Back in 2014, it was announced that one of the world’s leading luxury hotel brands was heading to Perth. I daydreamed of dining at the Ritz-Carlton Perth, enjoying a traditional afternoon tea and revelling in the glitz and glamour. Six years on, we have a lunch reservation in its flagship restaurant Hearth. While it’s not a Michelin star restaurant in Mayfair, serving Cornish clotted cream and cucumber sandwiches, would it live up to the Ritz’s reputation?
Hearth’s kitchen team is overseen by one of Perth’s most acclaimed Chefs – Jed Gerrad. Previously Executive Chef of the Como’s fine diner, Wildflower, Jed has brought his love of native West Australian ingredients to the Ritz Perth.
Overlooking the waters of Elizabeth Quay, Hearth is a luxurious ode to WA. Blue hues of ocean and sky accent a light and neutral dining room, with plush booths to sink into with a good glass of red.
Well-groomed, professional wait staff are attired in a similar pallet, looking like they’ve walked straight off the runway of Paris Fashion Week with quirky collars and tailored pants held up with braces. On the tables are Kimberly rocks used as vases for dried wildflowers, as well as an endless supply of water, served with a slice of cucumber.
The wine list is predominately made up of noteworthy drops from West Australian vineyards, with a few interstate labels too. The bubbles are mainly from Champagne, France – as they should be. A Frankland River wine, the Alkoomi Jarrah Shiraz has peppery notes, with a smooth finish.
Hearth – The Food
Hearth is named for the open grills on which much of the menu is cooked. This back to basics technique envelops the food in rich, smoky flavours of jarrah wood and flame. Hearth’s menu quite literally takes you on a journey around our vast state. Flip it over and a map of WA shows the locations of where the native ingredients are sourced.
We start with bread and butter. Though this is no ordinary pre-lunch warm up. Moreish spent grain bread, $4, is glazed in honey and served warm with a smoked native thyme butter.
A light “snacks” menu is seafood heavy, sourced from the Indian Ocean far and wide. Choose from Abrolhos Islands scallop, Peel Inlet blue swimmer crab or even Ocean Reef abalone. We relish a delicate Southern Forest marron, $36, with smoky notes from the grill, plated beautifully with grilled sweet corn, and a lime and chilli yuzu kosho sauce.
I love a tartare as much as the next carnivore, though have never come across a lamb tartare, $29. The charred lamb tartare mixed with toasted cumin, quinoa, and pickled youlk, is a textural treat. The finely diced youlk is bush tucker, nicknamed the “Ravensthorpe radish”, it has a slight carrot flavour. This take on a traditionally beef dish is refreshing, especially when topped with an aged sheep’s cheese and whipped Eucalyptus espuma (foam).
For main, a helpful waitress recommends the pork dish. The grain-fed Berkshire pork, $48, is a cracker. Pork two ways – thinly sliced pork belly with a hint of crisp crackle, along with a coal smoked sirloin, sous-vide, then poached in clarified butter – is delicious. Ash baked onion, tart Cape gooseberries and a smoked white onion puree complete this dish.
While most mains at Hearth hover around a $50 price point, Chef jumps at the opportunity to try a Futari wagyu MBS 9+, at an eye watering $79. This is the creme de la creme of marbling scores, but is it worth splashing out on? After just one bite of the buttery soft rump steak, it’s a resounding yes. The hearty dish is served with charred cos heart, local mushrooms, and a sticky beef syrup.
Sides are a must at Hearth and creamy royal blue potato puree, $20, with a vegetable jus compliment our mains perfectly.
I’m always keen to eat my greens and a grilled brassica salad (vegetables from the mustard family), $22, fits the bill. A light Cambray cheddar dressing coats the grilled Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and crisp kale. Never has there been a better excuse to eat your veggies.
After a brief pause, we tuck into deserts. Both are on the light side, which is fine by us. I’m tempted by the sweet and savoury combo of camembert ice cream, though I opt for a burnt Bahen & Co. chocolate brûlée, $24. Served out of the ramekin, the perfectly set brûlée still has that crack-able caramelized top. Garnished with cherries that have been heated on the coals of the hearth, it’s a wonderful combination of sour, bitter and sweet flavours.
A creamy cane cut sémillon custard, $21, is made from reduced jersey milk, while desert lime is candied and grilled then sprinkled onto the dish. The pretty dessert is garnished with a crisp milk wafer, gold dust and desert lime gel.
Hearth – The Gluten Factor
Initially looking over the menu at Hearth, I was a little worried as no dishes were marked GF. A helpful waiter immediately put my mind at ease, telling me the menu is 90% gluten free. I was SO ecstatic, I could pretty much choose what ever I wanted. On this menu only the bread had to be swapped out for a house made GF version – which was like eating real fluffy bread. And a crumb had to be left off one other dish. So glutards rejoice and treat yourself to a deluxe meal at Hearth.
What we find at Hearth, is Jed’s uncompromising commitment to showcasing West Aussie produce, executed with flair and millimetre perfect technique. The restaurant has a more approachable feel than you’d expect, though it still hits the wallet hard, it is luxury dining after all.
While Hearth doesn’t replicate a traditional European Ritz restaurant, it oozes Perth, and is something we can all be proud of. Visitors to WA and Perth-ians can experience the very best of our state on a dining plate at Hearth, without leaving the comfort of the city.
Hearth Ritz Perth – At a Glance
1 Barrack Street, Perth
Phone 6559 6888
■ Opening times
Lunch daily 12pm to 2.30pm
Dinner Sun to Thu 6pm to 9.30pm
Fri and Sat 6pm to 10.30pm
value for money 4
■ style – Modern West Australian
■ wine – vast selection of
West Australian wines
and French champagnes.
■ Chef – Jed Gerrad
■ Owners – Ritz-Carlton (Marriot Bonvoy Group)
■ feel – the epitome of West
Australian culture, land, sea.
Refined, yet approachable.
■ wheelchair access – yes
■ cost –
Small Plates – $4 to $36
Mains – $38 to $180
Dessert – $15 to $40
■ all in all – Hearth takes your
tastebuds on a culinary journey
all around WA. A must try.
Get more information on Heath Ritz Perth on their website.