AFTER a frustrating interview with a monosyllabic hipster, sitting in the sunshine by the beach at Bistro 21 in North Coogee, was doing me the world of good.
Set on a path between two dog beaches, there were dogs to the left of us, dogs to the right, pooches on the path, and after my brother and his wife arrived, a couple more bow-wows under our table, which were duly served with a dish of water from the waiter.
Bistro 21’s menu reflects the international provenance of the owners and it changes with the seasons to ensure the freshest ingredients.
My ricotta and spinach ravioli ($22) was a feast for the eyes and taste buds, with the red sauce punctuated by a dainty viola flower.
The rich tomato flavour of the dish complemented the spinach and ricotta-stuffed pasta, and a liberal sprinkling of pine nuts further enhanced this satisfying dish.
An American style beef burger ($24.50) got the thumbs up for its flavour.
“Very juicy, and nice meat,” was the verdict.
D’Angerous Dave was more reserved about the vegetarian burger with field mushroom ($20).
“The burger was well presented, but lacked oomph,” he said, going on to rave about the lupin salad.
The fourth member of our party opted for good old fish and chips ($25).
The two large fillets were perfectly cooked, and the chips crisp and delicious.
“And the beetroot tartare was really good, very different,” she noted.
With D’Angerous Dave’s tummy rumbling like Orson Welles in the 70s, we knew it was time for dessert, and ordered the apple and hazelnut ricotta crumbles (both $7).
“It’s more strudel, than crumble,” Dave said hoeing into his apple dish.
Sally and I shared a hazelnut version, and were impressed with the wonderful taste and fluffy texture, and that it arrived on two plates with the whipped cream on the side, decorated with dainty slices of apple.
Sometimes it’s the little things that set a restaurant apart and this was one of them.
by JENNY D’ANGER
21 Ocean Drive, North Coogee