Tassels Place Bar & Bistro
8 Tassels Place, Innaloo
Ph: (08) 6444 7997
The Jewel in her Crown
The ‘Queen of Pubs’ has done it again
Award-winning restauranteur Sonja Gastevich, is an astute businesswoman who knows what her clients need. She has created a restaurant that is best described as high class without the five-star price tag.
Following the success of Sonja’s fifth restaurant including The Currambine Bar & Bistro, after more than two years of careful planning the highly anticipated Tassels Place Bar & Bistro opened its doors in October 2019 to expectant Perth diners.
Success doesn’t happen overnight and Sonja has been in the business for over 60 years. Born in war torn Croatia at a time when opportunities were limited, Sonja was sent to live with her grandmother in Australia. By the age of 20, Sonja had opened her first restaurant in the Wheatbelt town of Narrogin and has never looked back.
You soon realise that Tassels isn’t your average bar and bistro because Sonja understands the pleasure of eating is a sensory experience. As a nod to The Great Gatsby’s Art Deco era, glittering chandeliers hang like diamond pendants from the elevated ceiling. The long and polished black marble cocktail bar is adorned with brass pendant lights and is the perfect place to partake in an aperitif or two before a meal.
This is a family affair with Sonja’s son-in-law Stephen Tombides, part of the management team and the atmosphere and staff are friendly, inviting and professional.
From the extensive and modern breakfast menu we sampled the popular Smashed Avocado topped with crumbled feta, smoked salmon, roasted cherry tomatoes, two poached eggs, wilted spinach, toasted pepitas, lemon oil and generously served on two slices of toasted sourdough.
The Smoked Salmon Salad comes laden with fresh mesclun leaves, shaved carrot, steamed cauliflower and red onion topped with dukkah spiced avocado, whipped rocket ricotta, cherry tomatoes and fresh smoked salmon, all of which sit atop slices of juicy beetroot. The flavour of the dukkah spiced avocado is definitely worth noting as it transcends this dish to another level. A must try especially with a squeeze of lemon to bring out the citrus notes.
Sonja’s Croatian pride ensures a high standard and she takes an active role in the kitchen by collaborating with her executive chefs to create traditional bistro fare by design with light and contemporary touches supported by quality ingredients. Good (and bad) news travels fast in the restaurant business and Sonja knows what it takes to maintain her outstanding reputation.
The aromas emitting from the kitchen invite us to sample a dish from the Sports Bar menu. The Smoked Beef Brisket Burger with slaw, beer battered pickle, jack cheese and chips was tender and juicy. The beer battered pickle was a clever addition and exceptionally tasty. And who doesn’t love a brioche bun. This is the perfect bar food to have while watching a game and sharing a pint or two with friends.
From the Specials menu we tasted the roasted Chicken Breast, stuffed with pumpkin, feta and sundried tomato, wrapped in prosciutto. Sitting on a bed of delicious herbed mash, steamed broccolini, roasted cherry tomatoes and jus, the chicken was tender and well-seasoned.
Moving onto the Main menu we sampled two dishes. Firstly, the slow cooked Lamb Shank, braised in liquor and served with mash and greens. This dish was paired with a glass of the 2017 Katnook Founder’s Block Shiraz (Coonawarra, South Australia). With its peppery spice and soft lingering tannins, this wine is matched perfectly with the gentle flavour of the tender lamb and delivered on taste and class.
The stand-out dish was the Cajun Spiced Barramundi. Pan fried to perfection, the succulent fillet of barramundi was served on a generous bed of avocado and lime salsa topped with grilled tiger prawns, chermoula and matchstick potatoes. The combined flavours of the chermoula and the Cajun spices are a testament to the chef’s knowledge and experience. This calibre of dish creates a fine dining experience and to call this ‘bistro food’ would be an understatement. This plate was matched with a crisp glass of the 2015 Devils Lair Fifth Leg Treasure Hunter Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Margaret River, Western Australia). The citrus notes of the wine complimented the lime and Cajun spices well.
There is a sense of familiarity between the staff and diners; return customers are a hallmark of success. The atmosphere is buzzing and bright thanks partly to the giant ceiling-to-floor glass windows that are elegantly dressed in sheer drapes sweeping around the entire front of the restaurant while filtering the natural light.
Catering to all ages and types of gatherings Tassels is great for an after-work drink, a fine dining experience or for functions. It has all the glitz and glamour without the price tag.
Situated on the ground floor of the new luxury Quest serviced apartments in Innaloo, Tassels is opposite IKEA and offers easy freeway access.
While restaurants open and close daily, Sonja is a businesswoman who chooses to not follow fashions, but rather to be a leader in her field. The secret to her success is all in her attitude, which has never changed – work hard, never compromise and have the confidence to believe in yourself.
Sonja has earned her ‘Queen of Pubs’ title. Standing at the black marble cocktail bar you will notice a giant crystal encrusted crown perched above the top-shelf spirits and liquors. A sparkling testament to this lady’s success and Tassels Place Bar and Bistro might just be the jewel in Sonja’s crown.
By Tina McLennan