The only people who could have taken over the old Venn bar and not break our hearts was Andy Freeman and his amazing team. The magicians behind Varnish and Darlings are SO good at what they do, to the point where they managed to make our favourite CBD bar even better.
Photo, Ryan Ammon
We have had many a 'business meeting' at Varnish in our time and it is a firm favourite for us. This may all change however with the opening of The Flour Factory. Newly reopened after a revamp that makes the space absolutely sing the staff are so passionate about the food, all made in house, and the drinks - hand picked for the bar or developed by the team in partnership with some of WA's best producers.
It is such a pleasure to see a team who genuinely are following their passions and producing some of, if not (big call I know) the best bar experience in Perth at the moment. We caught up with Andy to chat all things The Flour Factory and how he managed another home run in the Perth culinary scene.
1. What is the food ethos at TFF?
We pride ourselves on making everything from the ground up — the bread, yeast, flour, vinegar, sausages and so on. We make it all!
2. What do our readers ABSOLUTELY HAVE to try when they go?
The desserts are a must-have, along with the skirt steak and the hot dogs, of course!
3. Talk us through the house vermouth – what inspired that partnership with Howard Park?
We always knew we wanted to do a fortified wine bar. We’ve done some work with Howard Park on a couple of other occasions, so it seemed natural to talk to them about the opportunity, which they jumped at. The rest, as they say, is history.
4. TFF is also bringing back the sherry! What should we be looking for in a sherry and how do we match it with our food?
Sherry is a great beverage that is understated and under-utilised here in WA — we're trying to make sherry trendy again. Sweet, medium or dry, there is something for everyone and every meal. Our staff are very well-versed in the ins and outs of sherry at TFF, and would gladly help you choose the right one for your meal or mood!
5. Any upcoming plans that you can let us in on?
Right now, we’re 100% focused on TFF. We have a dozen weddings already booked at The Factory upstairs, so our attention is on the details right here for the remainder of 2015. We shall see what happens in 2016!
6. You have an amazing team at TFF who are very passionate about their food – Why is in house and locally made produce so important?
I’m a bartender at heart, but the food element is so important to me. Lots of bars and bartenders leave little energy in the food element and focus it all on the drinks — we don’t. The ‘ground up’ approach to our food here was really important — we really wanted to offer something unique for the CBD, something you won’t get anywhere else. Something that surprises you for a CBD “tavern” because it pays so much attention to all the elements.
7. Tell us about this wine on tap? How? And why does it taste so delicious??
Basically, we do this with Howard Park wines too. It's easy for them and also for us, as it minimises wastage (glass) hence it’s much better for the environment, plus it’s more affordable for everyone, including the consumer. We love it, it tastes great and again, we like to try something different — this is just another instance of this ethos.
8. When can we move in?
We’re ready when you are!