YOU won’t find garlic bread, pasta or tiramisu at Fremantle’s newest Italian restaurant Soma.
Instead there’s a nod to the 10th century Arab invasion that changed the face of Italian food, owner Giancarlo Daniele says.
“We didn’t want to open as just another Italian restaurant in Fremantle.”
The huge mosaic of a young woman on the restaurant wall is based on Sicily’s Teste di Moro, (Moor Head), and was modelled on Mr Daniele’s daughter Valentina.
Dishes include zhug marinated chicken ($25) and slow cooked lamb shoulder with caramelised carrot, yoghurt, coriander and harissa ($75), which serves 4-6.
The restaurant is on the Market Street piazza, behind Gino’s, but Mr Daniele is keen to rebrand the area Little Market Street.
“Council called it a piazza but I disagree, it’s not a piazza it’s a little street,” he muses.
Long-term plans include a beer garden on the closed-off street, but in the meantime he’s opened the Little Market Street Bakery, selling wood-fired bread and pastries direct to the public.
Mr Daniele owned Sandrino for years, but after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis he sold it.
Sitting at home wasn’t for him, and when the opportunity came to open a new restaurant he was on his mobility scooter in a flash.
We kicked off the meal with the delicious house-made ciabatta, sour dough bread and olive oil, roasted garlic butter (all $2) and a dish of olives ($7.50).
For mains we couldn’t go passed wood fired pizza.
D’Angerous Dave went for the “white section” (no tomato sauce), ordering the truffle cream, mushroom and basil pizza ($16).
“There’s the distinct taste of truffle oil and a wonderfully pungent cheese. All in all a unique taste.”
Red is my favourite colour and I ordered a hot and spicy pizza with goats cheese and black olives ($16). It came with muhammara, a hot pepper dip from the Middle East .
For dessert Dave had a decadently rich chocolate mousse ($14) and I enjoyed a delicious cream bruleé ($15).
By JENNY D’ANGER
Market Street, Fremantle
Phone 9335 9655
open 7 days, 7am-11pm