Honest cuisine

SUPPORTING Scotland’s national soccer team is a bit like sadomasochism – you learn to love the pain.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning we were unceremoniously dumped out the European Championships by Croatia.

Yet again we had failed to get past the first hurdle at a major tournament, and the “Tartan Army” traipsed home with their kilts at half-mast and sporrans drenched in Buckfast.

By lunchtime I was desperately needing some comfort food, so my wife and I headed to Il Sorriso in Palmyra.

Situated on the Canning Highway diagonally opposite the Leopold Hotel, I’ve driven by the Italian cafe hundreds of times, but never stopped, because it’s on the “Highway to Hell” and most eateries I’ve tried there have been poor.

I was pleasantly surprised as Il Sorriso was bright and super clean with huge bay windows, white tables and a display cabinet full of gorgeous cakes, sandwiches, sausage rolls and pies.

It had a laidback, friendly vibe with two old fellas chatting away in Italian at a table and the man behind the till giving us a big smile and “Hello” as we walked in.

All very apt as Il Sorriso is Italian for “The Smile”, and there was a board detailing all the virtues of smiling as I walked by stony-faced.

The menu had a decent range of pizzas, pastas, continental rolls, breakfast dishes and gelato.

I liked how the menu was to-the-point and there was no pretension like “This gourmet cheese is inspired by Geppetto’s chisel – sharp and cutting.”

My gnocchi Napolitana ($12) from the special’s board was simple, honest and delicious.

Some bowls of gnocchi are heavier than the Bismarck, but these fluffy pillows of potato were super light and so tasty you almost didn’t need a sauce.

The melted cheese added a slightly decadent touch, while the Napolitana sauce was tasty and light with traces of garlic and onion (it possibly could have been a tad thicker).

On a cold winter’s day my wife was enjoying her homemade pumpkin soup and crusty bread ($10).

“Super thick and rich it’s absolutely delicious and very homely and comforting,” she noted. 

My wife was leaving room for her cannoli ($4.50), which looked like something Tony Soprano used to wolf down in the Bada Bing!

“Light as a feather with very yummy custard,” she said, while planning a hit in Spearwood.

My mug of cappuccino ($4.50) had a strong flavour and kept its heat nicely, although I like my cappuccinos a bit milder and creamier.

Il Sorriso does honest, simple Italian cuisine extremely well and it’s very reasonably priced with friendly service.

I left with a full belly and a half-smile – daring to dream about Scotland at the 2022 World Cup…

Il Sorriso
327 Canning Highway, Palmyra

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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