16/08/2005 - 22:00

No fiddling with the food at Veritas

16/08/2005 - 22:00

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The Highgate-Mt Lawley strip’s claim as Perth’s emerging cultural hub has strengthened with the opening of Beaufort Street’s newest restaurant, Veritas.

No fiddling with the food at Veritas

The Highgate-Mt Lawley strip’s claim as Perth’s emerging cultural hub has strengthened with the opening of Beaufort Street’s newest restaurant, Veritas.

And the truth about Veritas, according to owners/proprietors Don Morison and Rosanna Luca, is that they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

This stylish 55 seater, open for three weeks, has already garnered the label of ‘a little bit of Melbourne in Perth’. But the casual fine-dining Veritas joins a veritable plethora of wide-ranging influences all coming to play on Beaufort Street.

Unlike Fremantle’s ‘cappuccino strip’, Mends Street in South Perth, or Bayview Terrace in Claremont, Beaufort Street stretches a long way, from the jostle of Northbridge up almost to the start of Morley.

Dotted along the way are Spanish, Mexican, Greek, Italian and Mediterranean, German and English influences, all competing and complementing each other to create a bubbling mix that’s quickly becoming one of the city’s most diverse communities.

And Ms Luca and Mr Morison say it is this cross-cultural attraction that drew them back to Beaufort Street.

“We have both been involved in Perth’s food scene for many years and have always wanted to open our own place” Ms Luca says.

“We searched for the right location but we knew it had to be this street.”

Taking residence in an original 1930s building, a former gourmet provedore, the pair set out to create something different, intimate and relaxed.

In many ways mirroring the eclectic and approachable surroundings of Beaufort Street itself, visible through frosted windows, Veritas has settled comfortably onto the Highgate culinary map.

“When we look at this whole project we wanted to create a little community, something that is not rushed ... direct and true to its origins,” Mr Morison says.

Veritas’s menu focuses on southern Mediterranean food but aims to present its fare in a unique and creative way.

Mr Morison’s produce-driven menu effectively changes daily.

And some may find it odd that a ‘Mediterranean’ restaurant would choose to abandon the stereotypes of pasta and pizza, which are represen-tative of an entire culinary legacy.

Veritas proudly serves one pasta dish, one risotto and no pizza. Mains such as osso bucco and ratatoille join meals such as duck with star anise and baby squid with salmoriglio, a traditional Sicillian lemon dressing.

Ms Luca says the traditional influences of an Italian kitchen haven’t penetrated Australia’s Italian restaurants.

“Italian food has been dumbed down a bit in Australia – there is no such thing as this thing called ‘Italian food’. It differs so much from region to region,” she says

Agreeing with the belief that good food should remain simple, Mr Morison says that “if food is good you shouldn’t need to fiddle with it”.

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