Rustique on West Swan Road is part of a little precinct in Henley Brook with a number of eating and drinking places, and has both indoor dining and al fresco areas– a covered patio area as well as a vine covered gazebo up a series of steps and into the garden out the back. Fruit trees and flowering shrubs make for a relaxing and attractive outlook.
The patio area also boasts a great looking wood fired pizza oven – more of that later.
The wine list is small and composed of Swan Valley wines which is a welcome and worthy idea – we had a bottle of Upper Reach Pink, a rosé – strawberries and cherries on the nose, crisp, with a little mid palate sweetness, full of red berry flavours, and, later, a glass of a newcomer to us, a Tempranillo from Caravino – the latter so impressing us we tracked them down and grabbed a dozen as well as a dozen of their newly released rosé – both well worth contacting the winery or seeking them out when they showcase their wares at the Kalamunda Markets.
The food is casual bistro style – pizzas, burgers, platters and the like. We saw a number of the platters go past – the Caveman with pork skewers, chicken wings, spare ribs, pulled pork, onion rings, slaw, garlic bread – and the Ultimate adding lemon pepper calamari, bacon wrapped prawns and fish bites to the pork skewers and wings. These all looked inviting and the customers sitting in the garden and on the patio were getting stuck in with appreciative noises.
With the pizza oven looking so fine we opted for a pizza and this is where we came unstuck – we ordered the Bianco which sounded interesting – creamy garlic sauce, sautéed leek, Spanish onion, artichokes, fetta, camembert and bocconcini. It appeared absolutely swamped with cheese which was a little off putting but the base was simply uncooked – the cheese was browned, the bottom had some charred markings but inside the dough was raw and unappealing. We complained and were offered another dish – we decided to try another pizza – Margherita this time.
It didn’t look a lot like any Margherita we have had – again much too much cheese on top and very little evidence of tomato and basil – this time the top was very browned, almost burnt at some edges, and the base again was not up to the mark – it had been left in the oven somewhat longer and the base was crisped, but it had lifted away from the rest of the dough, which again was almost raw. So disappointing with such a wonderful looking oven.
Rustique has lots of potential – the gardens are pretty and it offers a variety of places to eat and drink – it is open for breakfast and lunch, and some dinners – I really like the decision to concentrate on local wines – and the platters we saw go past looked the part. It was the pizza that let them down badly – perhaps it was the pizza cook on the day, I don’t know but they were just not up to scratch. Hopefully that can be rectified because as I said this place has good potential as a casual, welcoming place to eat in the Valley.