Restaurant Reviews

Casa: Restaurant review

This neighbourhood bar finds its groove with great classics and service.
Casa wine bar in Perth
399 Oxford St, Mount Hawthorn, WA

Perth loves a wine bar. Perth also loves a new opening. So it makes sense that when a new wine bar arrives in P-Town, locals get excited. That was certainly the case when Casa debuted in late 2021.

The combination of a timeless mid-modern aesthetic, a deep commitment to organically made wine and a no-bookings policy made it the talk of the town and guests flocked here en masse. It didn’t hurt, of course, that It-chef Paul Bentley was on the pans.

Bentley, a kitchen veteran who’s also behind the menus at Si Paradiso and El Grotto, has no shortage of good food ideas. He thinks spongy focaccia and the Mayan pumpkin seed dip sikil pak belong together. (They do). He thinks, like the Bordelaise do, that spicy pork sausages go great guns with raw oysters. And he thinks grilled octopus draped with lardo is an excellent way to dress up toast. Just one thing: when Casa opened, it felt like Bentley had crammed many of these ideas (and dishes) on the carte. In the early days, navigating Casa’s menu could overwhelm a diner. I can only imagine how hectic service might have been for the kitchen during Casa’s hot-new-thing era.

But a year and a half on – and with Casa released from its duties as the hyped new opening – the bar has found its groove and feels more like the neighbourhood spot its owners envisaged. We can now book tables: essential for Casa’s vigorous dinner club program that hosts chefs from around Australia. New menus are another win and give Bentley ample opportunities to realise the ideas whizzing through his brain.

New Friday and Saturday lunches, for instance, are a safe space for chef to explore his deepest room service food fantasies. While the club sandwich feels the most Hotel Bel-Air, the menu’s MVP is the burger: a puck of juicy, rare-grilled chuck and short-rib beef topped with Comté and a beef fat remoulade, all cradled in a milk bun. It’s crazy delicious and a reminder that “gourmet burger” doesn’t have to be a swear word.

The bucatini primavera feels like the sort of glam lunch fashionistas might pick at during the spring-summer edition of Milan Fashion Week.

Themed monthly prix fixe menus (a reasonable $68) have tended to lean French and included good house charcuterie and an elegant tartare that showcases the steak rather than the sauce. Passionfruit soufflés whisked and baked à la minute speak to a commitment to doing things the right way, same goes for a floor team delivering measured, engaged service.

At a time when the newfangled is all the rage, isn’t it nice to revisit the classics?


399 Oxford St, Mount Hawthorn, WA

Chef: Paul Bentley

Opening hours: Dinner Tue-Sat; Fri-Sat Lunch

Price guide: $$

Bookings: Recommended

Verdict: House wins.

Casa: Restaurant review
399 Oxford St, Mount Hawthorn, WA
Paul Bentley
Price Guide
Opening Hours
Dinner Tue-Sat; Fri-Sat Lunch

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