A Freo icon - Amazing food and a good range of beers.Our rating:
I have to admit my opinion of Freo has changed dramatically over the past 6 months, not that I ever hated it or anything, it just became a bit too touristy for me. We’ve recently done three trips down to Freo and every one of them has been as good, if not better, than the last. We’ve enjoyed the delicious handcrafted beers at The Monk, discovered interesting new craft ales at The Sail and Anchor and on our most recent Freo adventure we had an awesome late lunch at The Norfolk.
The Norfolk has one of the best setups to enjoy a beer and a meal on a summer’s day in Perth. The huge outdoor area has plenty of big wooden tables, it’s completely covered by shade sails and there are even misters on the roof, regularly spraying refreshing cool water vapour onto the patrons below. We initially arrived at 12:00 but weren’t able to get a seat in the outdoor area, so we went down the road to Who’s Your Mumma for a drink and some starters. We came back at about 3:00 and were able to snag a table in the ‘in demand’ outdoor area. In addition to the pub, The Norfolk is also famous for The Basement Lounge downstairs, an intimate performance space and bar, which has played host to a range of local and international bands over the years.
The menus (both food and drinks) were very interesting, there were over 20 tap beers available on their ever-changing beer list, including one of my favourites at the moment, Two Birds Golden Ale, a super refreshing golden ale, perfect for a 41 degree summer’s day. There’s also a fairly succinct list of whites and reds available by the glass or bottle. However, it was the food menu that was most intriguing, not your average ‘pub grub’ that’s for sure. The menu seemed to have a bit of an Asian/Mexican influence to it and could almost be broken up into three parts; shared dished, mains and woodfired pizzas. Choosing just one thing seemed too hard, so instead we ordered four things from the ‘shared section’; sticky asian barbecue spare ribs, szechuan squid, chipotle pork tortillas and the grilled king prawns.
Our food only took 15 minutes to arrive, fairly impressive considering how busy it was, and overall the service was quite good. Bar staff were friendly and the wait staff quite efficient. All four dishes were outstanding, my favourite was the szechuan squid, the squid was cooked perfectly, the batter was light and the szechuan seasoning gave it a good amount of kick. The spare ribs came in a close second, the meat fell of the bone with ease and the sticky barbecue sauce was a winner.
Out of all the pubs in Freo I’ve been to so far, I’d have to say The Norfolk is my favourite, it seems to be an absolute hit amongst the Freo locals and there’s good reason why. The massive outdoor area makes the place and when you combine it with good service, tasty food, a more than decent selection of beers and reasonable prices, how could you go wrong.