When I first started to get to know Miss Anise and the gang, I started hearing great things about this place. And the first time I went to try this place – I fell in love with the food.
Apart from Lambretta’s, this is probably the next best Italian restaurant with a good hearty Italian meal.
This place doesn’t accept any form of bookings, so you either rock up really early or prepare to wait for your meal because it gets packed up till quite late at night. We were there at about 7.30pm that night, and it was still packed with people! The best part is how the lady boss will not be willing to sit you if you are actually waiting for your friends, you will actually have to wait till everyone in your party comes, before they will seat you.
So we all arrived, and realised that we forgot to get a table for six instead of five. Then we heard murmurs from the lady boss. Were we gonna be able to even eat here? were the thoughts running through my head. We managed to get it resolved, with an additional seat being placed at the table, albeit a little tight. Who cares, we were there to eat, not to have space all around us.
With most of us being regular/frequent patrons to the place, we knew what to expect. But for those who haven’t been there, here’s a little breakdown as to what you might expect in the first 10minutes of your dining experience:
- A waiter will come up to your table asking you if you’d like anything to drink (quite standard). At this point you should note that they do NOT offer tap water. And their one litre Italian Water are about $7 each. They are a BYO place, so bring your own booze. Might be worth doing that if you don’t wish to pay for water.
- Shortly after, they will enquire about your preference for some starters in which I highly recommend the Pizza Bianca (will explain this further in detail a little later)
- The pizza bianca is usually served quite promptly, afterwhich the owners or their children will come and take your orders for the mains.
During this occassion, we ordered not one, but TWO pizza bianca because:
- We were STARVING
- Greed has no excuse better than greed itself
The pizza bianca is something that’s really worth mentioning and giving kudos for because they are always done to perfection!! With the dipping sauce a wild favourite amongst us, we finished most of the sauce without finishing the bread – but it wasn’t too difficult to find some takers who would have the bread without the sauce (I’m guilty). Served in a unique tower, with the dipping sauce nestled beneath and between the breadstick lookalikes, this dish is a definite must-order when you come to Spaghi’s!!
Our individual order-item-names have now flown away from my memory bank, so I will attempt to recall as I describe each dish, and a good form of description so you may order it with ease when you visit and if you are interested in having the same dish :)
The pizza was ordered by the fiance of Miss Anise, and wow, that pizza was tasty! It had things like salami (or pepperoni, I have a great difficulty differentiating the two), mushrooms, ham (?), peppers, and other little toppings. I know that’s not really giving my promise for description justice, but this is something I really couldn’t remember – my deepest apologies!!
In any case, I have tried their other pizzas, and they all taste pretty good. :)
If there is anything that I would point out – it’s the amount of cheese they put in each of their pizzas. This will boil down to an individual level – whether you like to have lotsa cheese on your pizza, or not. I personally prefer not to have too much cheese because it generally masks the taste of the rest of the ingredients for me, and this is exactly what happened. The cheese also created quite an oily base, leaving the dough to be soggy, instead of crisp.
The good side of their pizzas – thin crust!! :)
D.A.W’s dish for the night was some difficult name to pronounce, so when the waiter came, he called it the “no. 1 Pasta” because it was actually the first pasta that’s shown on the menu on the Pasta section. So I have named this the No. 1 Pasta!
I had a little taste of the dish and was pleasantly surprised. Don’t be fooled by its light-looking base – the tomato sauce is actually mixed with some cream, making it quite a heavy dish to finish. The asparagus brought some good colour to the dish, and the pasta is home-made with some stuffing (what stuffing, I am actually not too sure so please do read the menu carefully for those who might have some allergies, or some food preferences). I found this dish tasty, but in a way, it was a tad too rich with the cream mixed with tomato, added onto the stuffed-pasta.
The tortellini alla panna is often found in other Italian eateries around the state, and how could they miss out on serving this? Miss Anise’s order for the evening, this dish is quite simple with a veal-stuffed tortellini pasta cooked with a cream sauce and some nice field mushrooms.
I have tried this dish before and is one of my favourites to order in any Italian eatery. Spaghi offers a nice Tortellini Alla Panna, with the pasta nicely cooked, and a generous serving of mushroom being given to the plate. If it’s anything, I would actually order something else on the menu and share this with a mate, so that it doesn’t feel too full-on in the tummy. It does start to set in after about 65% of the way through, and you start to feel it’s disgusting – which is a point all food lovers never want to go!
The Speciality Mushroom Spaghetti is yet another dish whose name I cannot remember, but it comes classed under the House Specialities in the Pasta Section of the menu, and if my lousy memory serves me right, it is the third one from the top of these house specialities.
I had asked the boss if this was the way to go, and how silly of me? Of course it would be! But in any case, the boss tells me that these mushrooms are actually air-flown from Italy and no one else in Perth actually uses these type of mushrooms freshly imported. Impressed, I decided to give this a try.
It might look like the tortellini alla panna and in a way it is because the main component of these dishes lie in the mushrooms, but there was a distinct difference in the taste of this pasta. According to the boss, it is actually the mushrooms that give the pasta its rich flavour, and I would have to agree. The taste was unique, and it was distinctively different from the tortellini despite their similar look.
I personally loved it, and would have been able to finish the plate if not for my greediness at the start of dinner with the pizza bianca!!
Z had ordered the Scallopini Al Funghi for this very simple reason: I don’t feel like having pasta tonight and I won’t be having any. Hmm, okay Z. :)
Served in a rather long plate, the serving actually looked quite small at first, but after trying it out, I had come to realise why we were looking at that serving size – the sauce that was poured over the veal was thick, rich and very hearty – quite enough to fill the tummy with that amount of meat and pumpkin.
Tasty, but I think the veal could have been quite a bit more tender.
Sauce wise, one of the best I have tasted around in Perth for this particular dish.
D.A.W’s lovely wife ordered the Veal Parmagiana, which sealed off our set of orders for the evening. With the typical parmagiana cooking sitting on top of a bed of rice, with a few pumpkin clusters on top of the rice as well, this dish was a definite tummy-filler!
I had a taste of the dish and found it to be rather different from the other parmagianas that I have tried. It felt like a home-cooked style, and altho’ the presentation’s not exactly the best in the world, the taste was definitely one of the best for this dish I have had.
I give this dish the kudos!
Overall the evening was nice food-wise, but the mood was definitely dampened by the nonchalence of the owner and his wife. they seem to be rather impatient with the orders and seating, and it seemed as tho’ the prime goal over the span of the opening hours, is to keep having their tables turnover as quickly as possible – something that is rarely seen in Italian eateries, from what I have seen around here.
We were not too happy with the way we were treated at the beginning, and throughout the meal for that matter. A common opinion amongst us was how the waiters treated us much better than the owners.
I would only go back there if I was really craving their food – and this is on the basis of their service (gives you an idea how bad it was). they definitely did a boo-boo there!
Do also note that if you are going there for a nice chatting time, it is probably not the best idea. It gets packed and because of the compact area available, it is difficult to get a quiet spot.
So, food’s fantastic but I would think twice about going back after the way they treated us.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (don’t forget, this rating is based on service + ambience too!)
Rating by: S.T a.k.a. Miss Egg
Telephone: (08) 9474 3339
Address: 35 Mends Street, South Perth 6151, Western Australia