Dining at Pogo in Mt Hawthorn on the weekend sparked a lengthy debate between my dining partner and me.
The discussion wasn’t about the food — more on that later — but its location.
The Middle-East and Mediterranean inspired venue is situated at The Mezz, which would be up there amongst my favourite shopping centres should that question ever arise, and in close proximity of a playground, carpark and other typical neighbourhood retailers.
On one hand this makes it a hugely convenient spot to grab a bite, particularly if you live in the area or are looking for a kid-friendly venue where the kids can play and the parents can get a moment of peace.
Yet on the flipside, if Pogo was in a slightly less busy and more aesthetic spot such as former Olympian Eamon Sullivan’s fellow venues Bib and Tucker on the water or Goody Two’s in the heart of a hospo hub, it would be more of a foodie destination.
Because location debate aside, Pogo is deserving of being a restaurant that everyone in Perth needs to try once or plenty of times.
It’s light and bright fit-out with millennial pink walls and plenty of greenery is welcoming, as is the great service from the staff.
The all-day menu is a fun take on the more traditional dishes and flavours, and after eating there a few times it’s hard to fault.
Barbecue lamb ribs ($22) with pomegranate vinegar, aleppo and spring onion was soft and charred in all the right places, falling easily away from the bone, and swimming in an acidic sauce that weirdly reminded us of a Christmas mint sauce; in a very good way.
The chicken roti ($24) was pogo fried chicken — which is tasty, boneless with a hit of spice — with avocado, baked roti, smoked yoghurt, pickles and agave.
Each bite was crunchy with a creamy element from the yoghurt, sweet from the agave and extra points for the pickles from this diehard fan. The only slight fault with the roti was it was hard to cut through due to its thickness.
Roasted broccoli salad ($17) reminded me of Middle-Eastern version of Petition’s infamous broccoli salad, similar in way of grains, nuts and, of course, broccoli. Pogo’s version also has a whack of spice from the Muhammara; a spicy dip typically made of red peppers, walnuts, pomegranate molasses and breadcrumbs.
Sullivan and chef Scott Bridger have created something very special with the menu and vibe at Pogo, and while the location may not appeal to everyone, it’s well worth a visit.
The address: 1/148 Scarborough Beach Road, Mt Hawthorn
The verdict: Come with an appetite because the dishes are delicious and filling. Great spot to sit outside and bring the kids, or their bottomless brunch sounds tempting too.