IS one of the best delis in Perth hiding in plain sight in Morley?
It may not be in the trendiest location, but for nearly 60 years Charlie’s Fresh Food Market has been a firm favourite with locals.
It all started back in 1967 when Charlie and Rose Tricoli bought a no-frills 65sqm store surrounded by bushland on the then quiet two-way Walter Road.
Packed with fruit and veg, imported cold meats and cheeses, frozen foods and confectionary and cold drinks, the store was a big hit with migrants, who enjoyed the couple’s friendly chat as much as their Italian produce.
In 1981 they opened a larger store and the second generation came onboard, expanding the range of goods with freshly sliced gourmet and traditional meats.
But the family weren’t done yet and in 2005 opened a massive new 1700sqm store on the corner of Walter and Beechboro Roads.
What makes Charlie’s Fresh Food Market unique? Well, it not only has an enormous deli with a fantastic range of meat, cheese and olives, but also sells everyday goods you need for the home.
It’s a bold and very clever move – we all love shopping at the deli but it’s an extra trip on top of the supermarket for our regular day-to-day stuff, so why not kill two birds with one stone?
Before I ventured into the food market, I visited Charlie’s Cafe at the edge of the store for one of their legendary continental rolls.
On a Tuesday lunchtime, the cafe was buzzing with a mix of mums, pensioners, families, and tradies working on the nearby roadworks.
There was a steady stream of people getting takeaway coffees and rolls, sandwiches and focaccia with mouthwatering fillings like Black Forest ham, mild sopressa, pastrami and Tasmanian camembert.
But there was only one thing on my mind – Charlie’s continental roll ($7.80) The continental is a true test of any deli’s mettle and I was keen to get my choppers around Charlie’s, which was very reasonably priced.
I could see why so many tradies were queuing up for one, as it was a hearty offering crammed with fresh veg, meat and cheese.
It had that trademark continental taste with the mild salami, mortadella and chicken combining with the slices of thick creamy cheese.
The chicken was a nice touch as normally you don’t get that in a continental, providing a light flavour twist.
There was plenty of shredded carrot, tomato and lettuce, and the fresh roll was nice and soft.
Next time I’d probably get some black olives and sun-dried tomatoes to take it to the next level, but it was a very enjoyable roll and the core produce was top notch.
From the food market, I decided to get a beef cannelloni ($19.95) and beef tortellini carbonara ($16.95) to take home for the family dinner.
After 40 minutes in the oven, both were ready to go, making it a no-fuss dinner for the family. The cannelloni was the standout with an intense and rich tomato sauce that kept you coming back for more.
The soft beef filling was spot on and the pasta incredibly light and moreish. A top cannelloni.
There was a lovely aroma of white wine, cream and garlic as I took the tortellini carbonara out the oven.
“Lovely fresh pasta parcels with a delicious filling and plenty of flavour in that creamy sauce,” noted my wife.
There was lots of “mmms” from my young kids, Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles, so it went down well with all and sundry.
Next time you’re up Morley way, Charlie’s Fresh Food Market is definitely worth checking out, both for lunch in the cafe and goods from the deli.
By STEPHEN POLLOCK
Charlie’s Fresh Food Market
Corner of Beechboro and Walter Roads, Morley