IF Angove Street is anything to go by, Perth foodies are keen to get back out there for meals.
On a cold Tuesday night, the cafes and restaurants opposite the Rosemount Hotel were crammed with people reading menus and sipping oversized glasses of wine.
We decided to try our luck at Tommasinos, a relatively new player on the Angove strip.
The small Italian eatery was full inside, but the accomodating owner turned on a heater for us in the alfresco, which had thick bistro blinds.
My wife and kids feel the cold but this was super toasty and the owner said he could turn down the heater if it got too hot (excellent service).
Despite appearing decidedly modern, Tommasinos’ menu leans heavily on the past.
Their “pinsa” (essentially an oval-shaped pizza) originates from peasant villages directly outside the walls of Rome and pre-dates the “original” pizza.
The health conscious will be glad to know the pinsa dough has less carbs and fat, and is easier to digest.
Okay, great backstory, but does it taste any good?
Quiet children at the dinner table mean the food is going down well, and my young kids were silent as they wolfed down their Margherita ($16) and pinsa bianca with ham ($19).
I had a sneaky taste and can confirm the tomato sauce on the Margherita was rich with lots of depth, and the base was exceptionally light and airy. Delicious.
I only expected my kids to eat one or two slices but they managed nearly everything, which is testament to the light pinsa base.
The pizza bianca (no tomato sauce) with ham was also delicious; the olive oil preventing the base from getting dry and monotonous.
Looking around the cafe had a contemporary feel, but the owner had that authentic Italian charm, creating a nice mix of old and new.
After explaining the plot of The Godfather to my startled kids, the waitress reappeared with my strangozzi alla norcina ($28). This dish didn’t have the most appealing look and colour, but boy did it taste good.
The medley of fresh Italian sausage, mushrooms, pecorino cheese fondue and black truffle sauce was fantastic.
The flavours were perfectly balanced and the truffle sauce added a decadent touch.
But the mushroom sauce was the star of the dish – meaty and rich it just kept on giving.
The handmade “strangozzi” pasta – which originates from the owner’s hometown Spoleto in Italy – looked like thick pieces of string and were named after the laces on Roman sandals.
The texture was almost gnocchi-like and the quirky laces added an interesting twist to this contemporary dish.
On the other side of the table, my wife was tucking into her ravioli of the day (pumpkin $22).
She waxed lyrical about the velvety pouches of gooey pumpkin, half-submersed in a rich and moreish cheese sauce.
“You can tell it’s been handmade and is super fresh. The crispy shards of pancetta on top add a nice texture.”
Tommasinos has a causal friendly air, but the food is delicious and the service is fast and efficient.
As well as pinsa and handmade pasta, they have a small range of salads and starters and desserts.
It’s my new favourite in North Perth and I’ll be back ASAP to try their other dishes.
10 Angove Street, North Perth
0405 370 295