In Piedmont in northern Italy, “testun” is slang for a stubborn person as well as the name of a locally made cheese aged in pressed grape skins. For Perth eaters and drinkers, however, Testun is the name of an Italian restaurant and bar by the owners of nearby trattoria Threecoins.

If you remember this corner of Beaufort Street and Third Ave when it was wine bar and cafe Trio, brace yourself for more colour this time around. The room is turbocharged with bold splashes of paint and technicolour decorations. One wall is beautified with a Frida Kahlo bead curtain. The entrance to the kitchen is adorned with a noren (a traditional Japanese curtain) decorated with a giant slice of pizza. It’s an aesthetic you might label as “remixed Italian”, which is also an apt way to describe the cooking.

The kitchen's open-minded approach to “la cucina vera” sees classics given subtle – and not-so-subtle – tweaks. That might mean panino filled with porchetta, pineapple and jalapeno salsa and ‘nduja mayonnaise; and Italian-style chook grilled over Japanese charcoal and served with the restaurant’s homage to buffalo sauce.

As well as the pastas, the cured meats platter shows off the kitchen’s handiwork and features everything from lamb pancetta to ciauscolo, Umbria’s famous spreadable pork salami.

Unsurprisingly, Italian and Australian wines form the crux of the cellar with producers in the minimal intervention space well-represented. There’s also “fancy goon” with glasses and one-litre carafes available at wallet-friendly prices.

A house-made spirit program featuring combinations such as cocoa nib-infused Campari and gin flavoured with cardamon and mandarin suggests the bar shares the kitchen’s renegade spirit.

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Updated: April 9th, 2024

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