Jed Gerrard’s follow-up to Wildflower celebrates Western Australia with a central fiery focus.
On opening, Hearth showed more than promise, The Ritz-Carlton’s signature restaurant immediately announcing itself as a contender for the crown of the state’s best.
And why not? The pedigree here is undeniable: fine dining is a part of Ritz-Carlton’s global DNA, and in snagging Jed Gerrard, the 2018 WAGFG Chef of The Year, they had a chef who’d forged a reputation for his good work at Wildflower, where he tied his menu to the six seasons of the Noongar calendar.
Gerrard’s approach to indigenous ingredients at Hearth is less overt, his menu more an homage, like the hotel’s design, to the state itself. Octopus comes from Cockburn Sound, truffles from Manjimup, boab root from the Kimberley, and specific producers, such as Mottainai lamb (responsible for what’s sometimes called the wagyu of the lamb world), are hailed at every opportunity; turn the page and they’re pinpointed on a state-wide map that serves as a reminder both of WA’s size, and the breadth of its growers and makers.
The influence of the wood-fuelled hearth that gives the restaurant its name can be seen across the menu, from the miso-glazed dhufish hung over coals, through to the roasted celeriac dressed with Halls Suzette cream and chestnuts.
But this isn’t just an exercise in geography. The dining room, with views over Elizabeth Quay, is a destination in itself, and service is in lockstep with those Ritz-Carlton standards. The influence of the wood-fuelled hearth that gives the restaurant its name, meanwhile, can be seen across the menu, from the miso-glazed dhufish hung over coals, through to the roasted celeriac dressed with Halls Suzette cream and chestnuts.
As restrictions ease, hours should increase from three nights a week, but what will remain is Gerrard’s commitment to a finely balanced menu that satisfies as a fine-dining statement as much as it does an exercise in comfort.