Looking for Perth’s best carbonara? An Australian celeb chef’s incredible dining experience has opened West Side, pairing ancient Roman cooking with the hospitality of its famed osterias.
Fabric spoke to renowned Australian chef Guy Grossi on his exploration of ancient Roman cooking, local WA fare and the fine dining experience on offer at Garum – within the historical Hibernian Hall at the East end of Perth CBD.
What was the attraction in bringing your renowned offering to Perth?
I’ve always loved Perth, it’s a vibrant city, the people are friendly and the hospitality industry has evolved over recent years. The produce in and around Perth is some of the best in the world so to be able to open a venue and make full use of that is really exciting.
In Melbourne we have nurtured a strong sense of community for three generations and it is this ethos that drives the restaurants day-to-day. It doesn’t just include our city but extends to all those that we deal with in our industry and beyond. It’s through these interactions that we have had the pleasure of many significant connections with Western Australia and its people over the years. From using its amazing produce on our menus and at world expos to connecting with locals at events such as Gourmet Escape. We have come to experience the great nature of hospitality in this part of the country and we are hooked. When the opportunity arose to work with BGC Development and The Westin on a project as exciting as this we were naturally inclined to say yes.
How did you adapt the menu and your signature style to suit Perth diners?
We wanted to pick something that was a little bit different to entice people. We have focused on the region of Lazio, with modern and ancient roman techniques and dishes on the menu. We hope that it creates some excitement and interest for Perth diners.
The menu is pure, uncomplicated Italian at its best. What are your “must try” recommends?
Definitely the carbonara. It’s a classic and it’s simple but delicious. And the octopus, perfect example of using exceptional WA produce in a roman style.
As with all Grossi venues wine will be a great focus, drawing on the region of Lazio through to local producers. Which local labels will we find?
We have teamed up with Voyager estate who have selected and labelled wines for Garum. We visited the winery not long ago and it’s just magnificent. They are passionate people and we are so lucky to work with them.
What about local producers and WA ingredients on the plate?
We have sourced some great local seafood like Fremantle octopus, which is some of the best octopus in the world. We have also used amazing local Arkady lamb.
Guests can enjoy an outdoor area, private dining room and the bar, which has its own menu of Roman snacks. Each of the spaces embraces the tones of the original, heritage building with a contemporary feel. What do you love about it?
It’s a beautiful space. We are very lucky in that we had a building with great bones, being the old Hibernian Hall. The structure itself is what attracted us to the site. The brick, high ceilings, timber beams – it’s just stunning. So we aimed to maintain all of that and add in just enough warmth and character.
Garum is the most exciting opening on the restaurant scene of late, and promises genuine, warm and knowledgeable staff and the theatre of the great Osterias of Rome.
Find it at Hibernian Place, 480 Hay Street, Perth. Phone (08) 6559 1870 or visit http://www.garum.com.au