Just last month I was contacted by Chef Lorenzo Schiaffini regarding his new Italian restaurant in Ellenbrook and the menu sampling lunch he was hosting. Not having ventured to Ellenbrook before, it was a good opportunity to head down that way to see what it has to offer. It was also very enticing as Chef Lorenzo was the Head Chef of the renowned Jamie Oliver’s Italian eatery Perth for the last two years but have now decided to venture out on his own in the suburbs with his business partner, Mark Barnett. Lucky people living in Ellenbrook!
The restaurant is licensed and have a variety of wines, liquor and beer but having to drive to a high tea in North Perth right after lunch, I declined and went with water instead. We were served food from the “Small Bites” section to get us started!
- Antipasto misto – a selection of Australian and Italian cured meats and cheeses served with wood fired rosemary focaccia. This starter was awesome, a board full of delicious and quality proscuitto and salami to devour. The focaccia themselves were truly addictive! I had to stop myself from eating too much!
- Arancini – this was my favorite! They were served with a fiery arrabbiata sauce which I thought was great as I’d never tasted arancini with a hot sauce before! Something different!
- Bruschetta ai pomodori – homemade focaccia with artisan ricotta, slow roasted tomatoes, basil and buffalo mozzarella. I’ve never been a fan of bruschetta so I only had a very small bite. This was super long!
- Di Manzo – thinly sliced Black Angus bresaola with rocket parmesan and balsamic reduction. The sourness from the balsamic reduction cut through the cheesy taste from what we had previously which was very much welcomed. Love the mount of salad that came with it!
Following the starters, we were ushered into their open aired kitchen to watch the process of pizza making by Chef Lorenzo himself! He was prepping a half/half for us to share, lots of fiddling then into their hand built wood fired pit it went! Out came something we couldn’t wait to dig into! It was half a metre long as well!
This gigantic pizza was half an Affumicata and half a Tutto Carne, with the Affumicata a vegetarian pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, mushroom, thyme and truffle oil and the Tutto Carne a meat lovers pizza, San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte, soppressa, N’duja, sausage and pancetta. It costs $46.90 for half a metre pizza with 2 toppings, feeding 6 – 8 people easily!
I loved the Tutto Carne with the Italian sausage and spreadable salami, it was so tasty! The Affumicata on the other hand was quite bland, I didn’t appreciate it as much. The dough was quite soft in the middle too which I wasn’t used to. Possibly a little longer in the oven to crisp it up?
After this, more food were still coming! I was quite full by then but the Fettucine Al Funghi proved too hard to resist. Home made fettucine with a creamy wild mushroom sauce finished with parmesan and lemony grremolata. Oh gosh, I would come back just for this! I had to stop myself from eating too much so that others can have a bite. Love pastas with creamy sauce! The flavor from the mushroom was very prominent in the pasta. Love it! There was also a Seafood Pasta which I had to forego. Woodfire Italian makes all their own pasta from local produce, it was encouraging to hear.
For those real meat lovers, don’t fret, there is also a “Grill” section in their menu! We sampled a Bistecca Tagliata, 250g Black Angus rump, sliced and served with peppery rocket, radicchio, parmesan and aged balsamic. Marvellous!
Last but not least, there were the desserts! We were presented with the Crostata di Limone, Torta al cioccolato, Pannacotta and Tiramisu. I only had a small bite of each, gotta think of my stomach! I liked the Crostata di Limone (lemon tart) and the Pannacotta the most! Happy photo ogling below!
- Crostata di Limone – woodfired lemon tart with vanilla mascarpone. Very lemony and zesty! And the base, yum!
- Torta al cioccolato – salted caramel and chocolate tart with mixed berries and creme fraiche. A bit too sweet for me.
- Pannacotta – classic creamy Italian dessert with seasonal fruit compote. Who can say no to pannacotta!
- Tiramisu – layers of Savoiardi biscuits with mascarpone cream and coffee. I have never been a fan of tiramisu so can’t give any comment here. Everyone else seemed to like it!
Thanks to Chef Lorenzo and his team for the hospitality! It was such a lovely lunch where we get to try some pretty genuine and truly rustic Italian food. Woodfire Italian Restaurant specializes in authentic Napoletana pizza, home made fresh pastas and meats grilled in the wood fire pit! Check it out if you are in the area! His motto is to bring fresh and simple flavors to the locals!