Gazette is billed as an osteria and it couldn’t be more on point. It is the result of an epiphany by owners Colonial Leisure Group: to wit, posh dining and posh scaled-back Scando food stylings weren’t going to cut it in Perth’s new share plate/casual dining culture. So, out with flagship restaurant Print hall and in with the entirely new, more casual, sexier and ripping-good dining room, Gazette.
They promised a lighter, more casual offer and they delivered. While at first glance the menu may appear crushingly derivative – a café menu with aspirations – it delivers and keeps on delivering. Yes, you’ve seen it all before, but the cookery, presentation and occasional twists and turns make it interesting and pleasing.
Whipped cod roe made with salt cod, soaked bread, lemon juice, garlic and shallots, emulsified and served with toasts and a garnish of salmon caviar. It was creamy, spiky with salt and tangy. A smashing bar snack or an appetiser to enjoy before getting down to serious eating.
There’s a salami selection with house pickles – a bargain at $25 for two. Roast chicken (every chef’s favourite right now) was a Wagin, corn-fed, free-range forequarter, properly seared. Garnishes were good. Pearl barley was plated like a wet risotto, and a lemon-based beurre blanc(ish) sauce added pep. Smart dish.There are a couple of steaks on offer. Both good.
The wine list is truly magnificent, the legacy of Print Hall’s ambitious wine service when it first opened with a $1 million cellar. The list is a shadow of its former, Print Hall self, but it is still impressive and now targeted at the smart casual, bistro-style dishes cooked by the switched on brigade under Giles Bailey.
Gazette is a smart, welcoming, well-run addition to the city’s food-scape.