Under the radar

YOU wouldn’t know it, but below St Georges Terrace is Lalla Rookh – a restaurant-bar serving Italian-inspired fare.

As I wandered down the staircase and into the expansive dining room, I felt like Alice in foodie wonderland.

Wasting no time, we kicked off our culinary adventure with sardine bruschetta ($16).

The toasted bread was topped with a generous portion of grilled Fremantle sardines that were moist and smoky and bursting with flavour.

Balancing out the smokiness was a scoop of freshly chopped tomatoes, confit leek and firm broad beans.

Lalla Rookh’s clams ($16) are the best I’ve ever had.

The sweet, salty clam flesh is swimming in an intoxicating vino bianco (white wine sauce) and dotted with vibrant green peas and crispy pancetta, creating great depth of flavour.

We soaked up every last bit of the perfect sauce with the complementary bread.

Weighing in at approximately 600 grams was the bistecca alla fiorentina ($66).

The chargrilled T-bone steak was crunchy on the outside and mouthwateringly rare on the inside.

The tender steak took up most of a large serving tray and was pre-sliced, allowing the juices to mix with an acidic salsa verde in a moreish sauce.

This is perfection on a plate and I couldn’t have been any happier.

A side order of roast potatoes ($9) were salty, crunchy and delicious.

Still thinking of Alice, we ordered the pappardelle with braised rabbit ($32).

Unlike Alice’s manic friend, this bunny arrived on time.

The al dente pappardelle is served with sweet rabbit meat, peas, parmesan, kale and a luscious butter sauce.

I don’t usually order dessert, but I’d be doing our readers a disservice if I didn’t mention the rosemary and rock salt ice-cream with rhubarb and coconut crumble ($15).

It’s amazing, and I recommend washing it down with a glass of Kopke LBV port ($10).

At the helm of Lalla Rookh is experienced head-chef Alexandra Haynes, whose father Mark used to work at the award-winning restaurant Florentino’s in Melbourne.

If you’re in the city and looking for a quality feed, venture down the rabbit hole into this epicurean wonderland – it’s dishing up more gold than the historic Marble Bar mine it’s named after.

by Matthew Eeles

Lalla Rookh
77 St Georges Terrace, Perth
9325 7077

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