235 Fitzgerald St, Perth
Phone: (08) 9228 1646
Italy at our Doorstep
A wise man once told me I could “indulge in the taste of Italy without leaving Perth” – truer words could not have been spoken. The wise man – Maurizio Di Ciano of Maurizio Restaurant & Events Catering.
We visited Maurizio Restaurant on a balmy spring morning and knowing full well what lay ahead I skipped breakfast and prepared for an Italian feast of flavours and delectable treats.
Summer seemed to be the theme of the day; with fresh, local produce an absolute highlight in each dish. First up was the Octopus Salami – light and rather refreshing this dish was served similar to Carpaccio (in the way it was sliced and presented) and with a slice of lemon and Malvasia Bianca wine, was just beautiful.
Next Maurizio surprised us with a primavera (spring) style pappardelle. Elegantly presented this colourful pasta dish was filled with broad beans, tomatoes and potatoes, nestled in a bed of Parmesan crisp. Colourful, unique and light I could imagine ladies who lunch enjoying this one – me included!
We then moved onto our mains which included swordfish and spring lamb dishes. Fresh, is the only way I can best describe the swordfish. Straight from the ocean and into our plates there was not a fishy flavour in sight (you see the trick to good seafood is when it’s fresh there is no smell, again words of the wise man). Served with a side serve of potatoes, capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, beans and carrots and a glass of Etna Doc Bianco, this dish was light, with the combination of fresh flavours making my palate dance for joy.
The char-grilled baby lamb marinated in rosemary and extra virgin olive oil was also nice and light, served with finocchio (fennel) on a bed of greens. Cooked medium, the lamb was tender and juicy, with the rosemary and pepper flavours delicately highlighted.
What I like about Maurizio is his food is simple, delicious (what Italian food is all about really) and no matter where you are, whether it’s at an event by the river or at his Perth premises, his Italian fare transports you instantly to a gorgeous villa somewhere in Italy.
You see Italians are a proud bunch and love nothing more than to look after their guests and Maurizio and his staff do this in spades, going beyond the call of duty to satisfy our tastebuds.
So now back to the food, where were we, that’s right – dessert! Maurizio presented my colleague and I with a Fresh Fruit Tart and Orange Chocolate Mousse. The fresh fruit tart consisted of in-season produce including apple, strawberry, kiwi fruit, rockmelon and was served on a shortbread crust – something I certainly imagine enjoying on a summer’s day. This tart was light and fruity and a nice way to move onto our more decadent dessert the Orange Chocolate Mousse.
Served in a ginger waffle basket this chocolate mousse had my colleague in seventh heaven. Packing a punch, it was decadent but not heavy and just gorgeous. Maurizio also introduced us to the dessert wine the Ombretta which had traces of cinnamon, almond, liquorice and cloves. It was truly indulgent and we felt extremely honoured to be trying it as he told us it was served at Barack Obama’s Presidential dinner (yes we can!).
Our last surprise treat was a cheese and fruit platter with various types of cheeses including one of my favourite things, truffle infused pecorino – a beautiful way to finish off our dining experience.
I have to say I’ve been to Maurizio’s several times and each time it gets better and better. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey often asks what one knows for certain and I can honestly say this, one thing I know for certain – Maurizio Restaurant and Events Catering never disappoints.
By Belinda Cipriano