AL DENTE PASTA in Palmyra screams Italian with walls covered in national football posters, an apron featuring a map of Sicily, red-and-white checked tablecloths and red, green and white curtains.
We kicked off with the garlic bread ($5.50) and it was fantastic: moreish oily slices with crispy crusts and plenty of garlic punch.
An arancini entree ($7) had a great crunchy coating, but a hit of parmesan cheese would haven given it a flavour lift.
D’Angerous Dave opted for the mushroom ravioli ($22).
“It’s a bit heavy and dense, but has a good amount of sun-dried tomato sauce,” he said, giving the dish six and a half out of ten.
In true pommy form he ordered chips on the side, and was very happy with the crisp and salty morsels.
My cannelloni ($22) came with chips or salad, harking back to cold old Blighty rather than sun-drenched Italy.
The pasta tubes were soft and moist, and the spinach and ricotta filling subtly delicious, with just the right amount of rich tomato sauce.
I was drawn to the pomegranate sorbet for dessert, but at the last minute opted for the chocolate panna cotta ($6.50).
Sensing my indecision, the delightful young waiter brought out a tasting dish of the sorbet, which had me regretting my decision.
The rich and creamy panna cotta was delicious, but the sorbet was sharp and refreshing and the perfect end to a heavy meal.
Dave had the tiramisu, which was light, fluffy and creamy, but lacked the real intensity of more traditional versions eaten elsewhere.
Al Dente Pasta is not licenced and charges a very modest $1 corkage.
Entry is off Murray Street, making the restaurant hard to spot from the Canning Highway, but there’s plenty of parking out front.
by JENNY D’ANGER
Al Dente Pasta
367 Canning Highway, Palmyra
open Mon–Sat 5–9pm