Occasionally we find hotel restaurants can lack a little character and focus on functionality over style.
The dining side of things often lives in the shadows of the accommodation – seen as an additional service alongside the Wi-Fi and free newspapers – or viewed as a small part of the hotel rather than a restaurant with its own identity.
Then there’s exceptions like Julio’s, which certainly doesn’t have the aforementioned hotel restaurant feel.
Although it sits quietly at the foot of the towering Sage Hotel, Julio’s stands high in Perth’s restaurant stakes. Maybe it’s the beautifully restored exterior of the heritage listed building, or achieving what every restaurant aspires: effortless style.
The interior comprises tall ceilings, wooden accents, simple-yet-striking artwork and exposed brickwork – with original features like the charming fireplaces incorporated into the design.
The owners have restored the building’s original exterior, respecting the iconic building’s history.
The restaurant’s two Grafton and Walsh function rooms have been named after the 1902 Walsh family home and the 1930’s Grafton Flats, where the Sage hotel now proudly stands.
The inter-World-War-era flats were once owned by men’s clothier JP Walsh, who also founded Walsh’s Economic Store on Hay Street.
To start we shared the arancini balls, the buttery crumb encased an exquisite combination of mushrooms, spinach, feta, truffle and parmesan. Other entrée options included oysters, wild boar pappardelle and beer battered potato chips.
For main we chose hand rolled potato gnocchi with tiger prawns, zucchini, gorgonzola and chili, along with WA lamb shoulder with artichoke, chickpea puree, rocket, chili and pistachios.
The gnocchi was smooth, creamy and slipped down far too easily. Top notch. The juicy WA lamb fell off the bone. There was a lot going on in the dish, but every ingredient had its place.
Other main options included swordfish, WA grass fed sirloin and crispy squid.
For desert we went for the semifreddo, featuring mint ice cream encased in a dark chocolate tube. It was topped off with crumbly walnut and Amarena cherry. The cherries – wow.
The wait staff at Julio’s were professional and attentive without going over the top – they clearly share the same passion for the food as the chef, being knowledgeable about the menu and very accommodating.
Events and specials
Julio’s promises to be the perfect host to your event requirements, with the Walsh and Grafton rooms providing the perfect setting for a meeting, seminar or wedding.
Fully furnished, they have audio visual equipment, flexible seating and even an events coordinator. It couldn’t be easier.
Julio’s is currently running a $20 pasta lunch special and now taking bookings for its Melbourne Cup Garden Party. If you attend the garden party you’ll receive afternoon champagne, live music, oyster shucking, garden games and of course participation in a race day sweepstake. See the website for more details.
One of the reasons Kleenheat enjoys working with Julio’s is the common values we share. The menu has been developed using authentic Italian cooking styles, but proudly using local WA ingredients. Like us, they see the importance of staying local.
Julio’s is just one of many WA companies Kleenheat supports. We’re proud of the relationships we have built over the years with our customers, so check out other businesses (restaurants included) we’ve profiled in our regular Customer Close-up blog.
1309 Hay St, West Perth
T: 08 6500 9111
Opening hours: 7 days a week
Breakfast: 6.30am – 10.30am
Lunch: 11.30am – 3.00pm
Dinner: 5.00pm – Late