Fine dining is one of those things that I don’t think many of us can afford to do all the time, unless of course we win lotto and so it was a nice surprise on Friday night to be invited to catch up with some friends for dinner at Perugino -www.perugino.com.au in West Perth for dinner. We had been talking about doing a catch up for such a long time with these friends and it finally fitted that we were all in Perth at the same time and so a celebration was in order! When I mentioned to some friends that we were heading off the Perugino for dinner the comment was something in the line of – ‘really are they still around?” Of course the answer is yes and as you will see from my thoughts about the night it is well worth a visit to experience this amazing restaurant and its offerings.
Perugino is a restaurant that has been in existence for many years and in the ever changing landscape that is Perth dining has become a bit of an institution for great Italian cuisine and it did not disappoint on Friday night. From the minute that you walk in to the end of the meal the staff are attentive without being intrusive and are knowledgeable about what is on offer from the kitchen and their Sommelier is right on the money when it comes to recommending wines to go with the meal.
At the beginning of the evening we were offered 2 dining options, either to go with the a la carte menu or to leave the choices up to the chef and be served 5 smaller courses. We opted for the second option and were not disappointed at all! The food was delightful, creative, classic Italian fare with a modern edge that left us all feeling fulfilled and delighted with the end results. We started with a puff pastry filled with mozzarella cheese and black truffle that was light, fluffy and the perfect beginnings of our meal for the night.
At this stage we were also enjoying some French bubbles and it was NV Pommery Brut Rose that added a nice touch to the first course. It was peach coloured with a good complexity and makes a bigger statement than many other Champagne Roses do with peach and apricot profiles.
This was then followed by scallops served in a scallop shell and covered in a light crust of breadcrumbs and garlic that was delightful and enchanting. At this stage we moved to an Italian white wine as we were going to be having mostly seafood for our other courses and a bottle of Volpe Pasini Zuc Di Volpe IPSO Pinot Grigio 2006 Friuli Venezia Giulia that was the perfect accompaniment for this course and the one to follow.
The third course on our journey was tiger prawns that were sautéed and served in a light fresh sauce of garlic and butter that allowed the full flavour of the prawns to come to the fore. Then it was time for some pasta which was half moon shaped pasta filled with a mixture of prawns, scallops and Dhufish, served in a smoked salmon and cream sauce. Again a delight for the tastebuds and did not disappoint at all. It was of course all made in house and the pasta was cooked to perfection.
The final course was a chateaubriand cut of baby beef fillet charcoal grilled medium rare and flamed with aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil that came with some lightly sautéed seasonal vegetables and was also served with a salad for the table to share. I personally would not have bothered about the salad as it was not really necessary as we had enough food across the course of the meal. The beef was melt in your mouth perfection and topped of a perfectly balanced meal. I stuck with the Pinot Grigio but Trevor and Ross opted for a half bottle of Tenuta Carretta Cascina Ferrero Barolo 2004 which they both enjoyed at this stage of the meal.
One of the things that I love about Perugino is the desert trolley, something of a throwback to the old style dining that I remember of the heady 80’s but a welcome one as it allows you to see what has been prepared fresh and exactly what is on offer. There were 8 choices and each one offered something different depending on what it was you were after at this stage of the meal. After 5 tasting courses I had had enough to eat but 2 of our table decided to indulge. The traditional Italian ricotta cake was light and a delightful way to end the meal!
We then had some herbal tea and were served home made meringues and Baci chocolates to complete our night, which were a lovely compliment to the peppermint tea…it was a little late for me to indulge in coffee of any sort…it would have meant not sleep for the night if I had.
Perugino is an institution that has stood the test of time and it is a testament to this dining institution that it continues to offer freshly produced fare that does not disappoint in an atmosphere of refined elegance. As I mentioned before the service from the staff was perfect…and as service in Perth restaurants is one of the things that I find sorely lacking in most cases it was so refreshing to deal with knowledgeable staff who know when to approach a table, how to serve properly and how to respect the diners in the restaurant to all make for a memorable dining experience. Oh and Beyoncé had eaten there just the previous week and not that that really says anything but when you having international superstars eating at your restaurant it must say something about it!
Perugino may have been on the scene for many years but our experience at dinner show why it is still at the top of the list for many Perth diners and rightly so!
77 Outram St
West Perth WA 6005
(08) 9321 5420