PFR Archives Italian


Theo & Co - Built From Bones Dessert Pizza

Theo & Co Pizzeria – 1 Dec 2016

Theo Kalogeracos, the master pizza chef, has a new pizza store in East Vic Park, just opposite The Heart of The Park Shopping Center. The space is casual, the service friendly, and the pizzas are anything but ordinary. Dine in or takeaway, BYO, wait to be seated and then be confused as to what pizza to choose from the extensive menu. I was really keen on trying the skillet pizzas and opted for the pepperoni version. This deep dish beautie was amazing! Not at all soggy, soft fluffy base packed with Mozzarella cheese and delicious pepperoni. Yum yum yum! I also opted for one of their best sellers (which there are many) – Pork Belly on a pizza? Crazy, no genius! Marinated with deliciousness, fennel, garlic, and the creamy dijonaise is a masterstroke. Full of flavour and so enjoyable. Some bits have a slight crunch from the crackling. They have boxes where the cutlery and serviettes are to take the leftovers away which means room for dessert. I’ve eaten several dessert pizzas from different restaurants which have generally been poor. Here, there’s several to choose from and the Built From Bones looked appealing. A deconstructed cannoli – ricotta base with chocolatey drops and broken cannoli shells for crunch, it’s unusual, different but an excellent dessert pizza nonetheless. Really full but very satisfied. The pizzas here are a very different style but are inventive, creative, and the flavour combinations are on the money.


Prego Restaurant - Gnocchi

Prego Restaurant – 19 Nov 2016

One of my work colleagues had recommended I visit Prego which has been on my list for a long time so I finally made it here. Booking is essential, since we walked in on a Saturday evening, the restaurant filled up very quickly. Prego Restaurant is located on the Cambridge Street side with floor to ceiling glass windows creating an inviting, classy, yet unpretentious atmosphere as soon as you walk in. The wait staff who attended to us throughout the night were really friendly which is refreshing, particularly at a fine dining establishment.

Before the meal began, a complimentary plate of falafel was served. The menu here is Italian but has a very strong Mediterranean influence as can be seen with this dish and others that followed. The falafel are full of flavour and not too intense with a crunchy crumbed outer enjoyed with the refreshing Mediterranean salad.

For entree I had the gnocchi but have never seen it served in a seafood broth. Still very plump and juicy potato parcels, they took on the form of a dumpling enjoyed with the delicious flavoursome seafood broth. I really enjoyed the tender mussels and super tender calamari. A really interesting and impressive dish. I also had a small taste of the other entrees, a tasty juicy Moreton Bay bug with tender eggplant, and a perfectly cooked tender juicy chicken liver. I’m not a fan of liver but it depends on the form. Foie gras is amazing and I also like chicken liver pate. Chicken livers done in this form are not to my liking, but I enjoyed the taste I had and glad I didn’t have a plate of this as the liver is rich.

For mains, I chose one of the specials: a duo of slow roasted lamb and wood fired spatchcock. The lamb simply cut like butter, such was it’s tenderness. Lacking a touch of seasoning, the lamb oozed flavour and was thoroughly enjoyed. The spatchcock was also tender and particularly enjoyed with the Mediterranean influenced yoghurt mixture and the accompanying cous cous salad with pomegranates and eggplant. These were tasty and refreshing elements to liven the palate and create a go-between to the meats of the dish. I also had small tastes of the other mains ordered – a juicy tender delicious duck, and juicy delicious prawns and snapper. To add some more veggies to the meal, we also ordered a side of spinach which was suitably sautéed in lots of garlic and butter for bags of flavour. Really tasty.

There’s always room for dessert though I was pretty full at this point. I was really keen to try Prego’s version of kunafe after first discovering this amazing creation at Chee Tayeb. The version here is a little different, tasty but I preferred Chee Tayeb’s version. A hot mini pan of sizzling haloumi cheese covered with the shredded filo is presented before the waiter pours some of the spiced sugar syrup over and around the sizzling cheese. Gooey melted cheese with a touch of sweetness and crunch of pistachios is an excellent way to finish off the meal. Really tasty but way too full. I also had small tastes of the other desserts ordered, a delicious sorbet and a spoonful of a very strong coffee flavoured and slightly heavy tiramisu. A lovely place to celebrate any occasion with quality crafted meals with a different flavour profile to what one typically expects of an Italian restaurant, though this difference makes it unique and one to enjoy.


Jamie's Italian - Gennaro's Famous Porchetta

Jamie’s Italian – 1 Sep 2016

I haven’t visited Jamie’s for a few year’s now since it first opened. We had lunch here with clients and I notice they have a Super Lunch offer of 2 courses for $25 or 3 courses for $30 which looked tempting. We started with garlic bread which presented a lovely soft bread filled with a delicious herbed garlic butter and garlic chips. I ordered Gennaro’s Famous Porchetta. The pork belly was very tender, though the crackling was a little tricky to cut through. The pork belly was soft and tasty and went well with the salsa verde and herbed garlic and chilli mixture. However, the apple sauce, while nice, dominated the pork and vegetables, to the point I left the sauce to the side. The meal was okay, not to the standard I had enjoyed on my first visits. The flavour balance is a bit off. I don’t think Jamie Oliver would be happy with the dish.


Galileo Buona Cucina - Lamb Backstrap

Galileo Buona Cucina – 30 Aug 2016

I really enjoyed my experience at Galileo. There is a heap of different dishes to select under the various starter and entrée categories, along with mains and dessert. The menu items are not what you would typically see on a stock standard Italian menu, in keeping with preparing traditional authentic Italian cuisine. We started off with fish croquettes which carried a lovely flavour of the fish and sea and were delicious. I had rigatoni in a spicy sausage and broccoli sauce which was full of flavour. I had tastes of the veal meatballs which were super soft and melt in your mouth, and the duck in a marsala sauce which was evident in flavour. For mains I chose the lamb backstrap which cut like butter and was absolutely delicious. I loved the jus and wanted more of it and the Parmesan crunchy bits which carried a slight salty explosion were excellent. I had tastes of the goldband snapper which had a moist tender flesh with a light citrus flavour and delicious mashed potato, and the chargrilled veal chop certainly carried a lovely char flavour though the chop needed a little more cooking. For dessert I had tastes of the amazing tiramisu and also the cassata which was really yum. I ordered the Piedmont white chocolate custard as something different and I was pleasantly surprised. A little like a crème caramel, the white chocolate adds a nice touch of richness and sweetness to the smooth custard. I really liked the chocolate ice cream, the crunch from the chocolate crumbs and the hazelnut biscuit. Wonderful setting, excellent service, delicious Italian cuisine, I left comfortably full and satisfied.


Lalla Rookh - Roasted buffalo mozzarella, blood orange atop crostoli

Lalla Rookh Bar & Eating House – 26 Jul 2016

Lalla Rookh are an Italian style restaurant featuring dishes of a more traditional, regional, home style type feel. I’ve eaten at a lot of Italian restaurants but the cuisine here is quite unique. The venue features many different spaces, stools at the bar, tables for that special occasion, or out in the beer garden with your mates. There’s also a wine store too, but the wine is also available with your meals. Sometimes choosing items from the menu is too hard. Thank goodness for the ‘il capo’ feed me menu which we chose. For $65 per head, this features 6 courses of dishes chosen by the chef to feed the table. Two different focaccia varieties were presented which were well seasoned bringing out the herb flavours and I enjoyed the crunchy and slightly chewy crust. The first dish of the night presented duck liver parfait which is normally rich, but served with an Italian wine reduction, nullified any richness but not the flavour. Enjoyed with the buttery lightly toasted brioche, it was excellent. Next up were crostoli, a crispy pastry, holding light creamy buffalo mozzarella balanced with the acidity from blood orange which made for an excellent combination. Steamed Norwest tiger prawns were perfectly cooked, but significantly enhanced by the amazing fennel and chilli sauce. A pasta dish of handmade pockets of fusilli holding a delicious rabbit and liver mixture was the next dish presented which was enjoyed thoroughly. Certainly full at this point, like an Italian nonna full of generosity and hospitality, there is more to come with a meat dish of baby goat and a bean ragu. One bite of the succulent baby goat has one’s appetite immediately revived, but the green bean ragu is simply stunning, so so flavoursome, one wouldn’t think beans could taste so good. For dessert, two were presented. The first was a vanilla semi freddo which was soft and creamy, served with a soft nougat for a chew texture, and macerated apricots provided a different texture and sweetness. The other dessert is none other than panna cotta, an Italian icon, and this didn’t disappoint. Smooth and very creamy, the slight bitterness from the caramel sauce helped to cut through the richness. The walnut and fruit mixture adds a lovely textural contrast. A simply fantastic dining experience, dishes full of flavour, generous, and certainly not leaving hungry, rather the opposite!


Davvero - Beef Cheek and Polenta Concia

Davvero Caffé E Cucina – 15 Jun 2016

Walk into the spacious open restaurant and be greeted by the friendly staff before sitting down to enjoy a range of traditional Italian dishes from around Italy. The new winter menu at Davvero’s offers 16 dishes across antipasti, entrees, pasta and risotto, and mains, as well as delicious desserts. I was fortunate to receive an invite to a long table dinner and have the opportunity to sample the new winter menu which presents some really delicious dishes. Particular standouts were the pappardelle pasta with slow cooked wild boar; ravioli in butter sauce; slow cooked beef cheeks in creamy cheesy polenta; and the spatchcock marinated in Mediterranean spices. These dishes presented some really delicious flavours and were highly enjoyable and satisfying. Overall, the night was really enjoyable, the food delicious, and in the vein of Italian hospitality and generosity, we certainly did not go home hungry, rather we were way too overwhelmed with all that food. A big thank you to Cristiano and Lorenzo and the staff at Davvero for a wonderful night.


Francoforte Spaghetti - Kangaroo Ragu

Francoforte Spaghetti Bar – 3 Feb 2016

Francoforte Spaghetti Bar keeps things simple by focusing on a range of spaghetti dishes with a few other Italian entrees and sides also available. I had the Kangaroo Bolognese which was really delicious. The sauce had lovely sweet tones from the tomato, a slight saltiness from the Parmesan, and some real kick from the spicy Italian pork pate, N’Duija. The N’Duija is an optional extra and recommended with this dish and I think it’s a must. There’s plenty of the kangaroo Bolognese which is mixed in amongst the tender well cooked spaghetti. Kangaroo has a gamey taste but presented in this dish as a mince, it’s not noticeable. If I’d known complimentary bread was offered I would have ordered the smaller sized dish and maybe had some room for dessert. Maybe next time!


The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen - Panko Crumbed Oysters

The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen – 14 Jan 2016

I enjoy coming to this restaurant which presents a stylish smart interior with delicious food prepared and presented. Eyeing the dessert menu I decided to skip mains and load up with three entrees instead. The chef’s tasting plate was a little mixed with an absolutely amazing pork and miso soup, and I also loved the sweet and roasted flavours of the pumpkin puree which paired effectively with delicious succulent salmon and crisp skin. The other two items of falafel and a kimchi slider weren’t as impressive. I also ordered a couple of the panko crusted oysters which were their usual deliciousness and I also enjoyed an intense but growing on me with each bite, black pudding. For dessert I ordered the lemon, almond and polenta cake which sounded a bit unusual to me but presented a normal cake which was soft and light, freshly baked and had a lovely crust. The tangy yoghurt ice cream was interesting, an enjoyable dessert though a little uninspiring. One does look to dessert for that big finish to the meal.


The Painted Bird - Broccolini Pangrattato

The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen – 18 Nov 2015

The Painted Bird is a great choice for a business lunch and we started off with a selection of 4 dishes from the charcuterie section for just $18. The sourdough bread was delicious smothered with chicken liver parfait, the px syrup and raisins adding that sweet touch to offset the richness. I also liked the pork terrine which wasn’t too intense in flavour and balanced by the piccalilli, a relish. The chorizo was crunchy and had a less intense spicy flavour but other flavours shone through, and who doesn’t like indulging in some priscuitto. Along with our mains we enjoyed some broccolini that needed a little more cooking for my liking but it was paired with garlic butter and a crunchy pangrattato crumb. The smashed potatoes still held their shape despite being tender and the slight oiliness from the chimmichurri made it very yummy. As for my salmon, it was absolutely delicious! Perfectly cooked, tender, succulent, moist with a crisp skin, it was enjoyed with amazing parcels of gnocchi that were an absolute standout. Another excellent dining experience.


Maruzzella Restaurant - Calamari fritti

Maruzzella Restaurant – 5 Nov 2015

After the setting the bar really high on my last visit, the challenge is to sustain it. Tonight didn’t reach the same highs but the food was still delicious. I loved the flavours of the perfectly seasoned calamari but it was a tad chewy. The ravioli contained a lovely soft ricotta and spinach filling and the tomato sauce was bursting with energy and flavour which took it to another level. The tiramisu was also delicious and a lovely way to finish off the night with a generous serving once again, of light moist tiramisu. I’m really glad to see a quality Italian offering in East Perth.