For those in Perth always looking for a better, faster, cheaper way

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Budget eats - Twenty restaurant dishes in Perth under $20

Here's the rest of the Perth dishes under $20..

Pho at Viet Hoa
Unit 1, 349 William St, Northbridge, 9328 2127
Open 7 days, 10am-10pm

Possibly Perth's best Vietnamese restaurant (
Tra Vinh is better imho), this place is known for serving divine food at a pinch. With 59 items on the menu it may be hard to choose, but pho is a fast favourite, being the typical authentic dish. There are six different styles of pho to choose from, costing from $9 to $9.80. Pho is a steaming, flavoured noodle broth with beef or chicken and green herbs and bean shoots. If you're keen to splurge a little, a great value dish is the Viet Hoa beef salad "hot", which combines beef scotch fillet with lemongrass, chilli, garlic, tamarind and vegetables for $15.50. You'll need to order steamed rice separately, starting at $2.50. While the interior is pretty plain, this place is always full to bursting - sometimes uncomfortably - so book if you can.

Bibimbap at Poppo
137 Barrack St, Perth, 9325 5997
Open Tues-Thurs, Sat and Sun, 11am-9.30pm and Fri, 11am-10.30pm

The lunch specials at this modest Korean and Japanese restaurant in the city need to be seen to be believed. You can choose from eight dishes for $7.90 and five plates for $8.90, all accompanied by a miso soup, rice and a small kimchi, which is a spicy Chinese cabbage salad, or opt for pickles if you prefer. The regular's favourite is bibimbap ($7.90), a bowl containing portions of minced beef, carrot, zucchini, and rice, topped with a fried egg. Mix it all together and you're sorted. Another star is the Katsu curry ($8.90), and if you're really peckish, you can order California rolls or dumplings for $3.90.

All you can eat tapas at Gypsy Tapas
Highgate Court, cnr High St and Queen St, Fremantle, 9336 7135
Open Thurs-Sat, 11am-11pm

Tapas in Perth is not something that usually comes cheap, or generous, so when you can get away with shelling out $7.50 per plate, or $30 for all you can eat, indulge! The banquet deal is available for lunch and dinner, and includes delicacies like chunky meat balls rolled around Bocconcini and cooked in tomato sauce, or crunchy brie salad showered in walnuts. All plates come with warm Turkish bread, served in a colourful, eclectic interior that has been decorated with garage sale and op shop items - very Fremantle. Bring your dancing shoes because there's live music every night from 8pm and toes regularly get tapping. If you really want to splurge, the 11 course degustation, complete with wine, coffee, and dessert for $80 is amazing value. Reservations are a must.

Chicken karaage at Kulcha Cafe & Noodles House
Unit 2, 49 Boas Ave, Joondalup, 9300 9828
Open Tues-Sun, 11.30am-4pm and 4pm-9.30pm

Self described as a cafe dining restaurant, this cheap and cheerful joint packs out at dinner, so lunch might be a better time to try their much loved chicken karaage dish for $8.50, although the place will still be bustling. Expect a piping plate of thin fried chicken pieces that are crispy yet moist, expertly seasoned and piled high. Make sure you dip into the side servings of sweet soy and mayonnaise - they compliment the dish perfectly. Family friendly, this humming Asian eatery is fine to BYO to, with corkage charged at $1.50 a head.

Yakisoba at Ninniku Jip
867A Albany Hwy, East Victoria Park, 9355 1988
Open 7 days, 5pm-late and Fri-Sat, 11.30am-3pm

This one's for the kids. Anything on the Japanese and Korean fusion tiny tacker's menu costs $7.50, and the yakisoba, or egg noodle with chicken pieces and vegetables, is a fave. Even better, there's a rare play area for the kids, allowing parents to sit back and relax while keeping an eye on their offspring through a large glass window. Mains for big kids start at $12.50 for noodle dishes, but probably the best value dish is the sizzling beef bulgogi, which for $19.80, sees you with a generous serving of thinly sliced meat, marinated in a mixture of juice squeezed from grated garlic and ginger, soy sauce, chilli, and pineapple juice, with rice soup on the side. According to the owner, it's the kids that ask to go back to this one.

Meat mix platter at The Prophet
907a Albany Hwy, East Victoria Park, 9361 1101
Open Mon-Fri, 12noon-3pm and every night, 6pm-9.30pm

With free bread, eye-watering garlic dipping sauce and pickled turnip on arrival, tasty food and a convivial atmosphere, this simple Lebanese diner gets two thumbs up. If you like sharing, the meat mix platter will fill two people comfortably. It combines a selection of entrees and mains, and despite prices just going up by 20% - their first rise in five years - it's still great value for $27.60. You get two dips - baba ganoush, hummus, avocado or labneh (fermented yoghurt) - plus a shish tawook (chicken marinated in lemon, garlic and coriander), a shish kebab, and a skewer of kafta minced lamb, served with salad and flavoured rice topped with pine nuts. The father and son chef team also make a scrumptious vego platter, also a sizeable feed.

Pad Thai at Tida Thai
73c Leach Hwy, Willagee, 9337 9935
Open 7 days, 5pm-10pm

We all know what Pad Thai looks and tastes like, it's a firm favourite on any Thai menu, and usually the most reasonably priced. The prawn and chicken noodle dish at Tida Thai manages to undercut most restaurants, listed on the menu for $11.80, and cheaper again if you opt to take away. The small, simple eatery is in a convenient location with plenty of parking and is popular with local families. Their massaman beef is also popular, it comes in at $14.50 for those dining in.

Tacos at Santa Fe Restaurant
315 Hay St, Subiaco, 9381 2571
Open 7 days, 10am-late

Cheap, filling Tex Mex is what you'll find in this Mexican tequila lounge. Your best bet is to roll up on a
Tuesday, when tacos go for $2 each. Crunchy corn envelopes are stuffed with chicken, shredded beef, frijoles, or chilli con carne, as well as lettuce and salsa, and three to four would likely do you for dinner. Be prepared for a wait though, when this place gets slammed, timing goes out the window. If you're after bargain booze, make a beeline to Santa Fe on Mondays for free Margaritas, or saddle up to the themed bar any night from 6pm-7pm for Happy Hour. Always busy, always noisy, always fun.

Chicken with cashews at Sunflowers
Shop 46, Claremont Arcade, Bayview Tce, Claremont, 9383 3443
Open Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm, Sun-Thu 5pm-10.30pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11.30pm

Like any hidden gems, this is a fantastic find for lovers of Chinese. Upstairs above Witchery and overlooking Bayview Terrace, this family friendly venue swells with diners during spring and summer. Lunch specials are the way to go if you want to watch your pennies. For $8.50 you get rice, and your choice of a long list of freshly made dishes - no bainmarie here - including satay chicken, curry fish, sweet and sour pork, prawn chow mein and beef and black bean sauce. The chicken with cashews and almonds is one of the regular's favourites, both for the flavour and great value. If you stop by for dinner, reasonable bites are still available, try the salt and pepper squid for $16.50 or share the boneless banana duck with plum sauce for $18. Corkage for BYO is $3 per bottle.

Steak and quiz night at the Mighty Quinn
112 Wanneroo Rd, Tuart Hill, 9349 9600
Open Mon-Thurs, 11am-3pm, 5.30pm-9pm, and Fri-Sun, 11am-9pm

This Irish pub has a good value special nearly every night of the week, and all the plates are piled with food, so it's near impossible to choose one that represents the best value. If we were pushed, we'd have to go with the Wednesday $12.90 Steak and Quiz Night. The deal includes a 300gram porterhouse steak, cooked any way you like, with chips or mash & salad garnish and the chef's sauce of the day. Quizzing starts from 8pm and if you're clever, you could go home richer than when you arrived, thanks to a $200 first prize. It's loud, busy, and bookings are understandably essential for Wednesday. If red meat ain't your thing, head in on Monday's when all pastas go for $15, Tuesday night is Schnitzel night for $1 more, and the rotisserie is on all day Sunday, when roast meat and three veg sells for $14.

Green chicken curry at Angkor Cafe
144 Murray St, Perth
Open 7 days 11am-9.30pm

This Cambodian style green curry chicken tastes even better when it costs less than a tenner. During lunchtimes, several meals go for $6.90, including rice, and this dish is one of the clear winners, combining the traditional coconut milk sauce with broccoli, beans and lemongrass. If you miss it at midday, it's not much extra to dine at dinner time, going for $9.90 plus an extra $1.50 for rice. Vegetarians will also be satiated at lunchtime, with egg noodles tossed around vegetables and tofu in a dark soy sauce on the lunch special list, or $8.50 in the evenings. As the name suggests, this cheap and cheerful eatery pays homage to the Angkor Wat temple, so expect to see the walls dotted with pictures of Cambodia's biggest tourist attraction.

1 comment:

  1. Lido on William Street - everything under $20 and sooooooo good. I loce the Beef and Vermicelli noodle salad or the Chicken Chilli and Lemongrass