Portofinos Cafe

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2 Quinns Rd, Mindarie
Phone: (08) 9304 3400
Classy & Casual Beachside Dining
Unlike the Portofinos we all knew and loved at Hillarys Boat Harbour, which was a restaurant with table service, Quinns is more of a fully licensed up-market café, with counter service – which helps to keep the prices reasonable – including a kiosk counter outside which provides takeaway coffee, ice-creams, drinks and snacks for beach-goers seven days a week. The café seats 130 and is open Wednesday to Friday from 10am to 8:30pm, Saturday 8.30am to 8.30pm and Sunday from 8.30am to 4pm, serving breakfast (Saturday and Sunday only).
The Cafe was difficult to find at first, but well worth the search. Drive right down to the end of Quinns Road, turning left into the carpark by the Surf Club and Caravan Park just before the beach. Once you’ve found the place and sampled the fare on offer, you wont forget it, and you’ll be back for more. There were plenty of locals having lunch on the beautiful sunny autumn afternoon when we visited, and the place had only been open a month or so!
There is a shady playground just outside the door, where children can play safely while their mums sit and enjoy coffee and cakes from the delicious looking selection at the counter. On the other side of the room the view of the ocean stretches away to the West – it would be a perfect place to watch the sun go down. The function centre being built next door (to be opened later this year) will cater for up to 250 guests for weddings, corporate functions and birthdays.
We started with the Filoette Tart – a very attractive looking dish, consisting of a delicate filo pastry crust filled with a taste sensation of sweet roasted pumpkin blended with salty feta, and topped with a fresh, crisp salad of spinach and lettuce leaves, cucumber, red onion and cherry tomatoes. This would make a fabulous light lunch, snack or entrée, accompanied with the Three Vines Semillon Sauvignon Blanc – a perfect match for the dish, and very reasonable at $6 per glass.
Then our friendly wait-person arrived bearing Chicken Pizza, filling the air with the aroma of garlic and herbs. This was delicious, more-ish and quite filling, tantalizing the taste-buds with the vinegary sharpness of artichokes, creamy ricotta, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, sweet onions, garlic and tender chicken strips topped with lots of fresh herbs. It was set off really well by the Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand ($8 per glass), which was quite fruity, with distinctly grapefruit overtones, and turned a simple pizza into something quite special.
Our final course was the Veal Piccatta – a truly unique and most unusual dish. What looked like pancakes turned out to be tender slices of baby veal, coated in a golden, parmesan flavoured crust of omelette, sitting on a mound of spaghetti in a tangy Napoli sauce, topped with strips of grilled bacon, mushrooms, tomato and herbs, along with a glass of Chalk Hill Shiraz – a mellow, smoky red wine with a robust, full-bodied flavour. Without the wine, this dish would be a hit with the kids. With the wine, this was a dish with a difference, to be enjoyed by almost anyone.
To sum up, Portofinos Cafe at Quinns Beach is a classy but casual, family oriented beachside cafe offering a good mix of light dishes, sandwiches, pizza, pasta and hearty main meals with a bit of a Mediterranean influence, in a great location – great food, good coffee, nice view and a relaxed atmosphere – at a reasonable price.
By Georgina Goss


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