When the 18-storey QT Perth officially welcomes guests in August, it will become the city’s newest hotel as well as QT opening number 10 in Australia and New Zealand. For those already familiar with the brand, QT Perth upholds many of the family traits including predilections for the quirky, the luxurious and decidedly un-hotel-like dining offerings. Nic Wood, the hotel’s executive chef, is the man charged with bringing the latter to life.
Born in Perth, Wood has worked in several QT hotels, starting in the snow at QT Falls Creek in 2012. Homesickness saw him return to WA in 2017 to become co-owner and chef of Dunsborough’s Piari & Co. When the restaurant’s lease came up, he was lured back to Perth by the opportunity to rejoin the QT family.
“I loved having my own business but it was a small business. It was tough,” says Wood. “I enjoyed it, but it was always in the back of my mind to come and work [in Perth]. I’ve been back since March and it’s been all guns blazing.”
Unlike most hotels, QT is a buffet-free zone. Instead, Wood oversees four kitchens, 15 chefs and five food offerings. These include two bars, a ground-floor cafe and the 24-hour in-room dining menu. But the most ambitious of the hotel’s food options is the Italian-inspired Santini Bar and Grill, a wonderland of futurist colour and bling.
“Me and Rob [Marchetti, QT’s creative food director] have always done big menus for QT,” says Wood. “We look at it as you’re staying in the hotel and you’re here for five days. You can have three or four dishes at night and not have the same meal. It’s a massive menu, but it’s good fun to make lots of food.”
Menu items range from antipasto – think oysters, 600-day-aged prosciutto and hand-dived scallops – to fresh pasta, seafood and steaks dry-aged in-house for up to 45 days. Larger groups can share a half or full lamb cooked in the woodfired oven. Santini’s wine list focuses on both WA and Italian varieties.
“There’s a couple of expensive items, but also a lot of very affordable items,” says Wood. “The idea is that a group can order antipasto and share it, then they order a main or a share item. It’s feasting. Everyone can have a bit of fun and eat.”
Neapolitan-style woodfired pizza is a speciality, overseen by Ettore Bertonati who helped establish Canteen Pizza.
“He’s phenomenal, a complete pizza genius,” says Wood.
QT Perth has two bars, including the city’s highest rooftop bar with views across the Swan River, the Perth Hills and Optus Stadium. Each has unique food and cocktail menus, with both offering a signature QT burger not available in the restaurant. In-room dining guests in the 184-room hotel can also expect plenty of variety.
“There’s some quirky stuff on there,” says Wood of the room-service menu. “There’s an amazing club sandwich – it’s essential. From midnight to 6am there’s bone broth with steamed rice and some really cool jaffles. We’ve looked to healthy, dietary and the naughty. You’ve got to cover all bases.”
QT Perth’s cafe serves breakfast and lunch to the public from 6.30am daily, ranging from a “brain-food” bowl to a breakfast burger, sandwiches and pastries. Coffee throughout the hotel is supplied by Margaret River Roasting Company.
QT Perth opens on Wednesday August 1.
133 Murray Street (corner Barrack Street), Perth