Southern Telegraph - - News - Gareth McKnight

Rock­ing­ham res­tau­rant Rustico Tapas and Wine Bar won its fourth Gold Plate award at an event at Perth Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre last Mon­day, fur­ther­ing its rep­u­ta­tion in the re­gion.

The State’s top culi­nary hotspots were as­sessed by The Ca­ter­ing In­sti­tute of Aus­tralia (WA), with the winners an­nounced at the black-tie 2017 Gold Plate Awards for Excellence last week.

All 26 of Rustico’s staff made the trip into the city and were not dis­ap­pointed as the Rock­ing­ham eatery scooped the tapas/small plate cat­e­gory.

They beat Leed­erville’s Pin­chos Bar De Tapas and North­bridge’s De­javu Tapas Res­tau­rant to top spot.

Rustico gen­eral man­ager Ash­ton Boaden said the whole team were de­lighted by the suc- cess. “We are re­ally happy — it was the first year of the tapas/small plate cat­e­gory, so we are re­ally stoked to get it,” she said.

“We took a new head chef on about six months ago and did our big­gest menu change in seven-anda-half years of be­ing open.

“We have looked at food trends — our de­gus­ta­tion menu is re­ally pop­u­lar, a 12-course meal is a once-off, there are not a lot of restau­rants that of­fer that.

“We have a com­mit­ment to qual­ity, sea­sonal and lo­cal pro­duce. We in­vest in staff train­ing and our at­ten­tion to de­tail — I guess mak­ing sure that ev­ery ta­ble feels re­ally spe­cial is a thing that we are known for.”

Rustico pre­vi­ously won Gold Plates in the ca­sual Mediter­ranean din­ing and small bar cat­e­gories, with char-grilled Fre­man­tle oc­to­pus and torched goat’s cheese marsh­mal­low two of the spe­ciali- ties on the Span­ish-in­spired menu.

Ms Boaden thanked the Rock­ing­ham com­mu­nity for its on­go­ing sup­port, but said din­ers were com­ing from far and wide to sam­ple Rustico’s fare.

“We al­ways talk to ta­bles and they tell us if they have trav­elled from some­where — we get a lot of peo­ple as the weather gets nicer com­ing to Rock­ing­ham and din­ing here,” she said.

“It is still nice to get first-timers in. We are get­ting a lot of peo­ple trav­el­ling from Perth and Fre­man­tle, which is re­ally cool be­cause there are so many amaz­ing restau­rants up that way — it is re­ally nice that they choose to travel down to us.

“We took a few years out of the awards — the last two years, we haven’t en­tered and I guess fo­cused on our busi­nesses. It is re­ally nice to come back in and win af­ter a few years away and it is great for Rock­ing­ham as a re­gion as well.”

Pic­ture: Gareth McKnight

Rustico Tapas and Bar sous chef Ar­ron Coates, gen­eral man­ager Ash­ton Boaden, bar man­ager Jess Crowther and head chef Shane El­ph­ick with the res­tau­rant’s latest Gold Plate award.

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