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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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).
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
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