A revamp of the old Treasury Buildings saw a welcoming of new and interesting places to eat. The building is itself gloriously restored, a work of which took years to finish. Now filling the once dormant halls is Petition Kitchen. Petition has left quite a statement on the State Buildings, with its kitchen providing clean and simple dishes while its beer, bar and wine merchant meets the needs of sommeliers and those that are in search for a good drink.
At the helm is head chef Jesse Blake, heralding from Cumulus Inc. Having had eaten at Cumulus some years ago, I can say there's definitely elements of Blake's time there reflected in the open kitchen, the plating and the choice of ingredients. It's a share your plates with your friends kind of modern bistro... and after all 'good food is all the sweeter when shared with good friends'.
The interior is classy in that re-purposed way. The semi plastered and unfinished painted walls ground what would otherwise be a perceived as a pretentious restaurant. Exposed Edison globes hang low from the ceiling in lines. You can sit at long tables or down the dining hall, intimate in some places and exposed in others. I can almost see the soon to be regulars picking out their favourite place along the hall and resting there with a good cup in the day, or gathering around a table for dinner after having visited Petition Beer Corner for Friday night drinks.
The common colour scheme throughout Petition is made up of beige, black and white, with blue and orange surges from the stovetop in the kitchen. All other colours are served on your plate.
We appreciated the help our waitress provided, pointing out which items on the menu were popular and which were ones to save for the next visit if so inclined. She was no fuss and honest, recommending us the chorizo and morcilla hash. She wasn't wrong when she said it was the best thing on the menu for breakfast.
For all the simplicity in the ingredients, it was tasty and not a dish that I regretted ordering. The bulk of the flavour is delivered in the chorizo while the gooey and golden yolk adds to the texture. The crispy bacon plays salty, smokey umpire between the two.
The pikelets were small, soft and simple, dusted with icing sugar. It had been so long since I had last had pikelets that choosing it was almost a knee-jerk reaction in order to savour my childhood breakfast habits. The blackberry and burnt honey provided an infusion of deep flavours, with the cream beneath the grilled peaches breaking up the acidity. Although a little unimaginative, the food was still enjoyable.
The toast had some nice flavours and there was no denying the freshness of the mushrooms. The warrigal greens were not as bitter as English spinach and nor did they leave a starchy aftertaste in your mouth, which I thought was a great plus - however I was left feeling slightly underwhelmed.
While the rack with baked treats at the counter were pretty and inviting, the cost of coffee accompaniments were quite expensive for what you got. The food isn't overtly unique or experimental (nothing you won't know - toast is toast after all) but are instead representations of Blake's childhood favourites. There's something special about that.
Petition exhibits great flavour profiles and their use of the freshest locally sourced ingredients is commendable, however on this particular visit I was left feeling as though I had paid to enjoy the fit out more than the food. I have been told that for dinners most restaurant goers are swept away on the tastebud train, so perhaps it's worth skipping breakfast (on this occasion) and going straight to dinner!
Since eating breakfast here in December, Petition have added more interesting options on the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu while revising popular dishes with ingredients that remain in season. I hope to make it back to Petition and the gorgeous State Buildings very soon, particularly with the opening of the new library throwing a little bit of excitement for booklovers like me, into the mix.
State Buildings, Corner of St George's Terrace and Barrack Street
Monday to Friday 7am - 11pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am - 11pm