There’s nothing stuffy about Aubergine, just a cool refinement that runs right through it. Tablecloths surrender to the warmth of polished timber, dark walls and charcoal carpet cocoon, and the high-backed chairs of old have been replaced with a mid-century vibe, as has the cabinetry.
Petition Wine Bar & Merchant
After a $100 million restoration, Perth’s State Buildings are now home to some of the city’s most exciting hospitality establishments, with three of them under the Petition umbrella. All three have helpfully utilitarian titles. Petition Kitchen handles the bistro side of things, with service stretching from 7 am (8 am on weekends) right through until late into the night. Petition Beer Corner is, well, all about beer, with 18 independent taps and a huge list of bottes. And Petition Wine Bar & Merchant has an equally literal purpose.
Emma Farrelly is the wine director for the State Buildings, but this is perhaps where her skills, and superb contacts, are most vividly on display. Taking a leaf out of the enoteca book, a wall of wine – with some 500 options – is available to take away, or any bottle can be broached by one of Emma’s well-informed charges at what seems to be the country-wide enoteca standard of $15 corkage. Additionally, there are 25 wines offered by the glass, which are subject to frequent rotation. If cocktails are your thing, there’s also a concise list of batched and bottled options. And if you’re taking your wine in, a classical listing of charcuterie and cheeses is available, along with premium canned anchovies, sardines and cockles, a handful of small plates and a larger option or two.
The wine offer is broad-ranging, with a 60/40 domestic to international bias, but preferences producers who employ sustainable and ethical practices and organic and biodynamic farming methods. The ones that make great wine, that is. It’s also where Emma tucks away small parcels of scarce wines, the ones too limited to get a berth on the other wine lists under her purview. So, it’s also the place to hunt for those hard-to-find bottles.