Gail-force re­views

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Food - Rosanna Can­dler

WHEN Gail Wil­liams first started writ­ing restau­rant re­views in 1996, Perth’s din­ing scene was “right smack bang in the mid­dle” of its stale fo­cac­cia and wicker fur­ni­ture pe­riod.

“Ev­ery time you went out you were served limp tomato on br­uschetta or cae­sar salad with chicken and all that gluggy may­on­naise,” Wil­liams said.

“We seemed to be stuck in those dol­drums for quite some time, so it has been won­der­ful to see that evolve.

“In the last few years it is al­most like they have opened the door, and Perth has sud­denly re­alised that food is a thing to be cel­e­brated. It has taken us a while, but I think we’re fi­nally there.”

A year af­ter hang­ing up her pen at the Sun­day Times Mag­a­zine, Wil­liams will bring her sig­na­ture wit and hon­esty to reg­u­lar food re­views in the Western Sub­urbs Weekly.

“When I came back from Europe re­cently, my fam­ily started say­ing: ‘I can­not be­lieve you gave up that fan­tas­tic job of go­ing out to eat and then writ­ing about it’,” she said.

“A few weeks went by and I re­alised just how much I was miss­ing it. I can­not wait to get started; it will be like putting on an old shoe.”

Wil­liams said tak­ing the first bite of a de­li­cious plate of food was like watch­ing a theatre per­for­mance of Ham­let.

“It all comes to­gether and you feel chills down your spine and tears come to your eyes,” she said.

“One of those mo­ments that you drift away and think: ‘Oh my god, how beau­ti­ful is that’. It is what makes it all worth­while… but then of course, so of­ten you can be dis­ap­pointed.”

Af­ter some time away, Wil­liams said she was most look­ing for­ward to catch­ing up on the WA food scene.

“There is so much hap­pen­ing at the mo­ment that it’s hard to keep up; it seems there is a new restau­rant open­ing ev­ery week,” she said.

“Quite of­ten it feels like we’re al­ways look­ing up to Mel­bourne as the big sis­ter, and thank­fully I think that is slowly chang­ing.

“To me, the ul­ti­mate din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence does not mat­ter whether it is re­ally ex­pen­sive or ca­sual; you are just look­ing for the restau­rant to stay true to it­self, not to be pre­ten­tious and de­liver good food and ser­vice in a won­der­ful set­ting.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d446038

Western Sub­urbs Weekly

food re­viewer Gail Wil­liams.

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