If Uma chef Alejandro Saravia can convince ten per cent of the people who try his food to book a trip to Peru, he’ll be a happy man. But after dining there on a recent Friday night, we think there might be quite a few more Perth people hopping on a plane bound for South America.
Saravia has brought his modern take on traditional Peruvian cuisine to the ground floor of the Pan Pacific in Perth, no doubt honed at two of the country’s best Peruvian restaurants: Pastuso in Melbourne and Morena in Sydney.
Sourcing only the best local WA lamb, beef, chicken, line-caught seafood and fresh vegetables, Saravia’s menu celebrates the wonderful produce our sunny state has to offer. The chillies are brought in especially from Peru, and after tasting his food, we’re glad this is the case—the flavour profiles are unlike anything we’ve ever devoured.
Split into Mar (ocean), Piqueos (share dishes), Granjas (paddocks) and Valles (valleys), the menu is extensive. There are six different ceviches to choose from ranging from the Peruano with Shark Bay goldband snapper, charred sweetcorn and caramelised sweet potato to the Uma with Abrolhos Islands red throat emperor, micro celery leaves, ginger and charred orange kombucha. There’s even a vegetarian ceviche with pickled daikon, seaweed, salted cucumber, honeydew melon and pickled garlic; it’s tart and delicious.
The Pan de Yema is a must for any carb lovers. It’s brioche bread done Peruvian-style and served with whipped feta and roasted garlic dip. In fact, both sides are a must, the Yuquitas (cassava chips) are equally as moreish they’re twice cooked, served with a spicy huancaina sauce and topped with shaved parmesan.
All of the mains are designed to be shared between two. The Costillas de Ternera is a whopping dry-aged, grass-fed beef short rib from Gingin with an ají panca glaze and served with charred cabbage; the Cadera de Cordero is a 300-gram lamb rump cap served with green barley and salsa criolla; and they’ve got two primo 30 day dry aged steaks served with a delectable ají mirasol butter. There’s no going hungry here.
To balance out the meat, Uma’s confit golden pumpkin with sour yoghurt and toasted pumpkin seeds works a treat, along with the coffee salted baked potatoes with seasonal herbs, whey and burnt butter sauce.
On the cocktail front, Uma’s signature pisco sour is a must. They’re also whipping up mojitos and pina coladas from their neighbouring bar that’s open until 3am: Bar Uma.
If dessert is on the cards, their pisco sour, mojito and margarita sorbets are the perfect way to round out the night, as is the caramel pudding with drunken currants and lemon rinds.
Uma is open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner and all reservations come with free valet parking, so get booking stat.
Image credit: Louise Coghill