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