Love the taste of country WA but hate driving there? Lucky for lazy old you, husband and wife team Kiren and Kelli Mainwaring have opened their new dego restaurant Co-Op Dining in East Perth.
Like their Caversham restaurant Dear Friends, Co-Op serves 100% gathered and foraged local produce that is prepared in-house for their ever-changing and uber-innovative menus.
But while Dear Friends’ hyperlocal focus may have tied Kiren’s creative wings to the Swan Valley, at Co-Op his creativity is less loose to fly throughout the state.
“We wanted to create a premier place to promote what we’ve got in WA because, really, we should be proud of it,” Kiren said. “Our produce is used all over the world – over east at Attica, at French Laundry in California and Per Se in New York.”
There’s pork from Bullsbrook, vegetables from Muchea, marron from Margaret River and wild fennel, garlic and wattle seeds that Kelli and Kiren forage themselves in the Swan Valley.
Tuesday nights see the addition of a vegie-only “experimental menu” which depends entirely upon whatever Kiren picks at dawn the day before. On our visit, we tasted an incredible dish of wild Lupin tofu, artichoke and wild garlic bulbs and an equally delicious concoction of wattle seed lasagne, yellow squash, celeriac and eucalyptus foam.
“We try to keep the menu as simple and minimal as possible so it’s full of goodness but still presented in fine-dining form,” said Kiren.
And the philosophy seems to have extended to the décor as well, which is elegant, if underwhelmingly simple. But who needs an architect-designed dining room, postcard views, or conversation-sparking artwork when you’ve got a fork full of flavours that are unequivocally WA?