I’M not a fan of restaurants with gimmicks.
There used to be a Buck Rogers Bar in Glasgow, but it was shutdown after a patron had too much to drink and head-butted Twiki and destroyed a paper-mache spaceship.
So I was a bit apprehensive about visiting Solo Pasta in Mt Lawley, where you order pasta by the metre.
Thankfully it was a delightfully modern place with high-quality cuisine and friendly service to match.
The concept is simple: you choose what variety of pasta you want (classic, spinach or beetroot), how many metres you want (standard is three) and the filling (tomato, olive oil or cream-based).
This is where things get interesting as aside from all the classics, Solo serves up contemporary fusion pasta dishes like Massaman Curry, Goreng, Barramundi, and Lamb Tagine.
Service was super brisk and within a few minutes of ordering the smiley waitress was back at our table with my Chicken Curry pasta ($23).
The sauce was the star of the dish – thick and moreish with a delicious mix of lime, coconut cream and caramelised chilli.
There was a subtle latent heat, but it didn’t overpower the tenders chunks of chicken, and the thick ribbons of pappardelle-style spinach pasta were light as a feather and piping hot.
The crushed peanuts added a nice texture and a liberal sprinkle of coriander finished things off nicely.
If I was being picky I would have liked another ingredient like mushroom to keep things interesting.
Looking around, the place was bright and airy with high ceilings and large pendant lights.
It felt modern and uncluttered, thanks to the white tables, wooden floors and minimalist decor.
There was even a projector beaming huge abstract images onto a wall above the fireplace.
I was going to ask if they could project one of Mark McGowan in ecclesiastical robes, as he is clearly the new Messiah, Nureyev and Gandhi rolled into one, according to opinion polls.
Next he’ll be like Billy Graham – making people walk again.
Across the table, my wife was enjoying her Lamb Tagine pasta ($23).
“The lamb tastes divine and is super tender, with the spices adding an exotic twist to the dish,” she said.
“It’s almost like two meals in one – a roast and a pasta dish – with the cubes of sweet potato making it super filling and homely.”
The kids option ($13) was fantastic value, including any two-metre pasta dish, a soft-drink and an ice cream.
They were also given some colouring-in pencils and sheets of paper with puzzles on them (it sounds like a small gesture but these help to keep young kids entertained after they’ve wolfed down their meal).
I had a taste of their classic bolognese; it was deliciously light with a sweet refrain, enhanced by the freshly grated parmesan.
Their chocolate ice creams were top quality too, presented in elegant flower glasses, and not some rubbish exhumed from the freezer.
The restaurant was clearly popular and was pumping on a Tuesday night with people queuing to get a table and food delivery drivers shuttling in and out.
The restaurant is licensed and also has a small ranges of share plates and desserts.
I really enjoyed my meal at Solo Pasta – the service, food and setting were all on the money, and it was a refreshing take on an old favourite.
Or as Twiki would say – “Biddi-biddi-biddi…”
628 Beaufort St, Mt Lawley
by STEPHEN POLLOCK