Rustico once again raises the tapas bar

Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph

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 success. “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-and-a-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 specialities 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.”

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