Dining style: traditional Italian with a few modern nods
Perfect for: those seeking the comfort of a home-cooked meal away
Catering for: casual evenings with friends or family, children welcome
Dish to dine for: a generous serve of plump hand-rolled potato gnocchi, in a Napoli sauce dotted with torn pieces of fresh mozzarella. Bellissimo.
Price range: $$ – reasonably priced restaurant fare for Perth
If only… there were a few more pizzas on the menu, with only three they feel like an add on.
A Perth institution, Julio’s has weathered plenty of storms over the years and hasn’t let COVID-19 stop the ovens cranking. The restaurant has leaned hard into what it does best – Italian comfort food – adding ‘Italian providore’ to its resume. Stop by for a meal or stock up on Italian produce from the grab and go market now set up in place of the breakfast buffet.
At first glance Julio’s looks more like a hotel than a restaurant. Ironically, the red brick heritage façade is all Julio’s. The modern high rise building connected to it is the hotel. Sage Hotel West was the first of a new wave of hotels when it popped up a few years ago. Now you can walk through the lobby, turn right and head straight inside to Julio’s – making it the perfect spot for hotel guests looking for an aperitif, an easy dinner or a night cap. But for locals, Julio’s still very much stands on its own feet. Sit out on the terrace for drinks when the sun is out or head inside to the exposed brick dining room where there’s passata and red wine bottles lining the walls, exposed wooden beams on the ceiling and fireplace mantels where you’d expect to see family photos perched. Wooden floor boards, domed archway, white washed brick walls, the space has character in spades but still lets the food do the talking.
Chef Simone Ariano and the team certainly stayed busy during COVID-19, serving lunch to go pasta and paninis for locals, keeping the providore well stocked and dinner patrons happy. On the Sunday night when we dine, there are couples, families, a larger group of friends – the vibe is warm, the menu unpretentious and the staff inviting so it’s no surprise Julio’s is suitable for so many.
Start your evening off with one of the $15 cocktails, all classics, which are a new post-COVID offering that helps get you into the right mood. Pair a Negroni with hand rolled risotto balls, or the deep-fried lasagne croquette bites that scream Instagram sensation. We settle for light, crunchy bruschetta. With a local Margaret River cabernet merlot, we move on to handmade pasta, where the gnocchi is a full plate serve, and deserves to be cleaned off the plate. The beef cheek ravioli with black truffle butter (truffles are a must for WA winters) gets lots of attention too. Pizzas are on the menu too, but we skip to mains, for a hearty Costata board; 400g rib eye on the bone served with home style roasted potatoes, gremolata and rocket. You won’t leave the table hungry, that’s for sure. If you have room for dessert, there’s gelato, tarts and a while chocolate flourless cake to choose from.
1309 Hay St, West Perth
Mon-Fri: Breakfast, lunch and dinner until late
Weekends: Breakfast and dinner until late
Find out more: julios.com.au