Located in Brookfield Place, Bar Lafayette is tucked away underneath Churchill’s across from Bobeche. It really does make you feel like you are entering a time capsule with their Old-World theme with retro velvet couches, a Michelangelo painting, a Bull’s head on the wall, dimmed old-fashioned lights and of course- their new world map mural in the centre of the bar. Talking with the owner- Brendan Sim, he told me that the wall had been a blank canvas since they opened (in 2012) and he was urging to get something up there. The mural has quite the historical backstory, with the bar named after Gilbert du Motier Marquis de Lafayette- a French military officer fighting in the American Revolutionary War. Brendan told me the mural was all the things Lafayette would have had on his office table: a 16th century map, a compass, magnifier glass, letter opener and a divider. Not only does the bar have an abundant amount of historical value (also listed in Perth’s heritage listed buildings) it also sets the scene for a 1920’s jazz date night out on the town.
As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by staff who give you a tour of every room the bar has to offer, this includes a private room at the front you have to enter from another door if you want to be secluded from the crowds. Not only absolute polished service, but an absolute polished cocktail list. Known as Perth’s finest artisan cocktail bar, the extensive 48 cocktail menu ranges from carbonated, fruity, dark & decadent, barrel aged to blazed and smoked. Their most popular cocktail- the beloved espresso martini was not even on the cocktail list, but the bartenders will make you any timeless classic you ask for. On top of all of their cocktails, they have a monthly ‘Cocktail Club’ featuring a different alcohol each month, with themed cocktails (August month was Tequila Herradura)
Diving in, we began with the ‘Kyoto Crush’, one of the ‘Hall of Fame’ cocktails. Made with Kakubin Whisky, aloe vera, lime juice, house-made grenadine, falernum and Joseph Cartron Peach Liqueur, this aesthetic drink was a cola-colour ombre to bright pink, served long with dehydrated peaches and aloe vera leafs. Quite dangerous as this drink honestly tasted like lolly water, you could finish the drink in one big gulp of goodness. I couldn’t put my finger on what it tasted like, but once I thought of hubba bubba I understood why it tasted so damn good. The next drink we tackled was the ‘DeColletage’ (a Tequilan special) consisting of Herradura Reposado Tequila, Aperol Aperitif, Fernet Branca Amaro and Lustau Vermut Rojo served straight up. The impeccable colour of the blood orange contrasted so well with the orange swirl that was placed on top of the drink and truly made you feel like a high roller sipping this bad boy.
Bar Lafayette just seemed to tick all boxes when the food came out: the Karaage chicken soft shell tacos and Bourbon pork sliders. The tacos were served on a bed of salsa, topped with an amazing spicy bright orange Japanese mayo that truly brought out all the flavours in the taco. Next was the pork sliders consisting of pork, apple slaw and a crisp parmesan layer in the middle that was just oh so necessary because this ensured that the brioche would not get all mushy like normal pork sliders do.
The next drink was probably most entertaining as you didn’t just pay for the drink, you pay for the experience. In the ‘Blazed and Smoked’ category came the almighty ‘Cinnaberry Blazer’. Consisting of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey, this is blazed with Becherovka and Joseph Cartron Cassis Liqueur, sweetened with honey and topped up with a hint of Peychaud Bitters, served with skewered frozen blueberries. With two copper cups set alight, you get the ultimate show of fire colliding. This is definitely a small sip drink unlike the Kyoto crush as its not only extremely strong but very hot (as expected). (I asked the bartenders if they have ever singed off any eyebrows but luckily they only complained about having no knuckle hair).
Devouring more cocktails, I just had to give their Espresso martini a shot to see what their twist was on the timeless classic. Again, I was absolutely blown away with the detail and brains behind the creation with a subtle smokey taste hidden in the drink. On top of that, we ordered ‘The Green Lady’ made up of fresh mint, lime and cucumber shaken with Hendrick’s Gin, Cointreau and a dash of sugar served with two cucumber sticks.
Saving the best till last, my new favourite drink in Perth is without a doubt ‘Nuts and Berries’.The ultimate berry and spice drink is served with Frangelico hazelnut liqueur and Joseph
Cartron Mure liqueur, served with a shave of nutmeg. Brendan told me to close my eyes before having my first sip because he wanted everyone to see my reaction its just that good, its no wonder its their most popular drink on the menu. I was told that regulars come in every weekend and order about 4 each- now if that doesn’t tell you that this drink is revolutionary then I don’t know what will.
All in all, Bar Lafayette is Perth’s number one bar for class, style and elegance and I highly recommend it for a Friday night drinks with friends or family (what I will be doing this Saturday) and the perfect location for a date night on the town.