Will Meyrick’s eagerly anticipated 120-seat restaurant and bar has officially opened in Leederville, Perth. The internationally renowned celebrity chef and restaurateur, responsible for some of Bali’s best restaurants, including Mama San, Sarong and Hujan Locale, says Will St is the culmination of his culinary journey so far.
“Will St is the combination of the expertise and knowledge I’ve gained through running restaurants in Asia over the last 20 years, plus a tribute to the people I’ve met and places I’ve travelled while exploring food culture throughout Asia and now here in Western Australia” Meyrick said.
“Dishes on the menu act as a document of that journey. Like putting pen to plate, Will St aims to celebrate and tell the story of culture and place through the history, migration and evolution of food.”
Designed by Paul Lim of Mata Design Studio, Will St’s timeless and elegant interior reflects the Australian landscape. With its warm, natural, earthy tones, guests will feel instantly at home as they progress from the waiting room with its welcoming feature fireplace to the dining and bar area with its open plan, rustic tan upholstery seating, sandstone walls and blackbutt flooring.
Joining Meyrick in the kitchen is his former business partner and head chef from Hujan Locale and Billy Ho, Tim Bartholomew. A proven force, the success of their relationship ensures Perth diners can expect great things from the duo here too.
The lunch and dinner menu is designed to be shared and has been carefully curated to showcase Meyrick’s skill for culinary storytelling; taking authentic, well-loved recipes from across Asia and creatively substituting or blending Asian ingredients with quality Australian produce and native ingredients, in his elevated take on contemporary Asian cuisine.
Beneath beautiful suspended arrangements of dried wildflowers from Western Australia’s Mid West, diners can expect to journey from small plates including Akoya Oyster, Smoked Eel Betel Leaf, Kelp Aged Kingfish, or Grilled Venison and Pork Fat Chiang Mai Sausage, to larger dishes such as Muslim Style Goat Nihari, Woku Wood Roasted Marron Curry, and Meyrick’s signature main, Char Siew Pork Hock, served with braised miso cabbage, Sichuan picked cucumber, Davidson plum, hoisin, and a side of Mandarin pancakes.
“The Muslim Style Goat Nihari is inspired by my time spent exploring Calcutta. Traditionally served at breakfast amongst the Muslim population of the city, it’s a rich and spicy comfort food, slow cooked in saffron, mustard oil, yoghurt and complemented with warrigal greens,” Meyrick said.
Another stand out dish on the menu is the Southern Thai Yellow Curry Market Fish.
“I’m really excited about this dish. We make it by using whatever quality fish is available to us on the day to support sustainability,” Meyrick said.
“Influenced by the fishing communities of southern Thailand, we tea-smoke the fish with banana blossom, which along with saltbush, adds real depth of flavour to the curry.”
While Will St’s front of house is managed by Californian hospitality stalwart, Audrey Ruckhaber (ex Bread in Common), award-winning mixologist, Laurie Eaton (ex Eau-de-Vie Melbourne) who won the title of the Cayman Islands Diageo Reserve World Class Champion in 2015, takes helm at the bar.
Along with a selection of Australian, New Zealand and European wines, and boutique bottled beer, Will St has introduced its own range of gin and rice lager. Exclusive to the restaurant, the Will St Asian Inspired Gin, Will St Native Sourced Gin, and Will St Rice Lager, which was specially produced for Will St by brewery, Running with Thieves, is designed to pair perfectly with Will St’s menu.
Meyrick said designing and producing a range of beverages to go with food is a first for his restaurants but something he’s always wanted to do.
“Teaming up with Running with Thieves in South Fremantle to produce our own gin and lager allows greater control and means we’re also providing a more holistic offering for our guests,” Meyrick said.
Poured on tap and suited to the menu’s spicier dishes, Will St Rice Lager is a silky-clean lager that offers a crisp, bitter finish, while the Will St gins will work well with a tonic or as a base for the restaurant’s signature cocktails including the Will St Sling (Will St Native Sourced Gin, Fino, aloe vera, cucumber and soda) and Rangoon Club (Will St Asian Inspired Gin, Dry Curacao, hibiscus tea, pineapple and Vanilla).
Will St’s short but sweet dessert menu includes Indonesian Ronde, a rice dumpling stuffed with macadamia and wattle seed with butterscotch, caramel and sesame ice cream; a Coconut and Chocolate Ganache Gelato Bowl; Black Sticky Rice; and Pistachio Ice Cream served with date and almond crumble and a rose petal infused syrup.
Will St coffee is made from beans specially sourced from the Toraja region of Sulawesi in Indonesia, known for their quality and rich flavour.
Hot on the heels of the opening of Leederville’s ‘Electric Lane’ shopping and dining precinct, Will St will be a star attraction for the inner-city suburb, and is sure to be a key player in cementing the success of the City of Vincent’s plan to return Leederville to one of Perth’s premier dining destinations.