Uma brings the taste of Peru to the West, with one eye on tradition and the other on the future.
Alejandro Saravia is perhaps better known as chef-owner of Melbourne’s Pastuso than for his work in WA, but his involvement in his Pan Pacific outpost, Uma, runs far deeper than just slapping his name on the wall. Like fellow Melburnian chef-restaurateur Guy Grossi at Garum, the Peruvian-born chef has put the work into his western expansion; following lockdown, that work has redoubled, with Saravia on the ground himself overseeing new three-course and tasting menus (which, word is, will shift again soon).
A Peruvian would be failing their forebears if the ceviche was subpar, thankfully Saravia’s team makes a cracker.
The restaurant brims with references to Saravia’s culture, native fabrics and mural works referencing both old and new Peru, while a Pisco-heavy cocktail list is a draw in itself. The menu remains faithful to the spirit of Peruvian cuisine, yet centres itself around Western Australian produce, and while there’s plenty of protein from the land, including the occasional alpaca, the seafood offer is particularly strong. In season, expect gently smoked sea mullet from Mandurah, Fremantle octopus and pearl meat from the north west.
A Peruvian would be failing their forebears if the ceviche was subpar, thankfully Saravia’s team makes a cracker. Well balanced, his version doesn’t just rely on citrus, as can often be the case. Also true to Peru, Saravia restrains the heat of his dishes, deploying imported chillies (his one exception to local sourcing) to add fragrance as well as spice. Where hotel dining can so often fail to excite, Uma is further proof that Perth’s is among the most inspired.