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Restaurant review: Comfort food is the goal at Roma Ristorante in Perth

Chloe Burrell went in search of Italian stodge and settled on Roma Ristorante.

Food from Roma Ristorante in Perth.
An Italian feast at Roma Ristorante in Perth. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

I don’t know about you but at this time of year, I crave comfort food.

Maybe it’s the cold (and usually damp) weather. Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s dark by 4pm in the afternoon.

Whatever the reason, warm and nourishing scran is the goal and that is exactly what you get at Roma Ristorante.

What was once a whisky bond turned cocktail bar is now a 100-seater award-winning restaurant.

It may just be on the edge of the city centre but it is definitely worth a venture down.

The Speygate venue has been a staple in Perth since 2018 and is the perfect haunt for a family meal, a romantic date or in my case a catch up with my partner’s mum.

It was sadly left with a £1,200 bill back in March after having its window smashed up in a targeted attack.

But that has not stopped owner Vito Crolla from continuing on with his family-run firm.

Roma Ristorante

He welcomed us both in with a friendly smile. What I was struck with was a massive fish tank located behind the bar – not what I would expect to see in an Italian restaurant.

Roma Ristorante in Perth.
Roma Ristorante was established in 2018. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson
Tropical fish at Roma Ristorante in Perth.
Marvel at a tropical fish tank whilst you enjoy your meal. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson
Inside Roma Ristorante in Perth.
The restaurant was once a whisky bond. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

The tropical fish help to create a calm atmosphere while you tuck into your meal. You would expect to feel cold as the basement-style restaurant is made out of stone.

However the heat from the open-flame pizza oven is enough to cosy you up and forget about the chill on the other side of the door.

The checkered table cloths help to establish that authentic Italian feel and I was excited to ponder the menu and see what was on offer.

The food at Roma Ristorante

Roma is the perfect place to try something new or stick with the tried and tested product. I opted for the latter.

I chose the arancini verdura (£6.95) for my starter. Arancini is one of my favourite dishes and in my opinion a hard one to get wrong.

Arancini verdura with a spicy tomato dip.
The arancini verdura with spicy tomato dip. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

Roma did not disappoint with their serving. Six rice balls covered in breadcrumbs arrived at my table, accompanied by a spicy tomato dip.

They were hot and tasty, full of melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella. They also had peas inside, a nice addition to a classic Italian appetiser.

I was surprised to say I felt quite full after these but I had plenty of time to recover in time for my main meal.

My partner’s mum decided on bruschetta pomodoro (£5.95).

Bruschetta pomodoro.
Bruschetta pomodoro. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

She described the two sourdoughs as fresh and was delighted by the slight drizzle of olive oil on each.

They came topped with diced tomatoes, fresh garlic and basil. She reported that they were delicious and the perfect introduction to her Roma experience.

For my main, I went for my favourite meal of all – penne arrabbiata (£11.95).

Penne arrabbiata.
Penne arrabbiata. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

I can never not order this dish when I see it on an Italian menu. It was steaming hot, immediately comforting and had a nice glow to it from the spice.

You can tell that Roma do not scrimp on fresh ingredients. The chilli had a nice kick to it and the sprinkling of parmesan cheese offered to me was the perfect way to enhance an already delicious bowl.

My partner’s mum decided to go for pizza over pasta, ordering the polpette di nonna (£12.95).

Polpette di nonna pizza.
Polpette di nonna pizza. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson
Polpette di nonna pizza fresh out the pizza oven.
The pizza fresh out the open-flame pizza oven. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

Translating to the “humble meatball”, the large pizza topped with meatballs and grated parmesan was a good choice for her.

She described the meatballs as being a slightly different taste to what she was expecting but tasty nonetheless.

She was nervous about not being able to finish the portion – but she conquered it and even told me that she would have to go for a food nap when she was home.

I think we knew as soon as each plate landed on our table we were never going to be able to manage our pudding – but we were still disappointed to be correct about that as Roma has a stellar selection.

At least we know for next time what they have – as I definitely had my eye on a sticky toffee pudding.

Overall review of Roma Ristorante Perth

Our meal felt like an authentic Italian dining experience and one I would recommend to anyone if they are venturing out for dinner in Perth.

You are welcomed in like you are part of the family and for a moment, you could forget that you’re in Scotland and rather on holiday.

Italian cuisine is my favourite – and they certainly know the meaning of comforting and tasty food.

What I went in search of I found and I was thoroughly impressed by my decision to duck into Roma Ristorante.

It is no surprise that in just five years, they have established themselves as the place to go for hearty Italian grub.

I for one am excited to see what’s next for Roma.

Roma Ristorante information:

Address: Roma Ristorante, Speygate, PH2 8PJ

Tel: 01738 620539


Price: £50 for two starters, two mains and two soft drinks


Food: 4.5/5

Service: 4.5/5

Surrounding: 4/5

For more restaurant reviews, check out our food and drink section.