Hibernian Hall’s Roman resident can lack a little atmosphere but it lives up to Guy Grossi’s reputation where it counts: on the plate.
In case Guy Grossi’s involvement in his one outpost outside Melbourne is in question, head downstairs. In the corridors snaking under this cavernous restaurant adjoining The Westin Perth hang portraits from his life – here’s the chef, slim and youthful, in toque and ’kerchief, there’s him with his infant son stirring a pot.
He may not grace the kitchen often, but Grossi’s influence bubbles below the surface, revealing itself in both the vision and the high standards. The execution is impressive, too, with a menu celebrating Rome and its surrounds centred around a blazing-hot wood grill and oven.
So it is that the kitchen riffs on a Gaeta-style pie in a dish of hard-grilled octopus with sourdough, tomato and olives then nails the creaminess and bite in a standout tonarelli cacio e pepe.
So it is that the kitchen riffs on a Gaeta-style pie in a dish of hard-grilled octopus with sourdough, tomato and olives then nails the creaminess and bite in a standout tonarelli cacio e pepe. Smart dishes featuring quail, scallops and Arkady lamb come out piping hot, too, even if the service lacks the same sense of immediacy.
Wine, meanwhile, keeps close to the Roman theme – if ever there was a time to try a Lazio passerina, it’s here and now – but then makes a point of showcasing WA wines. Take that and the food, and Grossi or not, this is a local to celebrate.