Si Paradiso, Perth
Si Paradiso, a wandering bar-restaurant in Perth famed for late nights, DJs, fantastic pizza, and a love for good, natural things to drink prepared by good natural people, has become a different proposition in the last year or two. Those essentials haven't changed, but the addition chef Paul Bentley has given the restaurant a substantial boost (and, more importantly, made Si – and its newly launched twin Casa – a proving ground for future talent).
Paul Bentley's return from Mexico has infused new life into this Highgate institution, transforming the kitchen into a formidable force. It is not to be missed.
Whether in the umbrella-strewn patio or the dining room, which is decked out in terrazzo, wood, and Italian laminate, the place exudes a rapid but never loose vitality, with produce and evolution leading the way. So a smart crudo of kingfish and pineapple cooked in tepache, or a dish boldly mixing grilled head-on prawns with stracciatella, could be here one week and gone the next.
Blistered pizza is a staple, but the concepts go beyond that; a marinara will include lobster oil, and garlic bread will be transformed into a topping with scapes and burrata. Drinks have a lo-fi, Italianate feel to them, with a preference for orange, rosé, and chilled reds, while service, like the soundtrack, caters to a lively, young crowd.