We always thought it was a bit of a stretch calling the southern part of Subiaco’s Rokeby Road “the Paris End”. There aren’t nearly enough poodles, smokers or canoodling couples to substantiate the comparison. But then I stumbled upon Juanita’s. And I promptly changed my mind. No, it’s not even slightly Parisian… but it’s still got a very charmingly European vibe going on.
Juanita’s is a new wine and tapas bar found in the back of Gill & Hille Merchants, a shop selling art supplies, stationery and home wares. Run by husband and wife team Gill and Juanita and open since December, the small bar is chic in a dishevelled way.
The furniture comprises a mish-mash of laminex tables, paint-chipped stools, and vintage divans. The walls are dotted with owner cum artist Gill Murray’s own oil paintings. And English appears to be the bar’s second language; the wine list is dominated by Spanish and French, and Italian aphorisms are scrawled on the walls, such as “Solo l’amore é importante”. Only love is important.
Certainly that philosophy has been applied to the food at Juanita’s – just don’t expect a menu. Just as the décor’s charm lies in its eccentricities, the selection of tapas changes daily according to the whim of the owners and the freshness of the produce. Today there might be oysters from Albany. Luck may have it that the arancini were fried fresh that day. Juanita may have decided to make a butter cake instead of a chocolate one. The bad news is that your particular craving may go unsatisfied. The good news is that everything tastes divine.
You’re starting to see that Parisian influence now, aren’t you?