IN the fickle world of dining it’s good to see an eatery that has survived for 20 years and keeps getting better.
Rifo’s Cafe opened in Maylands in 1999 and quickly became part of the Eighth Avenue renaissance.
The mercury was hitting 41 when the D’Angers dropped in for lunch recently, but we still appreciated the warm welcome.
Grana padano cheese
Our helpful waiter quickly found us a table and some ice-cold water.
As we perused the menu, he told us about the specials on offer.
I’d been tossing up between a risotto Fremantle ($29), with its medley of local seafood, or a chilli gamberi (fettuccini with king prawns $27).
But the special fettuccini al pesto won the day, and not just for its ridiculously low price ($15).
The fresh pasta strands were coated with a wonderfully oily, house-made pesto, and topped with shavings of sharp, tangy grana padano cheese.
A liberal serving of piping-hot cherry tomatoes exploded with flavour as I bit down on them, adding a pleasant sharpness to the rich and garlicky pasta.
D’Angerous Dave quickly got stuck into his wood-fired calzone pizza, southern style ($22).
Calzone is Italy’s answer to the Cornish pasty, or maybe the Cornish tin miners stole the idea from the Italians.
Whoever come up with it, the pastry on this Calzone was perfect – just the right thickness with a good crunch.
It was filled with a delicious mix of mushrooms, kalamata olives, pesto and ricotta cheese.
“It’s great,” Dave said, pausing briefly between mouthfuls.
We finished our meal with a hazelnut triangle ($8.95), a decadently rich and creamy slice of heaven.
By JENNY D’ANGER
Corner Guildford Road and Eighth Avenue, Maylands
open 7 days 7am-10pm