In the week that former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam died, I spent time in his old electorate, Werriwa. I was there visiting Fairfield RSL, touted as the gastronomic destination of the West.
The experience begins before you even walk in the door with palm trees, thatched cabanas, illuminated fountains and mist provided by smoke machines.
In case you haven’t guessed, visionary chief executive, Anthony Sobb, takes his cues from Las Vegas and Macau.
Inside there are four restaurants, each very committed to their chosen genre. The flagship, La Tratt, is an elegant Italian cucina; Montagne is a traditional French bistro; Summer House transports you beachside; and dark, moody Phó@Fairfield is Vietnamese. The pho recipe comes via Luke Nguyen, who came out to train staff personally, pointing to an authenticity that belies the Vegas theming.
There’s even a rooftop herb garden and beehives, which you can visit on Secret Garden Tours run during autumn and spring.
The whole place oozes an egalitarianism that Gough would've loved – and demonstrates a commitment to the dignity of working class people, namely providing them the same opportunities that us city folk get, only 45 minutes from the CBD.
PS: Check out my reviews for La Tratt and Montagne.