WITH a reputation that precedes him, the stakes were high for chef Guy Grossi to deliver an authentic Italian dining experience when he opened his restaurant Garum last year.
Almost 10 months on and with the fanfare all but over, it’s clear he is onto a winner with his fine-dining Roman osteria.
The collaboration between Grossi and The Westin Perth resulted in a beautiful restaurant housed in the historic Hibernian Hall in the City’s east.
While Grosse spent time in the initial stages running the establishment, head chef Mario Di Natal delivers a menu focused on ancient Roman techniques and modern classics.
Entrees start at $5 for an oyster and rise to $22 for Polpo (octopus Gaeta style sourdough, olives, tomato, capers) and Quaglia (quail, honey, garum, fennel, currants, pine nuts).
We started with two oysters each and quickly moved on to the Fior di Zucca (zucchini flowers, baccala, caponata), which were almost too pretty to eat.
Delicately fried, filled with salted cod and placed on a bed of colourful Sicilian caponata, this dish was moreish and I could easily have had a second serve.
Next came the pasta and while Grossi says the carbonara is the restaurant’s signature dish, we couldn’t go past the Cacio e Pepe (tonarelli, pecorino, pepper).
Creamy but not rich, this simple, yet beautifully sharp sheep milk-cheese dish, had just the right balance of pepper to the sharpness of the cheese – simply delicious.
For the main, we chose the Agnello (Arkady lamb shoulder, parmigiano, sage, bread), meltingly tender, full of flavour and cooked to perfection.
To complete the meal we shared Grossi’s traditional tiramisu, a sweet decadence and the perfect way to finish our Roman experience.
Grossi said at the time of opening that he wanted the restaurant to be somewhere to enjoy a bowl of pasta for lunch or celebrate a milestone birthday.
“We want guests to feel comfortable and looked after,” he said.
And now having visited, I can attest we definitely felt comfortable and walked out feeling well looked after.
Garum will host a romantic three-course Valentine’s Day dinner for two on February 14 for $149 per person. Bookings are essential.