MY wife and I were out for a meal to celebrate my soccer team Glasgow Rangers clinching their first premiership title in 10 years.
The club has now won the Scottish league title 55 times, a domestic world record.
After all these years the Old Firm derby is still the only sporting event that triggers an atavism – making me pound my chest and bellow at the TV like a demented Neanderthal.
We plumped for a celebratory lunch at Milano’s in Bicton.
Located at the side of the Hawaiian Shopping Centre on Canning Highway, the restaurant transcends its humble setting with top notch Italian cuisine.
Unlike many larger restaurants outside of central Fremantle, Milano’s is open for lunch seven days a week and there were quite a few diners when we went on Thursday.
I was disappointed Milano’s didn’t have a dedicated lunch menu, as often a main is too heavy and the evening prices pulverise your wallet.
The menu had all the bases covered with a great range of starters, pizza, meat/seafood, pasta and risotto. There was also a kids menu with a good variety of $10 meals.
Milano’s had a nice balance of traditional and modern dishes with no gimmicks – the food did the talking.
I’ve had some great experiences with seafood in Italian restaurants, so I went for the trio of surf from the specials menu ($31).
As I rabbited on about the offside rule and Rangers winger Davie Cooper, my wife’s eyes glazed over and she reached for her glass of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc ($7).
Thankfully for her, the pleasant waitress intervened with a sliding tackle from behind, and placed down our meals. My dish was beautifully presented with skewered prawns, pan-fried salmon and wilted spinach perched on mash potato.
Surrounding the fishy hummock were three dainty scallops in their shells and a wedge of lemon.
It tasted as good as it looked with the sweet, regal flavour of the scallops conjuring up images of ermine robes and regal lunches with Kate and Meghan [sic].
The star of the dish was the salmon – the flesh was super juicy and slightly fatty with a mega crispy skin. It had been cooked right on the edge; that difficult art only mastered by a good chef.
The wilted spinach was a refreshing interlude and the grilled plump prawns added some nice fleshy texture.
I’m not a fan of mashed potato – Freudian flashbacks to 1970s school dinners and Richard Dreyfuss scooping up the stuff in Close Encounters of the Third Kind – but this was light and fluffy and went well with the strong seafood. Still a bit heavy for lunch though.
Across the table, my wife had nipped into the 18-yard-box and smashed home an equaliser with her chicken risotto from the specials menu ($29).
“The white wine and cream are perfectly balanced in the sauce, which goes really well with the chicken, bacon and spring onion,” she said.
“The arborio rice is tasty and light and has a nice tang from the parmesan cheese, with the fresh tomato keeping things moist.”
My wife couldn’t finish her dish, but the waitress asked if she wanted it to take home.
Throughout the meal the service was super friendly and efficient, even though the poor waitress had a foot support on and was hobbling around. So brownie points to her.
The food was top notch at Milano’s and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal.
A dedicated lunch menu wouldn’t go a miss though, encouraging more people to come in for lighter more affordable pasta dishes.
But Milano’s still won this encounter convincingly 3-0.
Milano’s Restaurant and Pizzeria
380 Canning Highway, Bicton
by STEPHEN POLLOCK