On a quiet street corner lies one of the most exciting dining concepts Perth has seen in ages. At The Mantle, diners must expect the unexpected – with different restaurants popping up every day there’s no way of knowing what lies ahead.
The concept came about a few years ago when husband-and-wife team Anatoly Mezhov and Irene Polo first laid eyes on the beautiful heritage building on the corner of James and Beach streets in Fremantle. “We thought how cool it would be to complement the building with creative structures, and open it to the public with great hospitality offerings,” says Irene. And that’s just what they did.
Entering The Mantle through the giant wooden doors, you’re hit with the smell of tapas and the sound of salsa music. Massive graffiti panels and metallic lights hang from high beams. A mezzanine balcony extends over the bustling bar, pop-up restaurants and ping-pong tables.
The Mantle is open all day round, and the evenings and weekends are heaving. Start your evening at the speakeasy-inspired Alter Ego bar, where graffiti artwork from the 1920s prohibition era sets the scene, and the salsa music transports you to Cuba while skilful young lads whip up tasty craft cocktails.
Next, if there’s room – like we said, it gets busy on weekends – grab a table at Don Tapa, and graze on authentic Latin American tapas made from local produce. The quinoa salad, with its curious mix of pineapple and spice, is a fresh twist on a dish you see everywhere these days. While meat lovers are spoilt (the pulled pork tacos and grilled chorizo are delish), it would be great to see more for vegos.
Magna Pizza is next. Definitely sample the Nutella pizza: Magna has perfected the authentic, chewy pizza base, so when Nutella and strawberries are added on top, a magical mix of sweet and savoury results. While Magna is BYO – great for those only there for the pizza – it’s a shame drinks from the bar aren’t allowed in this space.
The Mantle overall is great for all types of people – from Freo hipsters, to families (direct the kids to the ping-pong tables), to youngsters dropping in at the start of their night, to more sophisticated couples on date nights.
The fact that it’s so busy is testament to the demand in Perth for more projects like these.
“One unique aspect of The Mantle is that it provides opportunity for people who want to start up or expand their hospitality business, in that the structures come fitted out as restaurants so the outlay to start a business is minimal,” says Irene.
This means we’re likely to see more yummy businesses appearing. With plans for an alfresco area, we can’t wait to see what pops up next.