Standard in name but not by nature
With only a couple of months until its first birthday, we thought a review of The Standard was well overdue. One of our favourite new venues in Perth, and according to legend, previously a questionable locale for cards and cheeky drinks between old boys, The Standard has experienced a change of character, replacing it with one of the most vibrant and original spaces to be found in Northbridge. With its fun, relaxed vibe and decidedly airy feel, The Standard is a great destination for a bite to eat after a show, or just as appropriate, some afternoon drinks in the very cruisy wine garden.
I’m hanging out with effervescent Venue Manager Clancy Rasmussen who admits that while her experience of running bars is limited to her current role, an extensive background in restaurants and other management roles have seen her bring new ideas and experiences to the venue. And there’s plenty here that is different from the norm, from the décor in the wine garden to the wall-mounted foghorn plant, and similarly-affixed light box art from Freo-based designers Dunk n Wagnell.
I love a good shipping container said no one ever, but the guys down here have made excellent use of the one they have, with the roof used as a second level balcony complete with tables and chairs, and the inside doubling (or is that trebling?) up as a cool room, store room and bar … very functional! From the roof of the container you can experience an elevated perspective of parts of the Northbridge and city skylines, while the voyeur in you can kick back and idly observe the interactions of the patrons below.
There is a particular focus on the female patron at The Standard, with much of the furnishings possessing a feminine disposition, and a wide variety of rosé available by the glass … ‘cause chicks dig rosé. Not often found in a venue such as this, the table service is a nice touch and adds to that chilled out vibe. (Note: I’m writing this at 10am on a Sunday morning and I have this overwhelming urge to order myself up a nice cold glass of the pink stuff right now … is that bad?)
So who are the players behind this relatively new arrival on Roe St? Well there’s the aforementioned VM Clancy, backed up by Assistant Venue Manager Patricia Kasprzak and Bar Manager Jenna Carpenter. At The Standard the open plan kitchen is a stage viewable from the floor, and playing the lead role is Head Chef Chase Weber, formerly of Number 4 Blake Street. Unusual but we think pretty cool is the notion that the stage extends right to your table, as Chase and Co can often be seen delivering their creations to the punters, joining them for a chat if the fancy takes them.
Speaking of the menu … which, by the way is available from the moment the doors open until they close, there are some super-tasty options available for all kinds of palates. Check out the Chicken Grill. The chicken is free-range and is sourced from Liberty Chicken in Bullsbrook. Chase and his team use the thighs which are marinated in chili, garlic, lemongrass, kaffir lime and ginger, and chargrilled to give a bit of smokiness. The dressing is Nouc Cham, made from fish sauce, chili, lime juice and palm sugar. The whole lot is garnished with fresh herbs from the garden, roasted peanuts and fresh rice noodles … yummo! Other notable dishes include the White Anchovy and the Pork Cheek, with the former consisting of Large Don Bocarte Anchovies on crispy sourdough crouton crackers (made from The Standard’s house bread), smoked tomato pearls, buffalo yoghurt, and if that ain’t enough put in a request for some blue goats cheese to add that bit of something extra. The Pork Cheek comes from Linley Valley in the Perth Hills and consists of pieces of seared pork jowl (chin, with a bacon like texture) glazed in pork stock. Accompanied by a brussel sprout and pea salad (warmed through), apple foam and crispy pigs ear … oink oink!
Now if you’re looking for a good deal down here you might want to check out the theatre menu which works for both pre and post the show, so that’s 5-7pm and 10-12am. During these timeslots you can choose from a selection of the a la carte menu as a 2 or 3 course deal, which is the perfect way to sample a number of the dishes they have on offer here … but at a fraction of the cost.
Ok, that takes care of the substance … now let’s get onto the fun stuff! To get the party started we’d recommend investigating The Standard’s take on that Perth favourite, the Espresso Martini. Termed the Cold Brew Martini, it’s based around cold brew coffee and arrives at the venue courtesy of Justin Kenny of Loaded Coffee in Nedlands. If caffeine’s not your thing (what’s wrong with you?) fear not because you can always Pash On with Bar Manager Jenna. Now before you get any ideas, the Pash On is a cocktail perfected by Jenna, and has at its core Hippocampus vodka from the team at Metropolitan Distillery. Blend in some vanilla, pineapple, passionfruit and voilà! So while it may not be as much fun as locking lips with the team behind the bar, it still makes for a rollicking good time!
Now someone we almost forgot to mention, which wouldn’t have been too crash hot as he is after all a rather important player in all of this, is owner John Parker, or JP as he’s known around the traps. A 20 year hospitality veteran, JP is a former boss of Gin Gin Rum, a Melbourne-based hospitality group responsible for iconic venues such as Gin Palace and the uber-cool rooftop locale Madame Brussels. And if you like what JP, Clancy and the rest of the team have done down here, you’re in luck, as JP is looking to expand his Perth footprint with two more venues due to open in October and December. The question is, can he surpass The Standard that’s already been set?