Our review notes went like this: “Superb modern Italian food, rock-star dining room, service is slick. Santini is sleek, moody and very adult. Accomplished wine program. A very polished performance.”
Santini is all that and more. It’s a rock star. As in, larger-than-life, a little show-offy, attention-seeking and charismatic.
Its dining room is runway-ready in architectural terms, and one of the finest, most welcoming temples to dining in the city. Santini’s squid ink risotto is better than many we’ve had in Italy. Nicely chewy and just-cooked rice; creamy sauce; perfect seasoning; great saline ink flavour and wet without being soupy, dripping with starchy sauce but not watery or insipid. Perfection, in other words.
The kitchen buys well. Beef is from Cape Grim. Pecorino Roma is flown in direct to the restaurant at $1000 per wheel. And then there’s the bistecca Fiorentina, the massive grilled T-bone native to Tuscany, which is cooked with aplomb over fire, impeccably rested, well salted and perfumed with butter and rosemary as it rests.
The menu is massive by modern standards and includes a blindingly good 350g sirloin; wood-grilled fennel-crusted tuna belly and an aged Berkshire “black pig” pork chop. The pizzas here are superb. Pasta dishes are excellent too.
Santini is a well-thought-out, well-executed restaurant which delivers one of the best customer experiences in Perth. Food and wine service deliver beyond expectations and the cookery is wonderful.
Santini is Perth’s best new opening in 2018.