FOR James St Bar and Kitchen executive chef Kevin Garcia, moving to Perth to take up a stint at the DoubleTree Northbridge last year was a no-brainer.
The 38-year-old, who was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Melbourne, has been in the industry for about 16 years, with his last location the DoubleTree in Alice Springs.
Garcia, whose background is Chinese and Portuguese said he was excited to bring something different to Northbridge.
“I was in Alice Springs for three and a half years and then this opportunity came up and I’ve been in Perth since September,” he said.
“There’s a lot of Asian and steakhouse sort of restaurants in Northbridge, so we are trying to stay away from that.”
Describing the menu as homely and hearty at competitive prices, Garcia said there was something for everyone to enjoy.
“What we are trying to do is focus on contemporary, modern dishes with a twist,” he said.
“We try to offer something for everyone, not fine dining but for casual/fine this is the place to come.
“We are still trying to find our way since opening and it’s so different during the week and on the weekend it’s a completely different town.”
Listing the Tuna Tataki with watermelon and vodka ($17) and the Braised beef cheeks with blueberries ($32) as dishes to try, I set about sampling the beef cheeks.
Slow cooked and beautifully presented, it sat on a bed of mash with heirloom carrots and blueberries and while the blueberry element of the dish may sound strange, they complemented the dish perfectly; it was delicious.
Other options on the menu include the fun and great value for money, MYO (make your own) pasta selection, where you pick your pasta type and then select the sauce, tapas and share plates, all which range from $6 to $19.
For dessert I was tempted to try the Textures of DoubleTree cookie but opted for the famous cookie on its own.
Anyone who has stayed at the hotel chain knows how delicious they are and a little tip from the chef: if you stay at the hotel they’re not just complimentary on check-in, you can get those at any time of your stay. Duly noted.
WHAT: James St Bar + Kitchen
WHERE: DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Northbridge, 100 James St, Perth
WHEN: Open from breakfast until late, seven days a week