This quiet, unpretentious restaurant sits above a busy bar in the heart of Perth’s CBD. When I’d been to the bar previously for post-work drinks, I hadn’t even realised the restaurant upstairs existed. It’s a small, refined space serving good food at reasonable prices, and it’s a bit of a respite from the bustling St Georges Tce.
The menu is contemporary, and despite its brevity there are probably enough options to satisfy most palates. Our starters of seared scallops with chorizo and pumpkin puree, and bruschetta with buffalo mozzarella, tomato, roasted capsicum, basil and balsamic, were fresh and well presented. The bruschetta in particular, showcased fresh produce served very simply.
My two friends were delighted with their main choice of the vegetarian risotto. This consisted of risotto made with wild forest mushrooms, crispy sage, baby spinach and feta, and was creamy, starchy and full flavoured. Naturally I had to sample it so can concur with their reports. I opted for the swordfish served with warm Mediterranean salad and crispy chickpea chips. I loved the chickpea chips – soft on the inside and deliciously crispy outside; an unusual but welcome offering. The swordfish was slightly overcooked , rendering it a bit chewy. That was disappointing as swordfish is one of my favourite types of fish, and it isn’t seen that often on restaurant menus. It’s a change from the interminable barramundi – what’s up with that? It’s listed on nearly every menu in town, and for me it’s one of the most pedestrian varieties of fish out there, no matter whether it’s Cone Bay or however you dress it up. Grand Bar has it on their menu too I should add.
The dessert menu has 3 offerings, plus a cheese board. My choice was the chocolate moelleux with sugared berries and vanilla ice-cream. This is the Grand’s name for what is essentially chocolate fondant or lava pudding, but sadly it was cooked perhaps a minute too long and wasn’t as oozy as I like it. My friends’ selection of the forest fruit cheesecake with lemon sorbet, was given a big thumbs up for its creamy, fruity flavour and texture.
Our experience overall was positive, and despite a few minor quibbles, we were satisfied customers. The service was uber friendly and efficient, and as you’d expect from a restaurant above a bar, a good selection of wines by the glass. The prices were very reasonable, and there aren’t many eateries these days where you will find risotto for $23 or fish for $25.50.