TOP 100 QUEST: LALLA ROOKH Bar and Eating House, Perth
Strange name, I hear you say. Lalla Rookh is actually an early 1800s Oriental romance by Thomas Moore. Lalla is the heroine, and I assume this is the inspiration for the name Lalla Rookh Bar and Eating House. I had it on extremely good authority that I should pay this place a visit. It’s a little difficult to find as it’s tucked away below street level but walking through the rather humble entrance, it’s pretty spacious, consisting of the dining area plus a wine bar.
Heading up the kitchen is chef Joel Valvasori-Pereza who creates his own modern Italian dishes based on his northern Italian background and local Western Australian produce – a style which he terms ‘La Cucina Westraliana’. Joel previously spent time in Melbourne where he was head chef at Balzari.
Lalla Rookh has a casual vibe and it’s reasonably priced. Menu selections include Salumi, Pizza, Meat & Fish, and a number of seasonal dishes. If you can’t decide, there’s the ‘il Capo’ chef’s selection consisting of 6 share dishes for $58pp.
On a trip to Perth last year, my cousin and I had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon eating and drinking good wine! We shared Aperol cured kingfish, orange, juniper oil, lemon thyme, Nonna’s meatballs, soft polenta, parmigiano, Organic beef carpaccio, ‘cipriani’, smoked mushroom crumbs, Marinated fremantle octopus, fresh artichoke and celery heart salad, orange, lemon and chilli, and Ricotta gnocchi with wild boar ragu.
Having earned its place on the 2016 Gourmet Traveller Top 100 list, Lalla Rookh exemplifies the growing trend towards more casual dining based on local and seasonal produce.