Share plates, authentic Asian flavours, big breakfasts, real bread and pop-ups are all in vogue for 2014 as Perth's dining scene consolidates the gains of 2013.
Traditional dining - think entree, main and dessert - is out, led by new-generation restaurants which have changed the way we eat.
Dishes are smaller, breakfasts go till late in the day and dining times are more fluid.
"Some people come in at 10.30pm and order the degustation," Print Hall executive chef Shane Watson said.
Print Hall's One-Two-Three-Four ($20-$30-$40-$20) menu sets the pace with four options in each section.
Order something from each for the works, or just a couple; the choice is yours.
And make no mistake, this is serious posh nosh but of the unfussy kind that's designed to surprise and delight.
"We're constantly looking for new things and more boutiquey stuff - and I think that's the way the industry is going," Watson said.
"We go out and pull our own samphire from the Swan River and get clams sent down from Shark Bay."
Local and homegrown will get bigger this year with producer groups like the Southern Forests Food Council, which takes in Manjimup, Pemberton, Walpole and Northcliffe, gaining momentum to deliver the best that regional WA has to offer.
"Shop local, buy local, is a powerfully awesome thing happening in this fair State of ours," consultant chef Don Hancey said.
"And we've seen an amazing transition in the past five years from classical eateries and foods to more relaxed, casual dining, with people preferring to move from one small bar to another - on one night - to experience different foods, beverages and atmospheres.
"Food vans are producing some restaurant-quality meals without the price tag or formality - and that's what people want."
Here's our pick of the top 10 food trends that will drive WA in 2014:
1. Share it round: It's always been the norm in Asian, Italian, Spanish and Mexican dining but share plates became one of the hottest food trends of 2013 and they're here to stay as menus become more casual and unstructured. Head to Northbridge's Bivouac, The Cabin, in Mt Hawthorn, Andaluz and Apple Daily, in the CBD, and East Fremantle's Barque for some of the best.
2. Authentic Asian: It's part of the real food movement that's going back to good ingredients and honest preparation. Gary Bennett is doing it at Barque and making his spice pastes from scratch, so is Apple Daily with blow-your- tastebuds-away street-style food laced with fragrant curries pounded and ground in-house. If the recipe calls for shrimp paste, they'll use it, hang the pong. These places have raised the bar. Expect to see more.
3. Real bread: It's just flour, water and yeast, or mother starter, but it takes time. And patience. None of these proving agents, oils and emulsifers you get in sliced plastic loaves. Bread in Common is a bakery-cum-restaurant in Fremantle's West End and it does it right. So does Jean Pierre Sancho, which has outlets in the CBD, Northbridge and West Perth, as well as Small Print in the city (head down the stairs, below street level) and Mary Street Bakery, in Highgate, which have joined old timers like Maylands' Woodfired Baker and Yallingup Woodfired Bread, down south. Don't settle for anything less.
4. Pop-up restaurants: It's a worldwide phenomenon that's caught on in Perth and Enrique's School For To Bullfighting in Highgate shows we're ready to embrace it. Print Hall has done it with its pop-up garden bar complete with ersatz grass and ivy for the "Summer of Riesling" in the CBD; so has Apple Daily, just for one week between Boxing Day and January 2, at Colonial Brewing in Margaret River.
5. Big breakfasts: Fill up in the morning and you can skip lunch. Chalkys pumps out the food till 3pm (for late risers) and has become a bit of an institution with the Freo crowd at the Round House end of High Street. Its The Hock, with poached eggs, master stock braised pork hock, potato and artichoke gratin and house-made hollandaise, always tops the list. Want more? Try Sayers (Leederville), Sayers Sister (Northbridge), Typika (Claremont), Atrium buffet (Crown Perth), Vans (Cottesloe) and Morries (Margaret River).
6. Pintxos: If you like tapas, you'll love pintxos (pronounced pinchoss), the Basque equivalent of Spain's quintessential bar snack. Pintxos means "spike", so the food is traditionally served on a toothpick or cocktail skewer and the idea is you help yourself. Bar de Halcyon is doing it in Wolf Lane; so is Pinchos, of course, in Leederville.
7. Single-spirit bars: Varnish on King set the pace as a dedicated American whiskey bar that's been something of a milestone in Perth's bar culture; then along came Scott Taylor's pop-up gin joint with the crazy name - Enrique's School For To Bullfighting - which has reinvented the G&T for its summer season, with 15 gins, five tonics and 15 garnishes, all served Spanish- style in a stemmed glass with big ice because, well, Spain is the biggest consumer, per capita, of premium gin on the planet.
8. No bookings: Many a local has been doing this from the start - and the queues show people are prepared to wait - but it took the big players like Jamie's Italian and Apple Daily in the CBD to make it mainstream. It's a win-win all round. You eat when you feel like it and restaurants don't have to worry about a no-show.
9. Micro-roasters: It's all about coffee with provenance from small-batch roasters specialising in micro-lots. They even know the farmer's name. We're talking about places like Micrology, Darkstar, Pound, Typika, Small Print and Humblebee. Now that you're into beans, bring out your inner geek with an AeroPress. For about $50 you won't get a better brew. It's simple to use, portable and rinses clean. Trust us on this one.
10. Eclairs: The macaron is dead. Long live the eclair. We're taking the lead from Paris where patisseries like L'Atelier de L'Eclair and L'Eclair de Genie sell only eclairs in different flavours and colours. Fillings range from fruity combinations to salted caramel, even foie gras and fig. Perth is yet to catch up but head to Jean Pierre Sancho in the city for a luxury chocolate take on this French classic.