NOW that Mark McGowan is no longer premier, I wonder if he will grow a ZZ Top beard, get fat and shuffle around Rockingham Beach with a metal detector.
I’m sure he’s got plenty of boardroom sinecures lined-up – executive advisory director of advice to the advisor of advice – but if he’s ever in Bicton killing time and fancies an Italian, he could do worse than Terra Mare.
Situated just off Preston Point Road on Bristol Avenue, the petite and stylish trattoria opened in November last year and has already built up a reputation for friendly service and authentic Italian cuisine.
The menu has a compact range of pasta, salads, desserts, woodfired pizza and antipasto including grilled salsiccia, white anchovy crostini, patatine fritte and limoncello tiramisu.
It’s probably geared more towards pizza and antipasto as there were only two main pasta dishes – beef lasagna and cannelloni.
But boy are they good – woodfired baked and soft, velvety super-light pasta. The lasagna had a gorgeous beef ragu with béchamel, San Marzano tomato, mozzarella, pecorino and fresh basil.
While the tubes of cannelloni were stuffed with a moreish ricotta and spinach filling.
We had both dishes on a romantic [sic] date night at Terra Mare; enjoying the friendly staff, stylish decor and lively ambience.
This time around, I wanted to test their takeaway mettle and ordered a variety of pizzas and dishes to share.
The Capricciosa ($28) and Hawaiian ($26) pizzas didn’t disappoint.
Everything was spot on – a mottled woodfired base with crispy black edges, a beautiful San Marzano tomato sauce and a medley of gorgeous fresh toppings including mushrooms, artichoke, kalamata olives and leg ham.
The leg ham was particularly tasty and they hadn’t skimped on the serving.
It’s one of the best pizzas I’ve had south of the river and was so authentic it triggered a Proustian flashback to family holidays in Cattolica, Italy when I was a lad.
My two young kids were like Hungry Hippos on speed, wolfing down the Hawaiian pizza in record time.
Inbetween watching The Goonies, it got lots of “mmms” and “this is delicious” so definitely a hit.
The arancini (four for $17) were almost as good – a gooey decadent affair with an assortment of beef bolognese, spinach and ricotta, porcini mushroom and baby cheese mozzarella.
They had a nice crispy batter and were worth the money.
Desserts are a bit of a gamble when you order takeaway – but my wife’s cannoli Sicilian ($8.50) survived the journey on the backseat of the Uber driver’s decrepit Toyota Corolla.
In fact it looked gorgeous – the delicate tube was dusted with confectioner’s sugar and surrounded by slices of fresh strawberry.
“It’s got a lovely lemon tang and all the ingredients are top notch,” noted my wife ‘Special K’.
Both our sit-in and takeaway meals at Terra Mare were top notch.
It’s a high quality addition to the Bicton dining scene and worth checking out.
And if McGowan isn’t busy taking on Clive Palmer in a nude celebrity wrestling match, he should go there too.
39A Bristol Ave, Bicton
by STEPHEN POLLOCK