Opinion: timing is right for Esperance to embrace the foodie revolution
You can sense when a country town is on the cusp of a revolution.
It isn’t sight, and the vision of new developments, nor is it sound and the hustle and bustle of people and cars. It’s taste.
Let me take you back to Exmouth in late 2015. There were two great restaurants but for the most part it was a spot where lazy, uninspired cuisine still ruled.
You could tell things were changing, though. By mid-2016, new venues were popping up, new owners were taking over tired cafes, and a real effort was being made to bring the isolated town’s food into the modern era.
Go there today and you’ll find two breweries serving up knockout pizzas and great vegetarian options, you’ll find breakfast haunts offering fresh, inspired seasonal salads, and you’ll find some of the best fish tacos in WA on a remote beach up the top of the cape.
And yes, those two great restaurants are still at the top of their game.
I made my first trip to Esperance for work last weekend and it instantly reminded me of that first Exmouth work trip in 2015.
Yes, the town’s foodie scene is still in its infancy, which surprised me, but you can tell change is afoot.
Now, I learned pretty quickly Esperance does not take kindly to being compared to Albany, but in the cuisine stakes it is not a comparison one should shy away from.
Esperance’s Taylor St Quarters would not be out of place among renowned Albany eateries Garrison and Liberte.
I went for lunch and dinner, and both menus were deserving of the high praise the place receives.
The wine list is also top-notch.
Joining a line of people eager to get their hands on Bread Local’s products on a Friday was a blast, and sitting down for a pint with smoked meats at the brewery on Saturday proved to be a relaxing and delicious afternoon.
It took a little more than one year for Exmouth to go from a remote tourist magnet with disappointed diners to a place worth travelling to for the food.
Esperance’s Taylor St Quarters would not be out of place among renowned Albany eateries Garrison and Liberte
No longer is the town so reliant on swimming with big sea creatures, and that bodes well for Exmouth’s future.
Right now, Esperance is well-placed to walk the same path.
The trailblazers are established, and the willingness to rise to the occasion from other businesses is clearly there.
A bustling food scene means more reason for tourists to visit, more skilled and unskilled jobs, and an economy not so reliant on seasons.
It will be great in another year or so to see tourism ads promoting Esperance not solely reliant on lazy kangaroos on sandy beaches.
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