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Italian

Woodfire Italian Restaurant, Ellenbrook

Woodfire ItalianWebsite: http://www.woodfirerestaurant.com.au/

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!

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Divido, Mount Hawthorn

DividoWebsite: http://www.divido.com.au/

Entertainment Card 14/15: 25% off (up to a value of $40)

Divido is a casual yet chic Italian restaurant located on Scarborough Beach Road in Mount Hawthorn. I have heard the name mentioned over the years but have yet to try it until recently when I was looking for a place to dine to catch up with my ex-colleagues. She had wanted Italian cuisine so I grabbed the opportunity to suggest Divido.

Divido is a medium sized restaurant with stylish decor and an intimate setting. The warm lighting created a nice ambiance and we settled in quickly after a long days work.

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****Pasta Pronto, Guildford****

Website: http://www.pastapronto.net.au/

The PFEs were recently approached by Pasta Pronto to try their pasta, all freshly handmade at their shop located on Swan Street in Guildford. Pasta Pronto mentioned an interesting pasta that they make called Spaetzle, little dough dumplings, and a Swiss national dish. It intrigued me as I have not heard of Spaetzle before! Always interested in trying new things I was only too happy to give it a go. Marc from Pasta Pronto dropped off a few samples for me to try. There were fresh Linguine, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, the handmade Swiss Spaetzle and a takeaway meal which Pasta Pronto also sells at their shop.

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Atrium, Crown

Website: http://www.crownperth.com.au/restaurants/premium/atrium-buffet/about

Hallway to the AtriumThe PFEs were invited to dine at the Atrium Buffet [All-You-Can-Eat] Restaurant within the Crown Perth Complex recently and I happily obliged, not having visited the Atrium since it’s refurbishment a few years back. I had been a number of times previously while it was still under the management of Burswood Complex and had tried their breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. I had stopped going previously, and to be honest it was because I thought the food selections were getting a bit boring.  I was interested this time to see whether any changes have been made!

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****Il Giro D’Italia Festival at Maurizio Restaurant****

Website: http://www.mauriziorestaurant.com/

The PFEs had been fortunate recently to be invited to a few event launches around Perth. One such is the launch of Maurizio Restaurant’s Il Giro D’Italia (translated as Culinary Journey through the Regions of Italy). Over two days last weekend saw the hosting of a food fair where patrons can enjoy a wide variety of bites from Italia’s exotic regions and relax with drinks in Maurizio’s Piazza while being entertained by their most popular musicians. The food fair was a precursor to the 12th Series Il Giro D’Italia 2014!

Information regarding the Il Giro D’Italia …..

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Jamie’s Italian, Perth

During the Easter long weekend, I decided to jump on the bandwagon craze and headed to the newly open Jamie’s Italian Restaurant at 140 William Street for dinner. My strategy was to go for an early dinner at 5pm! Surely there would not be that many people – too innocent a thought. There was already a queue! We waited approx 0.5hr before arriving at the front of the restaurant thinking we would be seated. Alas, that was not so. Arrival at the front of the restaurant only meant you were then able to put your name down for a table, and then there is another 1.5hrs wait! Eeks..we persevered since we were already in the city!

Oh did I mention that a lovely lady would come out with some antipasti for us customers in the queue. Nice gesture I thought but it may cause you to get hungrier!

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Pronto, Claremont

**LATEST UPDATE Aug 14**

Restaurant no longer operating!..restaurant is permanently closed

Pronto is an Italian restaurant located at the top end of bustling Bayview Terrace in Claremont.  It was a bright sunny morning when we arrived for breakfast one weekend.  The restaurant was barely open with only a few tables taken which were lucky for us.  I’d read reviews where people have to queue up for seats!  Maybe that was more for the lunch session.

We were greeted warmly by the waitstaff as we approached the counter and found the spot that we wanted quite easily – at the front of the restaurant looking out onto the street.  Rays of sunshine were beaming through the windows onto our table, a great dose of vitamin D for our skin (bonus!).  The interior of the restaurant is modern and had a homely atmosphere about it.  It was nice.

 

The breakfast menu was quite short, with approximately 11 – 12 items on the list.  The food on offered were quite simple, like the usual omelette, toast, eggs benedict etc.  For breakfast we had:

  • Iced Coffee and Orange Juice
  • Eggs on Toast ($15) with extra mushrooms
  • Eggs Florentine ($19)

  

I had the Eggs Florentine that morning which were poached eggs served with sauteed spinach and hollandaise sauce on Italian bread.  The dish was average for me as the hollandaise sauce was too creamy and didn’t have much taste to it.  My friend had the Scrambled Eggs on Toast and thought it was average as well.  The dish was big though.  I’d also noticed in the menu that they offer half serves of the dish for $11.  That will probably come in handy for those with a smaller stomach although the price is only $4 less.

Service was excellent that morning with the same friendly waitstaff that greeted us at the start attending our table the whole way through, and did a marvellous job.  The only drawback is the food,  they were pricey and didn’t satisfy the tastebud.  I might try the other restaurants around the area first before heading back there for breakfast the second time round.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Pronto
Telephone
: 08 9284 6090
Address: 16 Bayview Terrace, Claremont

 Pronto on Urbanspoon

Zafferano Restaurant, Crawley

Website: www.zafferano.com.au

Entertainment Card 09/10: 25% off (up to a value of $50)

Zafferano Restaurant is located within the Old Swan Brewery compound along the scenic Mounts Bay Road in Crawley.  Driving along this road always give me a dejavu feeling of going back to uni, memories of traffic jams coming from the south especially for the 9am classes!  Eeks!  However driving this time round for a meal here replaced the dejavu feeling with one of excitement! 

I’d dined in the Old Swan Brewery restaurant numerous times and recently even attended a wedding ceremony there, but had never been to Zafferano before this.  I have heard good things about the restaurant, mainly about it being posh and expensive but with great food so I had always wanted to try it.  The perfect opportunity came when we were contemplating where to take my mum for her birthday and my sister suggested Zafferano.  Yay!

“Zafferano is the owner’s fourth restaurant in Perth” – stated in their website..this statement brought great comfort, the owner must be very clued into the restaurant scene to have so many in Perth!  Our dinner will be great! 

Parking is limited and one must go through an underground driveway which leads to a parking lot in the opposite building if none is found outside the restaurant (Note: the parking is costly depending on how many hours you stay at the restaurant).  Having parked there, one must walk across the overpass bridge, through the Old Swan Brewery before arriving to what I presume is Zafferano’s back door.  Not a very attractive entrance I must say but I didn’t think it was worth the trouble going around to the front.

The restaurant itself is medium sized and has quite a nice ambience about it – dimly lit with soft lighting and checked floors, it felt like I stepped into a 80s Italian restaurant.  However the bar looked very modernised.  The host who took us to the table was very formal and serious, an image of an English butler came to mind as he served us.  Table was nicely set with wine glasses teamed with candle light which I thought was quite romantic, it glowed on the table. 

 

Zafferano is a seafood restaurant so the menu is full of all things crustacean with a few selection of meat and pasta dishes.  For entree, we had the following:

  • Ostriche alla Naturale Dozen ($29) – oysters natural, accompanied by shallots, red wine vinegar and cocktail sauce
  • Seafood Chowder ($36) – spicy seafood chowder, Zafferano’s signature dish

 

Oysters were delicious – they were huge, plump and most important of all, fresh.  Loved the red wine vinegar sauce that came with it, it added to the natural taste of the oyster without taking away the freshness.  The cocktail sauce on the other hand though was a bit strong and covered the oyster’s flavour.  The Seafood Chowder surprisingly was also very good.  It had a slight thai fusion taste to it and I had expected something thicker than what we got so was not too impressed at first, but subsequent tasting with the seafood pieces in it make it almost addictive, I couldn’t have enough!  Actually I feel like having one now while writing this review!  No wonder its their signature dish!

For mains, we had:

  • Paella con Gamberoni ($50) – large shelled tiger prawns served on paella rice with mussels and sausage
  • Salmone ($49) – grilled salmon fillet, with a red wine butter sauce, and served with mascarpone risotto
  • Tutto Mare ($50) – Zafferano’s grilled tasting plate of fish, squid, scallop and prawn over spicy fried rice accompanied with sauce
  • Arista d’Agnello ($49) – char-gilled rack of lamb served with eggplant parmigiana, confit bell peppers and red wine jus

and sides of:

  • Funghi all’ aglio ($17) – mushrooms in butter and garlic
  • Verdura ($14) – broccoli and asparagus with parmesan butter

   

The fickle minded me ordered the Zafferano’s tasting plate which came with a bit of everything, just how I like it.  Love this dish as I got to try everything in one plate!  I especially liked the scallop, grilled to perfection..I wish there were more of these on the plate.  The fried rice though wasn’t to my liking so I finished everything on the plate except for that.  I also liked the two Sides we ordered, okay I might be a bit biased as mushroom and asparagus are my favourite veggies but they were yummy, simple but delicious.  Sometimes less truly is more!

Comments for the other dishes were good too except for the Tiger Prawn Paella.  My mum ordered that but didn’t quite like it.  You win some, you lose some I guess.  I had too much on my plate to try the other dishes so no comments from me.

Having finish the mains, we moved on to the desserts and had:

  • Affogato al Frangelico e Biscotti ($19) – hazelnut gelato affogato with frangelico syrup and homemade fudge biscuit
  • Graffe di Mela e Creme Pasticciera ($19) – warm apple and custard doughnuts served with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream
  • Special dessert for the night – Tiramisu ($19)

  

Nice names with the desserts – they sounded so complicated and posh.  I ordered the Hazelnut Gelato Affogato and I must say, it’s the BEST I had so far in ages.  The warm and bitter espresso hit the silky hazelnut gelato turning it into a creamy coffee sensation.  AWESOME! That combind with the homemade warm fudge biscuit is the greatest.  I wanted more!  The other two desserts didn’t fare that well in the poll though – my sister didn’t like the Apple and Custard Doughnuts and didn’t finish it (they ended up in my stomach =)).  Was ordinary I thought.  My mum didn’t like her Tiramisu either.  Oh dear, she didn’t fare too well with her choice of dishes.

Overall it was a great night for me personally as I nailed it with my order of entree, mains and dessert.  First time ever!  The others on my table did not fare as well as me, with the alternate hit-and-miss.  Service was so so that night, the waitstaff was courteous but not friendly and they took ages to clear our table and to give us the dessert menu after our request.  The restaurant being full might be the contributing factor but still, surely it’s not acceptable for a fine dining restaurant and for the price we are paying for our meal!  Personally though I would go back for an occasion and armed with the Entertainment Card discount, the price wasn’t as steep as could be.   The restaurant does live up to its reputation.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.  

Zafferano Restaurant
Telephone
: 08 9321 2588
Address: 173 Mounts Bay Road, Old Swan Brewery, Crawley

 Zafferano on Urbanspoon

Fratelli Restaurant, Sorrento

Entertainment Card 09/10: Complimentary main course when another is purchased  (up to a value of $35)

Fratelli Restaurant is located along West Coast Drive in Sorrento in the upper corner of a shopping centre complex.  One needs to climb a flight of stairs before arriving at the restaurant itself.  The outside of the restaurant looks pretty simple but the inside reveals a classic setting with a warm ambience.  It supposedly boasts a panoramic view of the beach looking from the inside but we were not able to enjoy such a view as it was too dark by the time we arrived.

Service was prompt as we sat down with offers of drinks and water on the table.  The restaurant was not that busy at that time so we got alot of attention.  We proceeded to order the following:

Note:  comments only on the dishes I actually tasted.

Entree

  • Garlic Bread ($5.20) – Fratelli’s secret recipe, fresh from the oven and served warm and crusty
  • Italian Sausage ($16.50) – Grilled spicy sausage served with a capsicum jam and fresh lemon

We were too eager to consume the food and so I had forgotten to take a photo of the Garlic Bread except for that one last piece on the edge of the plate which proved the tastiness of the bread.  One of my friend has a palate for sausages especially the foreign type so we ordered the Italian Sausage to try.  The sausages were chewy and a bit oily for my liking but it went well with the rest of the people so no complains there.

Mains

From the pasta corner, we had:

  • Linguini Marinara ($25.90) – Pan fried seafood tossed with linguini in a napolitana sauce
  • Chicken Florentine ($23.50) – Penne mixed with herb marinated chicken, sauteed onion, fresh garlic and spinach in a creamy parmesan cheese sauce

 

The Linguini Marinara was a huge serving and had big chunks of fish, prawns and calamari strewn through the linguini.  The napolitana sauce had the right consistency.  Great dish!  I did not have a chance to try the Chicken Florentine so the picture of the dish would have to suffice – looks good though doesn’t it.

From the mains, we had:

  • Seafood Risotto ($29.90) – Prawns, scallops, calamari, mussels and fish sauteed in a perno and onion cream sauce and finished with a fresh basil
  • T-Bone ($30.50) – T-Bone cooked to your liking on a roasted root vegetable champ, fresh greens and drizzled with a rosemary jus and bearnaise sauce
  • Veal Sirlon: Chef’s Choice ($32.90) – Prime steak from the grill served on a potato and spring onion fritter, topped with a drambuie and porcini sauce
  • Lamb Shanks ($28.50) – Slowly cooked with roasted vegetables and blended into an aromic sauce served with roasted potatoes
  • Warm Chicken Salad ($23) – Marinated chicken, sundried tomato, roasted almond, feta cheese, spanish onion and mixed lettuce in a honey mustard cream dressing

    

I had a taste of the Seafood Risotto and it was superb.  Normally not a big fan of risotto dishes, I was sold after the first mouthful.  Once again, big chunks of seafood with the risotto and large serving overall.  I like how the risotto was soft (I have had crunchy risotto before, yes..crunchy and that’s definitely not a good taste) and the sauce blended well although it got too creamy at the end, we could hardly finish the dish.

The Warm Chicken Salad was topped to the bream too as can be seen in the photo.  Generous serving of chicken pieces and veggies!  The only thing that could have improved the dish was probably the distribution of the sauce in the salad rather than having it at the side.  Maybe it’s healthier that way.

And who can forget the pizzas…the Gourmet type….

  • BBQ Chook ($24) – Cajun chicken, caramelized onion, crumbled feta, crisp proscuitto and home made barbeque sauce
  • Vego ($22) – Honey sweet potato, spinach, olives and goat cheese topped with chilli jam

 

The BBQ Chook Pizza was another great dish with thin crisp base and big chunky chicken pieces – very fresh and appetising.  One of my favourite dish that night.  An easy dish to eat and share as well.

After the big meal, some of us still had room for Desserts, so we ordered:

  • Latte & Cappucino
  • Chocolate Mousse
  • Tiramisu
  • Toblerone Cheesecake

   

The only thing disappointing that night was the desserts.  None of them made an impression and tasted quite bland.  Well, at least we tried them.

Overall, I thought this was a great restaurant in terms of its food and service.  A great place to try!

They are open for dinner Tues – Sun (from 6pm onwards) and for lunch Fri – Sun (12-3pm).

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Fratelli Restaurant
Telephone
: 08 9447 0616
Address: 130 West Coast Drive, Sorrento

 

Fratelli on Urbanspoon

Catalano’s Cafe, Victoria Park

Entrance

Entertainment Voucher 09/10: 25% off (up to a value of $30)

Located on the ever busy Albany Highway is Catalano’s Cafe, a buzzing joint which according to the Entertainment Book has recently won STM’s Best BYO Italian Restaurant.  This cafe seems to be a crowd pleaser, always full during lunch time on the weekend.  I’d been here a couple of times before and always had a good impression of the cafe so we decided to grab a quick brunch here before heading to Swan Valley for a hen’s weekend getaway.

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