A New Year signifies new beginnings but do you know what it also means? New FLAVOURS. We recently interviewed Sophie Budd from Taste Budds Cooking Studio, Edwin Kanagaraj from The Wembley Hotel and chef Stuart Laws to discuss their predictions of the top food trends in WA for 2018 and uncover what we can expect from their venues this year.

You can also reference Part One for more tren insights, available here.

1. What is your prediction for the main food trend(s) we will see in WA in 2018?

Edwin - The food truck industry will continue to thrive, giving customers unpretentious and good quality food that’s full of flavour. With American BBQ through to Egyptian food trucks popping up around Perth, the offering is more varied than ever.

Sophie - I think there will be a return to simplicity.  I cooked with Antonio Carluccio several months ago and he said to me, “It's all about the ‘MOF MOF’.” I asked what this meant and he replied “Minimum of Fuss, Maximum of Flavour.”

Stuart - I think the trend will be local, fresh, sustainable and value for money.

2. Which produce do you think we will see more of on WA restaurant menus in 2018?

Edwin - West Australian beef is going from strength to strength. With such fabulous local produce available, it will be heavily featured on menus in 2018.

Sophie - Native produce! It is so incredible yet so underused. I'm a huge fan of saltbush.  I made a risotto at a demo recently with yabbies, brown butter, saltbush and Sandlewood nuts. The nuts and saltbush were both golden, crunchy and incredibly crispy!

Stuart - Vegetables will be a larger feature on menus in Perth. In the pursuit to deliver a more cost-effective menu, chefs will look away from proteins and look to healthy and affordable vegetable options. 

3. What should we expect to see from your restaurant this year?

Edwin - 2018 will see some subtle twists on a few of our pub classics at The Wembley. We’ve recently launched our summer menu, which will take you all the way to Malaysia with our Malay Chicken Burger and then to New York with our Reuben Sandwich. That’s without even leaving the ‘burgers’ section! We’ve also increased our share plate offering and updated our wood-fired pizza menu. Taj Mahal pizza anyone?

Sophie - I'm going to start doing some new events.  A dating dinner, a bush foods dinner as well as some activities for kids. I will also be hosting some pop-ups for other chefs which is really exciting.

4. Which WA beverage(s) did you celebrate with on New Year's Eve?

Edwin -  At the Wembley Hotel we celebrated New Year’s Eve with some gorgeous West Australian wines from Fermoy Estate, Castelli, Forest Hill and Run Free.

Sophie – I bought a magnum of Myattsfield Vineyard bubbles. It’s covered in gold glitter; I’d wanted to buy one for ages!

Stuart - The West Australian craft beer market has come a long way so a few of those were enjoyed in the afternoon. I am also really loving my WA Rieslings at the moment!