The George is the first of what is rumoured to be one of several Perth offerings from Melbourne restaurateur extraordinaire John Ahern and business partner Steve Garcia. Sequestered away in the heart of the very British London House, the eatery exudes a reserve and opulence that reeks of money and the made-man. Fittingly, a theme of "victory" runs through the decor, from the faux bust of a Roman emperor (named George) sternly overseeing proceedings, to a colossal commissioned Italian mural depicting the onslaught of battle back in the days of yore. It's all very divide-and-conquer.
The long room is split into two by an enormous set of black wrought-iron gates, with the main bar and grazing area at one end, and a more formal dining section at the other. The menu itself is exceptional, and surprisingly not at a price that will break the gold plastic. The marron, with its casing cleverly reduced with a pork rillette tian, is a faultless dish with the two flavours complementing each other well; the runny free-range egg, caviar and watercress salad with a smidge of truffle oil is another winner. Chef Brad Hatfield, who is no stranger to upmarket commercial kitchens, has already hit his straps in terms of creativity and attention to detail. The upscale, extensive wine list reflects John's penchant for a fine drop, and for those who like to covet, the personalised wine lockers are a must for the frequent diner.
A large corporate area complete with training room is also available, with a reviving bar and barbecue area to get stuck into after those long brainstorming sessions. There's a cocktail bar just for the ladies, private boudoirs for those wishing to clinch more intimate deals and a Scandinavian forest running rampant through the restrooms. Go forth and be conquered.