A BOWL of Sicilian olives satisfied a craving for something salty and savoury while we waited for lunch at Pappagallo in Leederville.
Rich-green and wonderfully firm, we polished off the bowl of olives ($8) in record time.
I’d ordered the mushroom gnocchi ($24), which on first inspection looked a bit unappealing with a gelatinous sheen.
But I soon discovered the soft potato dumplings, smothered in a delicious fungi sauce, were melt-in-the-mouth.
The sauce clung tenaciously to the little parcels, ensuring every mouthful was satisfying, and the porcini mushrooms gave the dish a pleasant, smoky sharpness.
D’Angerous Dave raved about his misto di bosco pizza ($22), which had a wonderfully crisp base and was topped with a delicious mix of mozzarella, mushrooms and a tangy taleggio cheese with a hint of truffle oil.
Figuring we’d be too full to eat a proper dinner, we took home a margherita ($18) to share that evening.
Even after reheating it was a stand-out winner; the simple tomato sauce just right and the wilted basil holding its pungency. Pappagallo means parrot in Italian and an entire wall of the stylish eatery is covered with a huge parrot mural. There’s also a cartoonish coffee grinder and gnome-like chefs adorning the walls.
The place was pumping during lunch on a weekday, but the service was still spot on.
Owners Nino La Verghetta (he co-opened Dolce and Salato) and Michael Tricoli import all their ingredients from Italy, including the five-grain flours used to make the ultra crisp and tasty pizza bases.
There’s no shortcuts in food preparation and the chefs take two days to make the pizza dough, guaranteeing the perfect consistency.
by JENNY D’ANGER
Pappagallo Cafe and Pizzeria
250 Oxford Street, Leederville