29 May 2009

Veritas Restaurant

It is hard for the Bloggers to imagine there even was a time before the BSB – it feels like we have been tramping up and down this bloody road for decades, much like Kane from Kung Fu. Or the Littlest Hobo. Or Michael Landon from Highway to Heaven.

However, many years ago in the pre-BSB dreamtime, the Bloggers (then just 3 friends and the Deliberator) dined at Veritas and were gravely disappointed. The food was a standout, however lingering delays (ie. dining at 10:30pm after an 8pm booking) and woeful service marred the occasion. Not to be dissuaded, the Bloggers visited Veritas last week in their professional capacity. (The real Bloggers that is – see comments under the Beaufort Street Merchant review.)

This time, it was our turn to keep Veritas waiting - our 8pm booking turned into 8:45pm by the time the Deliberator had got his pants on. We had phoned ahead to warn of our impending tardiness, but were still a little ticked off when the waitress on our arrival told us that the kitchen was closing so we’d better hurry up and order. We were also told not to expect any specials whatsoever, as they’d sold out of everything due to demand (which demand was not then evident, there being only 3 other occupied tables).

Unperturbed, we assumed our places. And immediately noticed that Veritas is a very stylish joint – great décor and art, with the wine menu occupying an entire wall a standout. We were also quite fond of the couch-like seats we occupied. (Alanah McTiernan, sitting next table, appeared to be enjoying hers too.) Our orders were taken (quickly), at which point the waiter (owner?) gave us a very knowing rundown of the ingredients and method of preparation of each dish we’d ordered. This rundown did became a little overbearing as it unfolded. And unfolded. Still we were glad for the attention. The waitress too showed an intimate knowledge of both food and wine when quizzed, and answered our dumb-ass questions with aplomb.

On to the food: starters consisted of shared plates of squid, anchovies in tomato sauce and bread. And were f*cking good. The squid was perfectly weighted, and we’ve had to open a new category of "Best Anchovies on Beaufort St" just so that we could anoint this batch as the winner.

Mains were a marinated chicken dish with a "special kind of salad" (Booto), lamb served with "a delicious pumpkin stack which I really enjoyed" (Brains), very nicely done steak portions (Sponge) and little dainty goat cutlets (Deliberator). Actually, the Deliberator was a little disappointed with his, only on the basis that every goat he has eaten previously still has a bell hanging around its neck, but we thought it looked amazing. In any event, the obligatory "pattatini for the table" were "some of the best chips [the Deliberator has] eaten".

All this was washed down with a very nice temperanillo and a chardonnay (both recommended by our waitress), however we did feel that the wine list could have contained a couple more reasonably priced options (both reds and whites tending to start at around $45-$50).
We declined coffee and desert (in favour of a small nightcap at Must, which boded well for our impending visit there), and were left to mop up at our leisure.

Price came in at around $75 a head for shared starters, mains and wine. We would certainly say the food and ambience warranted the price, however think that there were still sufficient rough edges to not quite justify Veritas charging at the top end of the market (eg. the sometimes hit-and-miss service, the unwashed hair and old cargo pants sported by the front of house guy – please take this as constructive criticism!)

Mind you, with the food and layout as good as it was, something is very wrong in the world when Martino is only charging $20 less per head (without taking into account that we’d also BYO’ed there) - wake up Martino!

In summary:

Service: After a shaky beginning, service was good. And while the informative, but lengthy, interruptions weren’t always the most well-timed, we appreciated the effort and preferred them to the alternative of being ignored (as happened on our last visit).

Food: Top notch. Current holder of "Best Anchovies on Beaufort Street" title.

Ambience: Small and intimate, and immaculately decked out. (Toilets could do with a little polish though.)

Highlight: The starters – the squid and anchovy combo were exceptional.

Lowlight: The top-heavy wine list. And the cargo pants.

Rating: 3.8 succulent anchovies out of 5.

Will we be back: Possibly, however with Must just across the road, and (appearing to) offer the same thing for the same price, but done slightly better, it will be tough.

Details: Veritas is located at 484 Beaufort St, and can be contacted by phone on 9227 9745.

Veritas on Urbanspoon


Prudence says said...

Ah, so the owner guy is still haranguing his customers in mind-numbing detail about the specials? I dined there more than a year ago, with a friend I'd not seen for quite a few years (and really wanted to talk to), and we had the same insenstive interruptions.

Are you doing Saigon?

David Cohen said...

You spoil us. A long hiatus and then two reviews in two days!

Was MacTiernan drunk?

Stu said...

Of course she was drunk David ;)

Ahhh Veritas, so much potential and yet it just hasn't quite delivered has it. I will however recommend the scrambled eggs on a Sunday breakfast = very good

Maybe they suffer from small restaurant syndrome (i.e: shrinkage) being situated across the street from that well hung stalwart Jacksons :)

Anonymous said...

Arriving at 8pm, not eating until the midnight hour (well, closer to 11 pm)?

Say it ain't so?

I have heard that sort of tale so many times from so many different people that it must be remarkably common.

Good selection of wines though.

The Beer Judges said...

Hey guys, good to see that you're back on the dining wagon.

Just a quick question though... when are you going to go back to the numerous restaurants you've missed... venues like Exomod, Caffissimo, Hungry Jacks, Noodlebox, Lawleys, Gogo's Madras Curry House, 2 Fat Indians, the Queens, Must Winebar, Soto, Saigon... I know that some of them will be rubbish and some will be excellent, but this is the entirety of my criticism of the reviews to date.

monnie said...

I so love your reviews! Thanks!

As a newbie, I plan on spending the next few days trawling through them all!

We went to Veritas about a year ago...and yes, I do recall the essay length explanations about pretty much everything...and the specials running out by 8pm.

But...from memory, our food was actually pretty good!

Looking forward to reading more...cheers guys!

The Desp. said...

I dined at Veritas about 6 months ago and really enjoyed it. I'd agree with you about the ambiance and the food was excellent. I was there for a special occasion though, so I didn't really give a toss about the cost.

I'm also waiting for the BSB review of Hungary Jacks - an alfresco dining experience not to be sneezed at. lols.

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Prudence - yes, there is still somewhat of an overload of detail. But, as we said, we don't actually mind a bit of attention, and it shows the restaurant it passionate about what it does. And yes, we will certainly get to Saigon.

David Cohen - MacTiernan looked completely sober and very well turned out on this particular evening. Sorry to disappoint.

Stu - we've never really thought to go for breakfast. We'll add it to the list, thanks for the heads up.

Anonymous - yep, it was a long and hungry night that night, and there was little conversation going on. It was all much improved this time around though.

The Beer Judges - other than those which are disqualified for not being open for dinner on Thursday night (eg Exomod), we will certainly do them all. We make no claim about what order we will do them in though. Have some patience man, we're doing the best we can.

monnie - welcome to the blog and thanks for writing.

The Desp. - Hungary Jacks is on the list, don't worry. We'll get there.

northern musings said...

Brilliant review yet again. Keep up the good work - you are most admired.

Cookster said...

Loving your work - do you think you could convince Cohen to turn rottobloggo over to a review of the Island's finest?

The Worst of Perth said...

You could have got a pic of Alannah for me damn you. Since I only use original pics, I don't have enough celebs. If you see any of the beautiful people while dining...

David Cohen said...

For God's sake Cookster. You've been drinking the bong water again. Thomson Bay is some distance from Beaufort Street.

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Sorry Lazy Aussie, we're just really shit about bringing along cameras. On this particular night Alannah's hair was actually looking pretty good, so she may not have made it to TWOP in any event.

David Cohen - cookster's idea's not a bad one. We would particularly enjoy a compare and contrast on the Rotto Red Rooter v a mainland Red Rooter.

The Worst of Perth said...

While in Nanjing last week, a Chineser told me that KFC tastes much better in China than perth, so there may be a detectable difference between Red Roosters in Perth and rotto.

Anonymous said...

I went to Veritas a couple of years ago when in Perth and was far from impressed with the whole feel of the place.

Speaking of being in Perth, I will be there with my family staying in Highgate and would like to know who does the best coffee on Beaufort street; we are spoilt here in Melbourne for good coffee and can never seem to finf anything decent in Perth.

Tim Cohen said...

... that was me from the last post

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi Tim, thanks very much for your comment. Talking about good coffee is a dangerous affair, as everyone seems to have violently different opinions on what constitutes good coffee and where to get it. Anyway, here goes. In highgate and its surrounds, we would tend to visit the following:

1. Beaufort Street Merchant - although we've had poor long macs on some occassions

2. Lincoln Street Cafe on Lincoln Street

3. West End Deli on Carr Street West Perth - always excellent coffee, sometimes peculiar service

4. Milkd on Angove Street North Perth - never had a bad coffee

5. Soto on Beaufort Street - although again, hit and miss

If you wanted to go further afield, there are fantastic coffees to be had at Cafe Cafe (there's one on Hay Street in the West end of the city, and another in Subi Centro), and beautiful coffee in gorgeous surrounds at Boucla, at the top of Rokeby Road in Subi.

Good luck and enjoy your trip. While you're in the area, make sure you squeeze in a visit to the upstairs bar at the Flying Scotsman.

Robyn said...

What fun to read your reviews! Thanks!

Stu said...

aaahhh but if only they still wrote reviews :(

Invertir en oro said...

Hello, i would like to read more about this interesting topic.