Freelance writer, mum of two who loves living in sunny Perth.
Published August 6th 2014
Zenos Cafe in Hillarys is the perfect spot to grab some seafood whilst you're down at the seaside. Boasting a prime position on the popular Hillarys boardwalk, Zenos provides a great dining choice for families, with its large indoor fish tank providing a source of entertainment for smaller kids.
The restaurant is divided down the middle by a large fish tank, and if you have kids with you, ask to be seated next to it, and you'll find that these are the hottest seats in town. Children will simply adore watching these fish swim around, and it's free and easy entertainment. Away from the fish, you've got tables at the back of the restaurant that overlook the harbour side of Hillarys (lots of boats), or you can be seated nearer to the front of the restaurant, which is right next to the boardwalk action.
The decor is simple and laid back, and at first glance you might consider the ambience a little bit too low key and perhaps not the place for great seafood. Zenos calls itself a cafe, but in honesty it is somewhere between a cafe and a restaurant and this makes a perfect place for family friendly dining.
Zenos is primarily a seafood cafe with a wide menu featuring popular main meal choices of snapper, salmon, chilli mussels and barramundi to name but a few. There are sumptious seafood platters which look amazing if you're sharing with a fish loving friend, starting at a price of $39. For non fish friends, you're not forgotten and there are some good selections to be found in steak, pastas, salads and chicken. The portions are big here, and on my latest visit, I opted for the snapper (as did my partner) and for $28 each, it is a great sized meal. The fish tastes extremely fresh, which is a real winner for me. I'm not a traditional fish fan, as I get put off by anything that smells or tastes too 'fishy', but the snapper here is perfect, and rivals any fish I've had elsewhere in Perth.
As a nice extra touch, once you've ordered, you are also brought a basket of baked rolls and butter to your table, which makes for a lovely entree and a great start to the dining experience. All tables are also offered water and glasses when you've sat down, and this adds to the overall appeal of the service you receive.
This is a really lovely cafe, that punches above its weight almost hitting restaurant territory. The menu is varied, and the seafood is fresh and served in a good sized portion. I've always found my food to be served quickly, but as with many of the restaurants at Hillarys, it can get very busy and at peak times, you may be in for a bit of a wait. This is where the free bread offered to your table is a great pleasantry.
Bookings are definitely recommended, which you can do online here or by phoning (08) 9246 3950.