THEY say competition is good for business, but I’m a little worried about La Sosta in Fremantle.
Family-friendly Portorosa recently moved a few doors down on Market Street to the old Bottega building, directly below the high-end La Sosta,
Portorosa is arguably one of Fremantle’s most underrated Italian restaurants and its stylish new digs means La Sosta now has some serious competition breathing down its neck.
According to our waiter, Portorosa is busier than ever and the new compact design makes it looks fuller, which has generated more demand for bookings.
While the light and bright dining room has a lively ambiance, we opted to sit outside and soak up the rays.
We kicked off with the funghi ripieni ($15): three giant field mushrooms stuffed with a moist, garlicky breadcrumb mixture, and topped with cheese and sundried tomatoes. The dish was grilled to gooey perfection.
The contrast between the earthy mushroom flavours and the sweet, sundried tomato made for a smashing starter.
The octopus and sardine plate ($18) was a hit-and-miss dish.
While every other restaurant in town is serving their octopus fresh from local waters and flame-grilled, Portorosa plays it safe by serving theirs straight from a tub.
It was a little disappointing but thankfully it’s paired with fresh Fremantle sardines, which are rolled and served on a lemon slice to soak up the tangy citrus. They were divine.
There are lots of homemade pasta dishes on the menu but I recommend the Agnolotti ($36): delicious ravioli parcels stuffed with a moist chicken and parmesan filling.
The thick creamy sauce is a combination of sauteed mushrooms, fried cherry tomatoes and pesto cream.
The addition of truffle oil made it one of the best pasta sauces I’ve ever had.
The fresh, well-balanced flavours and use of local produce are testament to Portorosa’s passion for traditional Italian food.
Almost every dish bursts with authentic flavours and we left feeling very contented.
by MATTHEW EELES
93 Market Street, Fremantle