Ischia Ristorante

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500 Beaufort Street, HighgateProsciuttoPizzaH
Ph: (08) 9227 7762
Destination Ischia … no passport required
Every now and then a restaurant appears on the Perth landscape that takes patrons on a memorable authentic experience. With hospitality in their blood, Conte brothers Sebi and Daniele, take Perth diners on a culinary journey of Ischia—their island home in the Bay of Naples. Proud ambassadors of their Italian homeland, Sebi and Daniele not only serve traditional Ischian dishes, but will regale you with Ischia’s historical past that goes all the way back to the Ancient Greeks.
Ischia is situated in the heart of Beaufort Street’s busy restaurant strip, and if the old axiom about success and standing out in a crowd is true, then Ischia has got this. Entering the restaurant your gaze is immediately drawn to the colossal azure wood-fired pizza oven, imported directly from Italy. This is a game changer and in a time when pizza is experiencing another renaissance, Ischia has the advantage.
CrumbVPassionate about authenticity, Sebi demands the best quality produce available both locally, and from Italy. Allowing his pizza dough to proof for two to three days ensures a base that is light and firm with a delicious airy crust. Sebi makes for us his specialty, topped with Italian prosciutto and burrata cheese (similar to a mozzarella but with a milky buttery centre that spills out when pulled apart). As I savoured each mouthful I imagined Dean Martin crooning “…like a big pizza pie, that’s amore”. Cheesy maybe, but this pizza is made with amore.
Ischia, with more than pizza on its menu, offers starters which are perfect for sharing. We tried two dishes unique to Ischia – Fried Fennel (sliced fresh fennel, covered in a Parmesan breadcrumb and lightly fried, topped with fresh parsley and served with an aioli sauce on the side); and Panzarotti (traditional potato croquettes with ham and cheese, where the potato is light and fluffy and melts in your mouth).
With its fruity nose and clean finish, a glass of the 2016 Treasury 821 South Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand) balanced the lightness of our starters and particularly enhanced the aniseed flavour of the fried fennel.
For mains we opted for a pasta dish, Linguine Puttanesca with cherry tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers and basil. It’s traditionally served without anchovies in Ischia but you are welcome to order them in your dish if you prefer.
Our second main dish caters for the meat lovers, Scaloppine Campagnola which was pan fried veal topped with spinach, mozzarella and Napoletana sauce. All mains are served with creamy baked potato and seasonal vegetables.
Our mains were accompanied by a glass of the 2013 Di Meo Falanghina del Sannio (Campania, Italy), a Cakerobust dry Italian wine made from anancient Italian white-wine grape, reportedly of Greek origin, and grown in the hills north of Naples. Sebi ensures that his selection of Italian wines adds to the authenticity of the Ischian experience.
Whilst servings are generous we have just enough room to complete the meal with a Caprese Chocolate and Almond Torte and rich aromatic Italian coffee. The cake is wonderfully moist and too good to share. Also worth noting, it is a gluten free option.
The team at Ischia are stalwarts in the industry, and chef Victor has over ten years experience working in Italian restaurants. At Ischia you are treated like a member of the family. Ischia is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, and group bookings are welcome.
According to the Lonely Planet guide, “eating is one of the island’s great pleasures”, but don’t take their word for it – let Sebi, Daniele, Victor and the team at Ischia take you on that culinary journey …no passport required.
By Tina McLennan
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