Kiwi expat Scott Brannigan shares his favourite things about this West Australian city
What is your favourite thing about living in Perth?
Work was the reason I came but the weather and lifestyle are contributing factors to why I'm still here, not to mention we have met awesome people too.
Why is it a good place for Kiwis to live?
Perth is a big small town with a similar community feeling to that of New Zealand. If you are willing to work hard there are opportunities (and we are not talking about the mining industry here). It's a young city that is forever growing.
Does it have a lot to offer a Kiwi tourist?
You have so many options for whatever kind of holiday you want. Western Australia offers lots of different landscapes a few hours drive in each direction. The weather is generally really good, which really makes exploring both accessible and enjoyable. It is not the cheapest option for a holiday but the trip is well worth making.
Why is Perth a good destination for foodies?
Perth has close access to some incredible produce from areas that surround the city itself. It basically has its own little network of artisans/growers/farmers/wine-makers and you'll find it supported and showcased throughout WA.
Where is the first place you take Kiwi visitors?
The beaches are pretty impressive. When you live here you really take for granted that down the road we have the turquoise clear water you see in magazines.
What is the best thing on the menu at your restaurant Bread in Common?
Apart from the wood-fired bread, the lamb ribs with mint black garlic and sherry are a big hit but we also have a large vegetarian and vegan selection to go along with our proteins. The menu changes often but the lamb ribs are yet to be benched.
Apart from Bread in Common, where are some of the best places to eat in Perth?
The food scene has changed massively in Perth but I'll break it down like this ...
For fine dining, Wildflower at the top of the Treasury Building looking over the Swan River is fantastic. Balthazar in the CBD is an institution and one of the oldest restaurants in town (but don't take old for boring).
For some wood-fired goodness, Manuka Woodfire Kitchen in Fremantle has a Kiwi chef doing some good things. For pasta, Lulu La Delizia in Subiaco; for some great conversation, an extensive booze list and some tasty nibbles check out Lalla Rookh.
To be honest, there are so many more the list could go on.
What about some of your favourite places for a night out?
We live not far from the city so we enjoy wandering Northbridge/Mt Lawley. There has been a huge shift with small bars opening. We also love live music, so the Ellington Jazz Club, Northbridge and Billie H in Claremont are great.
Where would you go to see some iconic Australian wildlife?
Whales use the Perth coast as a highway so you can often spot them and I'm pretty sure if you hang around the beach long enough you might see a shark too.
What's a good day trip away from the city?
Rottnest Island — seriously an amazing place that my family and I love. I don't know anywhere quite like it.
Are there any good museums or galleries in the city?
The Art Gallery of Western Australia is in the middle of the arts precinct between the CBD and Northbridge. This area has gone though an amazing transformation recently, a public space dedicated to the arts used for festivals, concerts, public art and markets which is surrounded by small bars and restaurants. The Alex Hotel is right in the thick of it, and it also has a great restaurant, Shadow, alongside it. This is where I would suggest visitors start.
Is there a good place to experience indigenous Australian culture?
WA, being an extremely large area of land, means that its people are spread widely and often in very remote areas. Perth has an amazing resource in Kings Park, a huge expanse of carefully designed national park in the middle of the city. It offers walks based around its original inhabitants — the Wadjuk people.
What is your favourite winery or craft brewery?
A short drive out of Perth is Millbrook Winery, which has an impressive garden and setting with food to match. It's great for a day trip.
Black Brewing Co in Margaret River is right up my alley. A sum of all its parts, a good team have come together to create something great. They have cleverly matched their menu to suit their beer. Indonesian injections throughout make it familiar to its punters. Perth born-and-breds have travelled to Indonesia well before they travel to Australia's east coast.
What are some of Fremantle's must-sees?
Any other insider secrets you'd like to share?
Hippocampus Distillery in West Perth opens up on a Friday night. Specialising in gin and vodka, it has the impressive working still alongside the bar. Directly across the street is Gordon Street Garage, a refurbished garage housing a restaurant and coffee roaster. If you are driving, park up at Watertown outlet shopping for $5 parking.
Kiwi expat Scott Brannigan is head chef at Bread in Common, a restaurant and bakery in Fremantle.