One of the restaurants on Gouger Street that serves Western cuisine, Passatempo Caffe is a great place to go if you like to eat Italian cuisine. In addition to the items on their regular menu, they also have a few special dishes listed on the blackboard near the counter where you place your order.
Since we have never tried risotto before, we decided to give Passatempo's Marinara Risotto a go. The risotto had a lovely creamy texture with the rice grains having the right amount of bite to them. It also had a slightly spicy flavour from the napolitana sauce used in the dish with the seafood accompanying the risotto cooked just right.
Marinara Risotto (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Ned Kelly was one of the dishes that were offered as a special, featuring a chicken schnitzel topped with sweet chilli sauce, onions, mushrooms and cheese served with chips and a salad. The schnitzel was of a generous size and fried to golden brown with a delectable savoury flavour coming from the slightly unusual topping. The chips were fried to golden brown and the salad had a refreshing flavour to balance out the rich taste of the schnitzel.
Ned Kelly Schnitzel (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
One of the pasta dishes that can be ordered at the restaurant, their Penne Passatempo consists of penne pasta cooked with chicken, olives, garlic, capers, basil, spring onions and roasted capsicum in a napolitana sauce. The pasta was cooked to al dente with a hint of salty flavour provided by the olives. All the other ingredients complemented the pasta well with the napolitana sauce tying everything together. If you wish, most of the pasta dishes can be made as an entrée sized dish for $2 less.
A great way to start your meal, their Herb Bread consists of two pieces of toasted bread spread with herb butter. The bread was toasted to the degree of crispiness that we like and the herb butter gave the bread a delicious herby taste.
Herb Bread (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Their Scotch Fillet had a fairly large piece of Scotch Fillet that was cooked perfectly with the fries and salad accompanying it done as well as the one served with the Ned Kelly Schnitzel. While it is not mentioned on the menu, you can choose a sauce from various options to be served with your steak. The pepper sauce that we picked was a tad too creamy for our taste.
Scotch Fillet (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
As expected from a restaurant that serves Italian cuisine, Passatempo has a range of pizzas available, which can be ordered in either small or large sizes. The Gourmet Marinara pizza we picked had a thin, crisp base with the various types of seafood cooked to perfection. The anchovies added a salty element to the dish but not so much so that it overwhelmed the flavour of the other ingredients.
Gourmet Marinara (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For dessert you can choose from the range of cakes and tarts displayed in the cold cabinet near the counter. The Baca Chocolate Cake we chose had a rich chocolatey taste and a dense texture similar to a mud cake. It also came with some whipped cream whose creamy flavour helped to cut through the rich flavour of the cake.
Baca Chocolate Cake (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Ambience of the restaurant is what you would expect from a café with the tables spaced a decent distance apart from each other. Off-street parking is conveniently located in the U Park across the street from where the restaurant is located.