Friday, August 14, 2009

Perth - Ciao Italia

Had a guest from my favourite country (SINGAPORE!!) come to stay with missfattyfoodie for a few days. Ciao Italia immediately became one of the dinner places that missfattyfoodie had to bring her friend to!

Ciao Italia is a small italian restaurant located in Mill Point. It is really famous and popular among both tourists and locals. Since it is very small, the owner a.k.a human compactor came up with the great idea of packing everyone together so tightly to fit as many people as possible. This place only opens for dinner and it a great place for a family dinner or a casual night out with your friends. As the restaurant fills up very quickly, please go earlier especially if you are with a big group of friends.

Ciao Italia on Urbanspoon

This menu may look simple but it is not. It is very difficult to decide what to eat!

Gratis water given once you managed to past your neighbouring tables to get seated.
Missfattyfoodie always gets to sit at the side while her leaner friends will crawl to the inner seats.

Ciao Italia also provides take-away and delivery pizza which has a super fast turn-over rate and the orders don't stop coming in till they are closed. People who live in the metro area can get their pasta/pizza delivered to their homes for a small surcharge. NOT FAIR!

packing people together like sardines is actually a very very good idea (no sarcasm really) because the restaurant is so noisy (in a good way!) and lively due to the crowd. On top of the noise, you will be able to hear faint italian background music which creates this very fun and energetic atmosphere. Everyone there is really happy and always smiling while immensing themselves in this restaurant full of positive energy. Even the baby sitting infront of me (who was crying) started to chuckle once he was in the restaurant. If you are going to break some bad news to your friend/partner you might want to consider bringing him/her to this place.

The waiters here, who I am pretty sure are italians, are dressed in suspenders. Although the restaurant is soooo busy, crowded and small, the italian-mafia themed waiters are NEVER impatient or rude to me whenever I am there. Their service is always so fast and prompt. The waiters will even willingly oblige to stupid requests like taking photos with them (something i've always wanted to do, but im too humji) or taking photos of you with your bowl of mussels.

First Order:
Ravioli Napoletana $23.50. Ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese. Served with a traditional italian herb tomato-base sauce.

The ravioli is not the usual pathetic small pieces that you come across at some Italian restaurants. This ravioli is BIG and awesome, even missfattyfoodie has trouble putting the whole thing in her mouth. One piece of ravioli almost filled up the whole side plate!!!! The spinach and ricotta cheese filling taste very good together. The ravioli's skin is just right, not too thin or thick. Mix it with the light and refreshing napoletana sauce, close your eyes and let the flavour burst in your mouth (beware of weird looks shot at you when you do that).

Rating: 4.5/5

The next order is their SPECIALTY dish and it is even named after the restaurant!
Order no. 2
Fettucine Ciao Italia, approx $24 (I forgot! and i cant read the price from the blurry picture of the menu, paiseh)

Super big plate of fettucine served with tomato-base cream sauce, sundried tomatoes, generous serving of chicken and garnished with parsley.
The portion is very huge and should be shared between two average eaters. The cream is very rich and you can taste the sundried tomato in it. Rich cream + huge portion = wear looser pants.

Rating: 4/5

Of all the pastas that I have tried here, this is my favourite. Their carbonara is/was very popular too, but I don't think it tastes as nice as before anymore, the cream is toooooooo heavy for my liking. If you like creamy pasta and you want a slightly healthier heart, please order this instead of the carbonara!

Usually, two pastas are all that we will order for 3 people. However, missfattyfoodie and her greedy friends cannot leave ciao italia without ordering one of their famous/super popular wood-fired pizzas. Instead of getting a traditional wood-fired pizza, we chose one of their 'daily specials'.

Order no. 3
Pizza Bianca, approx $16. Pizza bianca uses bianca bread as the base instead of the usual pizza base. This pizza is topped with italian sausages, fresh tomatos, herbs and olive oil.

WRONG CHOICE. We should have stuck with the usual traditional pizza. We ordered this as we wanted something smaller... but this is not the pizza bianca/bianca bread that I've tasted elsewhere. Bianca bread is supposed to be soft with a slightly crispy/burnt outer layer.

This bianca bread did not taste like bianca bread at all. The pizza was not topped with italian sausage, it was completely COVERED with italian sausage which was dry, hard and very difficult to eat. HOWEVER, the fresh tomatoes and olive oil taste like a good combination and makes the sausage redundant. It does taste/look like the chef was too lazy to design a pizza and simply covered it with sausages.

Rating 2/5

Please don't judge their pizzas by what I have just said. I have tried their other pizzas before and they all tasted great! large portions topped entirely with yummy and fresh toppings. When you eat it straight from their wood-fired oven you will forget all about your diet! I will review their 'proper' pizzas next time.

We only had a slice of pizza each. One great thing about Ciao Italia is they will happily pack your lefftovers in a take-away box for you. In this case, we took away the pizza. If you want to sample a variety of their pastas and pizzas, don't worry that you cannot finish them. You can always ask to have them put in a take-away box and you can enjoy it at home! (with your glasses, pink fluffy robe and favourite show on while enjoying your authentic italian take-away food)

Dessert time~~~
Order no.4
Their famous dessert (big enough to be shared) -Tiramisu - approx $8 (ordered blindly without checking the price)

I am not sure if the tiramisu was supposed to look like it toppled over or not, but it still looks good! Missfattyfoodie's friends make their first appearance on this blog, check out their fingers at the top!

The dessert actually tastes really light and does not taste as heavy as it looks! the cake was nicely soaked and the level of moisture was perfect. The cream was sweet but not overtly sweet, and the alcohol taste was not too strong (i dont like it strong as it spoils the flavour of the tiramisu, and because i dont like the alcohol taste). The texture of the cream actually taste like a really nicely blended gelato... yummyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! even my guest, who said no tiramisu tastes as good as the ones she had in italy, agrees that this tiramisu is yummmmyy!

Rating: 4.5/5

We went to Ciao Italia at about 6pm (when it opens) and it was already crowded. When we left the restaurant about half an hour later, it was sooo packed we had to squeeze our way out. Last time I actually had to wait one hour in the cold to get a table.

sorry about the image quality, but you can see on the right where it is packed with hungry customers eager to go in.

Ciao Italia is Located at : 273 Mill Point RdSouth Perth WA 6151(08) 9368 5500

They do not accept any forms of booking so please go early (before 6) or late (after 8.30)to avoid waiting as you can wait up to hours! Their service is really fast and efficient, but they just have too many customers and the customers there often have huge orders which explains the wait. You can always order take-away instead of waiting for a table if the waiting list is too long.

They open Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm-10pm. Their last order is usually at around 9-9.30pm. It is a BYO restaurant so you can bring your own wine but you might have to balance it on your lap as there won't be any space to place it (just kidding).

After dinner, please go down to mill point jetty for a scroll to burn off some calories while enjoying the breathtaking view of perth city.

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