I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
Published December 11th 2016
Genuine American dining at this popular Nedlands bar
Varsity Bar in Nedlands is everything you would imagine you'd find in a true American bar, complete with sweet brioche burger buns, oodles of American sport on TV and Coors on tap.
Being so close to the University of Western Australia, this Yankee-themed bar is immensely popular with students, but it also caters for families, with board games and a kids' menu available on request. When we visited there were a number of families with kids of all ages enjoying a meal.
There are so many options on the menu, including burgers, pizzas, salads and sides. A family member was visiting Perth and accompanied us to Varsity Bar. Having travelled extensively throughout the US, I asked him how close the menu was to those you would find in American diners, and he said it was pretty much spot on. The hot wings, hog fries, cheeseburgers, Philly cheese steaks all items you would typically find on many American menus. Each burger is made with the same sweet brioche buns that are so rampant in restaurants in the States.
Varsity Bar is popular with students, plus families and foodies.
While I hate pickles as a standalone food, there is something about a cheeseburger with pickles that I just can't resist, so naturally it was my first choice. I ordered mine without the Varsity Mayo and added ketchup. It tasted fantastic the burger pattie was juicy and tender and there was just enough pickle without it being too overpowering. It was well and truly delicious easily one of the best cheeseburgers I've had in Perth. It was presented in a little basket with chips (OK, fries.)
We had ordered a serve of onion rings and I must say, they were the biggest onion rings I had ever seen. I am still wondering where on earth they found onions big enough to make these giant onion rings. They were simply astounding. I would've liked a little more seasoning added to the batter, but they were still good regardless.
My husband is a sucker for hot wings, so he ordered a serve. He said they weren't as hot as he would have liked, but polished them off anyway. The sauce was creamy and the wings weren't overcooked at all, so he enjoyed them regardless.
He also ordered the McFly burger, because it has the word "spicy" next to it in brackets. Consisting of two beef patties with cheese, lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, an onion ring and a smokey habanero sauce, I think he was in some sort of burger heaven with this giant creation.
The one thing Varsity Bar doesn't have is high chairs, and given we had our 18-month old daughter with us, we parked ourselves on a comfortable, low sofa and table with lots of cushions where our daughter could eat happily, so the lack of highchairs wasn't a problem on this occasion. They do have a kids menu available upon request.
The price was fairly reasonable we paid around $50 for two burgers and two side dishes, which was a heck of a lot of food. The meal sizes were huge, so I consider this quite good value for what we got.
Varsity Bar feels like a quintessentially student's bar, and clearly caters accordingly. There is a ping pong table, arcade games, pool tables and well advertised mid-week and Sunday specials, including $5 Hot Dog Wednesdays and $5 beers on Sundays. It was great though to see so many other families enjoying their meals among the student population.
It may look and feel like a student's bar above all else, but if you want to try American food that's as close to the real thing as possible, get among the uni-goers, tuck into some great food and wash it all down with a genuine American beer.