Set on a very chic and very ‘happening’ street in suburban Mount Hawthorn in Perth, locally owned restaurant, Lupo Lab, has quickly established a name for itself. Still a relatively new restaurant to the scene, we were invited to try the newly released Autumn menu and who would say no to delicious Italian food?
You only need to look at their Instagram account with their strong following and clean imagery to see the focus is on the food and family. It is comforting to know that this is not a food chain franchise that won’t remember your name as a regular; no Lupo Lab is somewhere that you feel at home and exceptionally welcome.
I dined in a party of three, including my 15-year-old son who can be a little tricky to eat with as he loves simple foods; will try different things but loves a traditional menu. I was hoping the new autumn menu was going to bring something for everyone.
On an incredibly busy night on Scarborough Beach Road, Mount Hawthorn was bustling and Lupo Lab was busy. The layout of the restaurant caters for various diners. You have your street tables for coffee in the morning or a glass of wine so you can people-watching of an evening. There are small intimate spaces around an L shaped dining area inside, and, as evidenced by the large table near us, they can cater for a large table for a work function. We didn’t feel cramped and although the space behind the kitchen was further away from a view, there are full windows to ensure natural light and a sense of space.
The first thing you become acutely aware of (even Mr 15 made comment) was the customer service. Our waitress was funny, helpful, knowledgeable and very friendly. We also met Mirko the owner, and that man is as passionate as they come. It was evident in the way he moved throughout the venue; everyone was special, everyone was taken care of, and on this particular evening his children were visiting with family, and he maintained professionalism whilst still being a great Dad. That’s someone I want to support.
Burrata- locally sourced burrata, fresh and semi-dried tomatoes, house pesto, basil oil and tomato powder.
Tagliere Misto (serves 2)- Chef’s selection of meat, cheese, olive and foccacia.
Mr 15’s choice- Fettucini Gricia.
Crunchy guanciale, pecorino romano and pepper. It is safe to say that he enjoyed this dish. The serving sizes are great because he was not able to finish it and was exceptionally full (not too full for dessert though!). This is a very tomato based dish and a great choice for those who love the delicious simple life like my boy.
Mr 30’s choice- Crumbed Lamb Cutlets.
This came with peas and pancetta and a potato and leek puree. The lamb was beautifully cooked and was certainly the highlight of this dish. The puree was delicious, and if the pancetta was crispy this would have worked, as with the peas it lacked a little texture, but overall a wonderful dinner.
My choice- Fettucini Gamberi. Fresh local banana prawns, saffron bisque, baby zucchini, mint and grape tomatoes.
Seafood is always going to be my choice for mains, especially prawns. I was very happy to see they were perfectly cooked and locally sourced- even better. The dish itself initially had a surprising flavour, this may be that I have not had many meals with saffron, but, although I was not able to finish my serving, I was in love with the flavour. You can always find seafood dishes that are creamy, or with pesto, but this was something different, and I loved it.
How do you choose simply one dessert to try? We agreed on Coffee Semifreddo and Vanilla Panna Cotta.
The Coffee Semifreddo- House blend coffee, hazelnut praline paste, amaretto crumble and whipped cream.
This dish was truly something else. So many flavours in one mouthful- the combinations were delicious. The amaretto crumble was quite strong in flavour, perhaps a touch too strong for me, but again- amaretto is nothing something usual to my palette.
The Vanilla Panna Cotta- Berry Coulis, single origin chocolate soil and pistachio crumb.
The only three words that I uttered whilst enjoying my panna cotta were- I’m not sharing. This was divine. The chocolate soil was such a fabulous touch. I rate this dish very highly.
The coffee at Lupo Lab needs a full category unto itself. You know the smell when a fresh bag of coffee beans have been opened and it is an intoxicating aroma? That was in abundance in the front area of Lupo Lab. Mirko has a Specialty Coffee Diploma and became an Authorised Specialty Coffee Trainer in Roasting, Sensory, Green Beans and Brewing; alongside a Coffee Science Certificate. Safe to say, this man loves his coffee.
What I really valued and was taken by was the story of the Lupo Lab roastery. Mirko spoke of his love for the farmers of the coffee beans. Every bean is sourced directly from the farmers, providing them the best return for their hard work. Next time you visit Lupo Lab, ask Mirko and Head Barista, Daniel, to tell you about the communities they work with overseas and how they are creating something special, including free primary education in Finca Majahual. It is truly inspiring.
We were lucky enough to have Daniel make our coffees, and although it was late at night, I was so very happy for the experience! Honestly my favourite coffee in Perth. That is a BIG call, but one I make whole-heartedly.
Taken directly from their website, I believe this quote says more than I could about Lupo Lab-
Our approach is simple: Create what the heart desires. Our food is crafted from the love and knowledge from generations before us. In every dish we do our best to honour the people and traditions we were taught.
There is truly something different about Lupo Lab. The staff seem happy to be there, the customers are certainly happy to be there and with menus that cater for almost all tastes and occasions (breakfast, lunch and dinner) I can see this beautiful family restaurant growing from strength to strength in Perth.
If you are yet to try Lupo Lab, I suggest booking them in for your next night out; you’ll leave full and with a smile on your face.
Address: 151-153 Scarborough Beach Road, Mount Hawthorn, 6016
Phone: 08 9242 4426
Image Credits: Lupo Lab Facebook Page
Written in 2019, updated in 2022