The redevelopment of the the Treasury/State Buildings at the Corner of Barrack St and St George's Terrace has been one of the most anticipated I can remember since the opening of Brookfield Place gave us a plethora of good dining options in the CBD. Although all eyes are on Long Chim, and the COMO the Treasury restaurants like Wildflower and Post look to be aiming at a more fine dining market, Petition is arguably the most ambitious multi-concept restaurant and bar in the precinct. A restaurant, wine bar and beer hall across three large separate rooms, Petition dominates the Barrack St side of the building with three distinct experiences. Although we had a reservation for dinner at Petition Kitchen later in the week, we decided that a catch up with some friends was a perfect excuse to check out Petition Beer Corner.
The Beer Corner features an impressive 18 beers on tap, with an eclectic, rotating list of options. The range is definitely aimed at the adventurous beer drinker looking to sample interesting and unusual brews from largely craft brewers from Australia and the around the world. If you're beer drinking interests don't extend far beyond XXXX Gold or Victoria Bitter, this might not be to your liking, however Alissa and I appreciated the Bridgeport IPA and Artisan Dubbel we ordered before our meal, with the malty, citrussy IPA being rather refreshing, and the Dubbel's banana and caramel notes made for a beer of great flavour and complexity. We also really liked that the beer could be ordered in 150 ml, 300 ml and 450 ml serves as it allows for a lot more variety.
After ordering or beers, we placed and order for our dinner. At $22, the Organic Beef Cheeseburger, Smoked Cheddar, Onion Rings was an expensive burger, putting it firmly in the same price bracket as such luxe Perth luminaries as The Merrywell and Rockpool's Burger Bar menu. I have to admit I did not really dig it. Firstly, instead of a nice pillowy bun, the bread used here seemed a bit dry, lacking the soft airiness of a truly great burger bun. The patty was cooked through instead of the more desirable medium rare, and had a firmness of texture and lack of juiciness that only added to the dryness of the bun. There were some good elements however, with the Smoked Cheddar and the Onion Rings being quite tasty and the house pickled Cucumber in particularly being the best component on the plate. Even these components however would not give me reason to order this dish again, and I couldn't help but compare it to Short Order Burger which is streets ahead at almost half the price. This would have been a disappointing burger at $12, but it was all the more disappointing at $22.
Their other main of Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Cabbage Salad, Pickles fared better. The Chicken was well fried and not overly oily, with a nice, crunchy exterior encasing juicy meat within. This was good fried chicken, with the Kimchi-like salad on the side providing some nice sourness to cut through any fat that was there. As good as it was, it wasn't so exceptional as to warrant a $22 asking price, which seemed very steep considering the small amount of chicken that was actually served.
The BBQ Fries, Aioli were again a bit disappointing. While very flavoursome with a spicy seasoning, the fries lacked the all important crunch of good chips. I don't mind paying $7 for a relatively small serve of fries if their amazing. These sadly were not.
After the disappointing food, Alissa and I went for another round of beers and settled on the Rodenbach Original. This was a delicious, refreshing and highly unusual beer, that had a pleasing sour cherry-like flavour profile unlike any beer Alissa and I had ever tried before. For fans of cider not particularly keen on beer, this could serve as a gateway beer as it lacked any bitter hoppiness. This ended our evening on a good note, once again reminding us of the excellent selection of beers that are the Beer Corner's eponymous focus.
The Verdict: Very Good
We at the Ministry of Gluttony are mostly concerned with whether or not a venue is a good place to eat, and by that measure Petition Beer Corner would not necessarily be a place we would want to eat at again. Every dish seemed very expensive for the kind of food we were being served, with the lacklustre burger in particular not worth its $22 asking price. I would score the food as merely good, and a far cry from the much better food served at Petition Kitchen. That said, Alissa and I would definitely come back to the Beer Corner for its excellent selection of beer, and its fun and casual vibe. This ultimately is Petition Beer Corner's real strength - the well curated list and its rotating nature means there will always be something interesting and surprising on offer. As a fan of European-style beers, this is exactly the kind of beer bar I'd love to frequent. Split the difference between Excellent drinks and Good food and you've got a Very Good level verdict. My advice - have your dinner before or after, but definitely come in and have a drink or two at Petition Beer Corner. It's well worth it.