The evening before my birthday, Derek and I decided to go for a pre-birthday celebration. We have been wanting to dine at Print Hall for a long time now, truthfully, since it opened a few years ago! We’ve had a couple of drinks upstairs at Bob’s rooftop bar under the neon West Australian sign, and they always turned into great nights in the city.
I wouldn’t say the website is confusing, however, we almost missed the detail of the main bar offering a different menu to the dining room. Giving us a good opportunity to dine at the venue for substantially a lower price. That said, the degustation menu from the dining room remains on my list of places to visit soon!
On a Wednesday evening, it was a surprisingly easy task to drive into the city and find a car bay close by. On arrival, we ordered and paid for our meals at the bar before taking our seats outside.
Print Hall is a multi level eatery in central Perth, boasting a rooftop bar, basement coffee centric cafe, restaurant, dining room and another bar. The 4 storey building was once the site of the former newspaper house, and for those that have an interest in West Australian history its a place to check out. Especially the stairwell to Bob’s Bar where old newspaper clippings cover the walls, you can marvel at how cheap it once was to buy property in W.A! The interior of Print Hall features a beautiful 1930s fit out. The opulent bar which was the former reception desk of the newspaper house greets patrons as they enter through large doors. You can’t miss the beautiful atrium space that surrounds the bar. It is a charming venue.
We noticed there wasn’t a great deal of signage around the place and we watched a few groups of tourists curiously and unsurely walk past Print Hall. Without the signage or menu display its not entirely clear from the exterior exactly what Print Hall has to offer inside. Though, this does add to the mysterious charm of the place.
We kick start the celebrations with a round of drinks; a glass of sparkling for me and a beer for Derek.
Jansz Rose and Asahi Beer
My charcoal chicken looked superb and there was plenty of chicken on the plate, served on a bed of small kipfler potatoes, red peppers and red cabbage. Dollops of fresh chimichurri and a lemon wedge also accompanied the dish. The chicken was meaty and juicy to eat, and combined with a squeeze of lemon and some of the chimichurri, the meal became addictively delicious.
Charcoal Chicken kipfler potato, red pepper, chimichurri
We are both gnocchi lovers and I was secretly happy with Derek’s selection, hoping to sneak in a few mouthfuls. The potato gnocchi was served on a puree of pumpkin and we think possibly sweet potato. The dish contained a variety of flavours and textures – buttery pumpkin, toasted almonds, artichoke, sage and goats cheese. All winning combinations, and the fun part was combining them into one mouthful.
For the price of $25.00, I think the portion side can be said as value for money in Perth’s CBD. We’ve had disappointments in the past, promising dishes arriving with 5 gnocchi pieces for much the same price. Don’t get me started on tortellini! This evening we were in luck. But really, it wasn’t luck. The chef simply knows how to please!
Potato gnocchi roast pumpkin, goats cheese, almond, sage
The only gripe I have to say is, it would have been nice if my sparkling was topped up. I am always feeling a little cheated when I order a glass of sparkling or Champagne. Despite the years living in Perth I am still not used to paying such high prices, but I do understand how much it costs a business to have a liquor license, that, I learnt at the Good Food Guide awards last year.
The Print Hall venue remains a classy environment for drinks and food with a dress code of smart casual, and this means no thongs or shorts. I do like the casualness of ordering and paying for meals at the bar and this part of Print Hall is definitely one to remember for group get togethers. No worrying about splitting the bill! The dining room which is located further in the building offers the fine dining experience.
During the evening the staff provided a high level of service and we were impressed when Derek returned to the bar for a second round of drinks and the gentlemen asked ‘and a Janzs for the lady’. I would imagine this would be virtually impossible on a Friday night, however during the week its great to see diners are given more attention. It makes us feel special.
Cheers to Print Hall, it was a great way to ring in my birthday. We loved the food, service and the relaxed setting of the main bar.
Following our meal we wandered through the Brookfield Precinct. It’s a distinctly unique part of Perth and on a very small scale the area reminds me a little of Tokyo. Surrounded by skyscrapers and lights, there are bars and restaurants located at different levels. The area is wheelchair friendly too. There were a couple of rogue pianos as part of the art Brookfield project, people are encouraged to have a play. What a fantastic idea!