A Culinary Journey Through Wadjemup / Rottnest Island

Thomson Bay Rottnest
If you’re a foodie, this is a culinary adventure you’ll want to be on.

A Culinary Journey Through Wadjemup / Rottnest Island

If you’re a foodie, this is a culinary adventure you’ll want to be on.
Thomson Bay Rottnest
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Most of us are unashamedly foodies at heart and enjoy dining on exquisite food, all day, every day. Much like the food scene in Perth, Melbourne, and Adelaide, Wadjemup / Rottnest Island’s food scene has developed to a point where it’s in the conversation as one of the top foodie destinations. This has largely been sparked by a few stand-out dining experiences on the island — and to be honest we’d actually catch the ferry over every day just to have lunch or dinner at them. 

Isola Bar e Cibo

As you sit there looking out over Thomson Bay, you will likely believe that you’re sitting in Italy on the Amalfi Coast. Boats floating on the water and nothing but perfectly blue in sight as you look out to sea. The crisp white sand of the beach a stone’s throw in front of you making for the perfect contrast. The sound of the water gently crashing on the shore. 

Dining at Isola Bar e Cibo will just add to that dream-like experience. 

When planning a visit to Isola, Rottnest Island’s new Italian restaurant and bar, be prepared to fully indulge — it’s well worth the multiple courses you’re about to eat your way through.

When it comes to how best to enjoy Italian food, everyone has their own preference; however, it’s almost a given that it has to be done without any hurry to it. Sit down, enjoy the views and the company you’re with and live through the experience.

Selection of Affettato (l) and a glass of Chianti Classico (r) | Credit: Monique Ceccato for So Perth

While you’re trying to choose what you want most from the menu, start things off with a selection of Affettati and some drinks. The Affettati is sliced on-site and is paper-thin — something the chef is quite proud of and has resulted in the perfect way to start your food journey. When choosing your drinks, remember that each dish pairs perfectly with one of the drinks on the menu. To double down on the Italian vibes, we chose to try a couple of the Italian wines on the menu — an Italian Pinot Grigio to match the seafood starter followed by a Chianti Classico Superiore from Tuscany with the main course. If you’re unsure what’s going to work best, ask for a recommendation.

For starters, we’d suggest kicking things off with the Gamberoni, a starter featuring wood-grilled whole Exmouth prawns, bathed with crayfish butter, capers, and lemon. It’s a dish that truly showcases the restaurant’s commitment to fresh, local seafood. Get some of the house-made Focaccia to go with it and use the leftover crayfish butter as a dipping sauce. Simply divine. 

Taglierini pasta (l) and Bistecca alla Fiorentina (r) | Credit: Monique Ceccato for So Perth

Pasta is a point of pride at Isola, handmade on-site in true Italian style. There are so many options to choose from, that you may just have to get one of each. Our favourites were the Taglierini pasta, laden with Shark Bay crab, tomato, chilli, and garlic, and the Rigatoni pasta, featuring classic pork sausage ragu.

If you’re still not satiated, finish off your main course adventure with either the Bistecca alla Fiorentina (t-bone steak) or the Lamb Shoulder. The Bistecca alla Fiorentina paired perfectly with the Chinti we chose, really bringing forward the flavours of both.


Yellowfin Tuna and Lime-Cured Kingfish (l) and Grilled Fremantle Octopus (r) | Credit: Monique Ceccato for So Perth

The aromas you experience as you walk into Lontara will transport you to South-East Asia where you become suddenly famished in anticipation of the food experience you’re about to embark on. 

Lontara’s menu has been thoughtfully designed for shared dining — the normal in South-East Asia and the best way to experience such a menu without feeling like you’re missing out on something. Start your journey with the Yellowfin Tuna, the Lime-Cured Kingfish, or the Grilled Fremantle Octopus. Any combination of these will whet your appetite and have you salivating ready for the next course. The Yellowfin Tuna, in particular, is a dish you have to taste at least once — the combination of flavours is delectable. 

The Rock Lobster (l) and Crispy Whole Fish (r) | Credit: Monique Ceccato for So Perth

For the next course, there was so much to get excited about and we wanted it all. Our favourites were the Geralton Rock Lobster and the Crispy Whole Fish. The Rock Lobster needs no explanation because, well, they had us at Rock Lobster. The whole fish, however, was a very pleasant surprise and not what we expected. It’s an absolute masterpiece of a dish that was cooked to perfection and artfully constructed. 

Don’t take our word for it, though, try it for yourself and tell us what you think.

Lontara is also open for breakfast — to hotel guests and the public during winter months — with an equally impressive menu. 

Hotel Rottnest

The pulse of Rottnest Island can be found at the iconic Hotel Rottnest. The Hotel is a favourite among island visitors, offering quality pub fare and a vast selection of beers, wines, and cocktails.

On chillier days, guests can enjoy the warmth and comfort of the indoor area, and catch a game of footy on the big screens or play a round of trivia on Thursday nights. However, the real treat of the Hotel Rottnest experience comes with sunlit days when the beer garden is in full flow.

There’s truly nothing more satisfying than enjoying your meal while watching over Thomson Bay and, of course, enjoying the company of the local cheeky quokkas.

While you can catch the ferry across to Rottnest for a day trip, why not stay a few nights and enjoy the full dining experience across the island. Check out our article on how to experience an unforgettable winter escape and start planning your next getaway.