21 January, 2010

Taste Down Under IV - Ciao Italia, South Perth, Perth

It’s funny how HFB studied in Perth for 2 years, and he only been to this Italian restaurant once, for dessert, but never for their dinner. Although it might not look much of a place as compared to many others, the food here speaks volume. If you do not believe, just take a look at the queue outside the restaurant each day starting 6pm onwards. Opened in August 1999, by a (then) young Italian chef, Spartaco Rotella, Ciao Italia started out as a takeaway diner, but slowly expanded from 5 to 15 tables (55pax), holed within the small space. Hence, due to the restriction of space, they do not accept reservations!

Ciao Italia (2)

HFB was definitely overwhelmed when he entered the place. Truth to be told, this place was a riot – one would be amazed at how tight the place was, with only millimetres worth of space in between the tables. But yet it is precisely the efficient and orderly manner that the staffs carried on with their work amongst the chaos that gave this quaint little place its character! Although slightly over burnt at the side, the visibly chopped garlic and wild herbs, along with the crusty goodness of the Garlic Bread ($5.50) more than made up for it.

Ciao Italia (3)

Since we were forewarned of the serving portion, we ordered a few dishes including the Sicilian Pizza ($24.50) to share. Consisting of Mozzarella Cheese, Mild Italian Sausage, Bacon, Black Olives, Ricotta Cheese and Mushrooms on Whole Peeled Tomato Paste, the pizza was delightful, but HFB had tried better ones. Kudos to the generous toppings, he enjoyed the mozzarella cheese that seeks to balance the heaviness of the aftertaste from the sausages and the bacon. He also liked the fact that the crust was slightly thicker than the usual Italian crust we were accustomed with, which provided more bite to the pizza.

Ciao Italia (4)

For reasons unknown, he was craving for risotto that evening and so, Risotto Marinara ($27.50) it was. Nicely flavoured with abundance of seafood (including his beloved Black Mussels!), HFB did thought that the rice could be done more al dente.

Ciao Italia (5)

And what’s an Italian dinner without pasta? We ordered their aptly named Fettuccine Ciao Italia ($25.50), done with own combination of Marinated Tender Chicken Strips with Sundried Tomatoes and Spring Onions, served with Fresh Diced Tomatoes in a Creamy White Sauce. Generous amount of ingredients – checked, tendered chicken – checked, delightful pasta sauce – checked. If there was one thing he could picked on, it was that it was too creamy and made second helping a chore.

Ciao Italia (6)

Dessert time? Well, we rewarded our stomachs with their renowned Tiramisu ($8.50), which were freshly made everyday with their top secret recipe coming directly from Rome. HFB loved the fact that it had thick double layers of Mascarpone Cheese. It was truly legendary!

Ciao Italia (7)

Food: 4/5 (Food was above average, with generous servings, and Tiramisu was worth the trip)
Service: 3.75/5 (Service staff was efficient and friendly, but do not think its worth the wait)
Ambience: 3.75/5 (Homely feeling, but too close for comfort)
Price: 3.5/5 (Affordable for a one time experience)
Total: 15/20
273 Mill Point Road,
South Perth, Cnr Douglas Ave

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sabbiechan said...

how can you not love ciao italia?? i adore it! and ate there pretty often since i live quite near. anyways, everything within the vicinity of mill point is absolutely fantastic!

Jowin said...

I love love love Ciao Italia too! I used to stay in South Perth, just a walk, a hop and Ciao Italia!

His Food Blog said...

@sabbiechan: I guess it's the high expectations. The food was definitely above average, and yes the Tiramisu was good, but I reckon its not worth queuing for it at 6pm.

@Jowin: Lucky you. South point have many nice restaurant.

Anonymous said...

i <3 ciao italia too! would gladly travel 40 minutes and queue for it! BUT it's no good if you have takeaway... gets cold and gross.

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