1006
Where: 65 Jacoby Street, Mundaring
Cost: $40-$50
Your Comment
Are those pistachios under ice cream with the sticky date pudding? Rather an unusual way to present it, but very tasty I expect.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12388) 1715 days ago
An excellent review - always good to hear when a country pub has been revamped and is providing delicious food. I really enjoyed all the detail of your review. The chef also seems partial to blackberries. Hoping to organise a meal there soon.
by jane (score: 0|5) 1134 days ago
Excellent review, I am passing this info on to my Daughter and Son-in-law who enjoy fine dining when they come to Perth from the country.
by robox (score: 1|72) 1714 days ago
Articles from other cities
Foodi Photoh Classie
Mundaring Hotel (article)
by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce on 09/09/2013
Top Events
Popular Articles