Authentic Italian

CHILLED to the bone by a cold wind and icy rain, Parlapa in Fremantle was a welcome refuge.

The owner welcomed us with a warm smile, and was quick to recommended the gnocchi parmagiana ($18) to heat up our chilled bones.

Fondues were a popular party dish in the 1970s, and tucking into the steaming cheesey mix on my pasta reminded me why.

I could feel layers of protective fat enveloping my body as the rich creamy sauce slid down my gullet. It’s just a shame it went straight to my hips.

Gnocchi can be hit and miss, but these little potato dumplings were light and fluffy, and tasted fantastic smothered in the strong cheese sauce.

A couple at the next table had the gnocchi ragu with slow-cooked beef and tomato sauce ($19).

“It was delicious,” they said almost in unison.

“The gnocchi was very soft; you could tell it’s hand-made,” the woman said.

“Nice home kitchen kind of cooking,” the man agreed.

D’Angerous Dave ordered the egg fettuccine with porcini ($19).

• Parlapa’s Giorgio Balzarro. Photo by Jenny D’Anger

He started raving about how good it was from the first mouthful and didn’t stop until he’d wiped the last oily residue from the bowl.

“It’s great, you can really taste the mushrooms and the creaminess isn’t overpowering,” he said.

Parlapa has got their portion sizes just right and after our meal we were full, but didn’t feel like Porky Pig.

With its multi-coloured door frames, Parlapa is a bright and cheery presence on William Street, situated opposite the town hall just off Kings Square.

The owners hail from Turin and Piedmont in Italy’s north west, and the food at Parlapa reflects their provenance.

Open for breakfast, the menu includes an Italian breakfast ($15.50) with prosciutto crudo (dry-cured ham), Italian hot salami, bresaola (air-dried beef), provola cheese and tomatoes served with homemade bread.

The small eatery isn’t open at night, but will keep the lights on for private bookings of at least seven people.

11 William Street, Fremantle
open 7 days breakfast and lunch

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