JULIO'S - FAVOURITE SPOT FOR BREAKFAST
This is what I love best about Perth: hidden gems like Julio’s.
The building has come a long way since completion in 1902. It was once was the proud residential home of the Walsh family, an iconic red brick corner site in West Perth that sides the intersection of Hay Street and Ventnor Avenue. It was an outstanding location in its prime and it still is today. A whisper away from Subiaco’s fashion district or a downhill ride to the city centre.
Today, the Walsh’s have long moved on and in their place stands the new Sage Hotel after a full renovation. The name Julio’s stays with the bar and restaurant, thanks to the vision of new owners, Adam Zorzi and Rod Hamersley.
The restoration project was mammoth. A story of contrasts. Old and new. A faithful nod to heritage, yet in keeping with a traveler’s modern needs. The exposed white-washed brickwork is rough, in stark contrast to the smooth, polished floors and sculptured fireplaces. Wooden tables add to the rustic feel, as do the heavy overhead beams. You could be in an old English country home with its large sash windows, were it not for the modern bar with hanging martini and wine glasses. And its Italian cuisine. Another contrast.
Julio’s is a truly enticing place where the affable Executive Chef Simone Ariano works his magic which borders on art. My breakfast was an experience and not just a meal. It kicked off with the Chef’s Best Muesli served in a small square topped bowl. The presentation was stunning, a homemade granola infused with coconut, almonds, walnuts, a dollop of yoghurt, a sliver of Julio’s embossed chocolate, a sprinkling of fresh blueberries and topped with a carefully placed strawberry. Colours and flavours were intense. The rewarding taste amazing.
SIMPLE ITALIAN CUISINE
Next, I stepped out of my European safety zone and sampled the Eggs Al Forno which was very “Shaksuka” in appeal and “Jamie Oliveresque” in presentation. Two eggs were baked in a cast iron frying pan with spinach, borlotti beans and pecorino and then served on an old wooden board with a side order of smoked pancetta and sourdough. The combination worked superbly well from the softness of the cheese to the smokiness and crispness of the bacon. I could easily have opted for the Eggs Calabrese with scrambled eggs, feta, salami, perperonata, red onion, rocket and ciabatta. And I did try the Breakfast Bruschetta with avocado, sourdough, poached eggs, tomato and basil. Another winner but totally in keeping with the gorgeous, simple Italian cuisine as I know it.
Julio’s is unquestionably the boutique place I’d like to eat at, whether by myself, reading a book or transient through Perth on business. I’d love to see what it is like with “the suits” after work. A meeting place for friends and colleagues because it has class and panache. It is not your average, heaving pub, but it is a draw card for the nine-to-fivers who want a truly intimate Perth experience and a great place to chill. And have a drink. Or two.