Jamie Oliver’s restaurant has taken Perth by storm, and it’s opening has caused quite a stir in the gastronomic scene of WA. There have been some fairly mixed reviews of the restaurant since its opening in March this year, and I was a bit apprehensive if it would live up to my hopes and expectations. I am happy to report that this ranks highly on my list of restaurants in Perth, and I would definitely recommend it to all.
We went on Tuesday night, and we arrived at the restaurant around 5:30pm. Already, there was a half-hour line to get to the door! We waited in line, and a hostess came to let us know an approximate wait time before we got inside, so as not to upset anyone with other expectations. We were told it would be about a 2 hour wait! We had been expecting about as much, so we left our phone number with a not too friendly hostess and she told us she would give us a call when a table opened up. We went next door to the Aviary for a few drinks and nibbles, which I would also recommend. We got our call in at around 7pm, and when we got back to the restaurant we were seated promptly and our waiter came to help us. Let me tell you that the menu is fairly extensive, so I would probably recommend reading it online before going to the restaurant to speed things up a bit, I mean, you’ve already been waiting 2 hours!
We decided on a bottle of sparkling water, Steph had a Peach Bellini, and I had the Milano (prosecco, orange and campari). The Milano was tart and refreshing, while Steph was somewhat disappointed with the Bellini, nothing like Milestones in Canada! Both drinks cost $9.50. For entree we got a two person meat plank, and our waiter took us through the tasting order on the plate. He was knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to make suggestions. This meat plate consisted of four shaved meats (proscuitto, bresaola, finnochio, and capocollo), olives, sweet cured chillies, and capers, followed by a young buffalo mozzarella (I would recommend salting to bring out its flavour), a refreshing salad of shaved carrot, beetroot, lemon and mint, and finishing with a beautiful pecorino cheese with chili jam. This was the highlight of the meal for both Steph and I. A perfect progression of beautiful flavours, and I could have ordered a second. At $13.50 per person, it was not cheap, but absolutely delightful.
For mains, Steph ordered the Honeycomb Three Ways Cannelloni, the three different styles being aubergine and sun-dried tomatoes, pumpkin, and spinach and ricotta. She found the aubergine ones to be somewhat bland, but the other two styles were delicious. I ordered the Sausage Pappardelle, which was a pasta I had not encountered before. I would describe it as a wide linguini, and Jaime’s version comes with frilled edges, which really capture the sauce and flavour nicely. I really enjoyed the pasta dish, I would have preferred a bit more sauce, but overall the flavours were fantastic. I felt that the portions were a bit smaller than other restaurants, and the mains lend themselves to a multiple course meal. The mains were $12.50entree/$19main, and $12entree/$18main, respectively.
At this point we ordered a second round of drinks, I got the Pappa G ($16.50), a short mix of Jack Daniels, Martini Rosso, and Amaretto, and Steph got the Mojito ($15.50). Both drinks were flawless.
For dessert, we shared the Sour Cherry Bakewell. Steph and I differed in opinions on this one. Steph was somewhat disappointed with dessert in comparison with the other courses, while I found it to be tart and delicious. I suppose I can only confirm that it was reasonably priced $8, and that I would recommend it.
The restaurant is now taking bookings both online and over the phone, but the majority of the restaurant is reserved for walk-ins, and as this is being written the next available weekday booking is not for 3 months, and the next weekend booking is nearly 6 months away!
Overall, the wait was a bit of a turn-off but since we arrived expecting to wait, it was bearable. The decor was funky, with a mix of old-fashioned flair, and modern rustic. The staff were fantastic (minus the one hostess), knowledgeable, friendly, and genuine. The food was fantastic, some of the best fare in Perth in my opinion, and at a total bill of $130, it was much more reasonably priced than similar classed restaurants.
Visit their website at: http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/australia/perth for bookings, menu, and other information.
My rating 4.5/5.