It’s the year of the Italians in Perth’s culinary scene and Garum – a bold, boisterous, home-cooking Roman – became a star attraction at the chichi Westin Hotel. Garum launched on to the Perth food scene with huge publicity and immediate uptake. The owner is Melbourne restaurateur and TV personality Guy Grossi.
Food is all about simplicity, rusticity and good ingredients. There are no flourishes or modern twists, just great food.
The Garum kitchen makes its version of the classic Roman pasta dish, cacio e pepe, creamy, plate-lickable and well seasoned. Ditto its carbonara, arguably Rome’s most famous pasta dish. A silky, creamy egg sauce, grated pecorino, rendered, crisped guanciale (cured pig’s jowl) and house-made spaghetti cooked firm and chewy. It is heavenly.
Meats on the chargrill are simple and unadorned. The stunning Arkady lamb from Margaret River was the hero in one such grilled dish. Salt, the scent of rosemary and char from the wood-fired grill were the only flavours on the massive frenched chops.
Hungry? Order the salsiccia, a house-made sausage weighing in at a hefty 450g and designed for two or more.
The wine list is OK. Most diners will find something to please both palate and wallet.
The restaurant is one of the loftiest dining spaces in Perth, stylishly shoehorned into the heritage-listed Hibernian Hall, which in turn has been integrated cleverly into the ultra-modern Westin Hotel. Garum is simple, rustic and real. The cookery is mostly good and pleasingly authentic.