I DON’T believe there is anything quite as divine as listening to someone speak Italian.
I could be eavesdropping on a Sicilian mobster discussing where he dumped a body and I’d still have stars in my eyes.
It’s not only the language, but the heavenly Italian food that infatuates me.
I had heard rumours about a restaurant in Leederville that was supposed to have some of the best Italian cuisine in Perth.
It was quite a claim and certainly piqued my interest, so I called one Thursday afternoon in hopes of securing a booking for that evening.
I was met with a rich Italian baritone informing me that I’d have to reserve a table a week in advance as they were booked out.
I guess the rumour had spread.
I dutifully reserved a table online and a week later was basking in the heaven that is Pappagallo.
The décor of this restaurant is stylish and modern — not a red and white checkered tablecloth or Dean Martin mix-tape in sight.
Our waitress was kind and patient as we cross-examined the menu.
Our eyes were much larger than our stomachs, but I had fasted for the occasion, so we settled on the arancini balls ($12); orecchiette alla pugliese pasta with spicy sausage, eggplant and cherry tomato ($24); and the parma pizza topped with fresh rocket, imported Italian prosciutto and shaved parmesan ($24).
I couldn’t help but adore the way our waitress warmly praised our selections from the menu: the arancini? “Great choice!”, the pasta? “Good decision!”
Her attentiveness and smile made us feel very important.
The arancini entree was laced with delicate Italian spices and the rice was the perfect consistency (not too mushy).
The generous serving of pasta was bursting with flavour, while the rustic wood fired pizza was cooked to perfection.
Despite being stuffed we couldn’t say no to sharing a saliva-inducing Sicilian cannoli ($7), which was piped with delicious ricotta cream and speckled with orange zest.
This restaurant truly lives up to the hype and will make your world shine like you’ve had too much wine.
That’s not amore — that’s Pappagallo.
by JASMINE KAZLAUSKAS
250 Oxford Street