It started with a 40 minute queue on the footpath, although staff came out twice during that period, giving out free tastings of bread and olives etc. Eventually you get to the pointy end, where you’re informed of the waiting time for a table, in our case (four people) one hour. You’re given a choice of waiting at the bar, or going elsewhere, (they’ll call you on the mobile when your table is ready).
We made the mistake of waiting at the bar, where the service was chaotic and beyond slow. It appeared they were short-staffed and staff are still finding their feet. It must be said however, all staff were really pleasant, genuine, cheerful and very helpful, a big step up from the usual Perth restaurant / cafe staff attitude.
The wines and beers are virtually all Italian, so if, like me, you don’t know Italian wines, it’s a bit ‘Hope and Pray.’ They’re a little stingy on the wine pour, but overall the prices per glass are average for the industry – $7.50 – $11.00 per glass and $10.00 for a medium beer. However given the chaos and time taken to get a drink, you’re probably better off popping over to the pub, or bar across the road and let’s be honest, most of these wines, in Europe (where I spend a lot of time) will sell for 2 – 8 Euros a bottle ($4.00 – $11.00), so young Jamie is following a Perth trend here – ripping the customer off for a bottle of wine.
The restaurant décor is concrete basic and extremely noisy, if there was any music, I certainly couldn’t hear it. In reality it’s a large barn seating 300 people, but the ambience is somehow pleasant. As we had been advised, it did take an hour for a table to become available. The staff were really good, you couldn’t help but like them and the menu prices were a very pleasant surprise – entrees at $8.50 – $12.00, mains from $16.50 – $30.00 and deserts at $8.50. Drink service at the table was a vast improvement on the bar service and there was a nice touch with free bread and olive oil, beautifully presented. The food was obviously fresh and varied from “nice but bland” (the Jools special) to “fantastic” (Blue Crab Risotto) and the deserts were excellent taste treats.
In conclusion, this is not the right place for a romantic night, but great for a group of friends looking for a good night out with good quality food, in a fun place, with the best serving staff I’ve seen in Perth – amazing! The food prices make up for the queueing and the wait – allow for the queue factor and plan pre-dinner drinks at a nearby bar, or maybe you could bring your own champaign with you and after you’ve done the queue, drive down to the foreshore for a drink – oh, sorry, it’s Perth, you’ll get arrested for public drinking!. Between the two of us, we had two beers, three glasses of wine, a glass of champaign, a main and a desert each, all for less than $100.00. The cost without the pre-dinner drinks was $64.80 which was very acceptable, but the way the system is, you will spend money on pre-dinner drinks somewhere, so it will inevitably be a $100.00 night for two. It will be interesting to see if the queues drop off in the next few months, at this stage an almost two hour wait for table at a Perth restaurant on a Monday night must be counted as a great business success.