I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
Published February 25th 2017
Child-friendly Italian dining in the heart of Fremantle
It was pretty obvious that my family hadn't been to Sandrino in Fremantle for a while when my sister started walking towards its former home on Market Street. Yep – Sandrino has now moved to a new, prime location along the famous South Terrace 'Cappucino Strip' – while some things haven't changed, there is one notable improvement to this Freo favourite.
I was pretty disappointed when I first saw that Sandrino had closed, as I'd always had good experiences there. The disappointment didn't last long when it reopened, and also I'd heard it now boasted an awesome kids' play room. My first attempt to visit was marred by the fact that the playroom is located upstairs and I had a bulky pram in tow. I had no chance of lugging that thing up there, so we went elsewhere. I was not about to miss out the second time, and left the pram at home.
The play room. Awesome for keeping the kids entertained.
My 21-month old toddler and my six-year-old niece of course headed straight for the playroom, leaving us adults to be seated and ponder over the menu for a few minutes. The menu doesn't appear to have changed much since Sandrino made the move – it still has a huge number of meals to choose from, including over 15 different pizzas, main meals, starters and shares and pasta. There is also a separate kids menu with ten choices, all of which are $14 or $15.50 and a drink.
It wasn't long before my toddler realised that she could easily leave the play room and bolted for the stairs, so just be mindful of the littlies in the upstairs section. The play room does have a door, but I didn't feel comfortable closing it with other people's kids in there too.
We ordered a variety of meals between the three of us adults and my niece, including the garlic prawns, arancini from the specials menu, a woodfired pizza, the kids ham and pineapple pizza and…a bowl of chips. Very Italian. I was surprised at how quickly everything was served up. It only seemed like a couple of minutes between the waitress was taking our menus away and the food arriving.
I am obsessed with woodfired pizza. I will eat it at every opportunity I get, but usually choose not to because I simply don't have the figure to justify it. Given I am some 20-odd weeks pregnant, that rationale goes out the window and I give into temptation. And it was worth every bite – the bacon and pepperoni topping was paired perfectly with the capsicum, red onion and mushroom and the pizza base was cooked to perfection – light and just crispy enough without being burnt or too thick. I don't care much for olives so I picked those off.
My dad ordered the garlic prawns and they went down a treat, while my niece tucked into her kids' pizza enthusiastically before headed back into the play room. Possibly the only let down was the arancini, which was slightly overcooked, but it was still tasty regardless.
Our waitress was friendly and attentive, and no one batted an eyelid when my toddler tried to make a run for the stairs once again, and threw herself on the floor when I told her that it was dangerous. The joys of motherhood. I loved the upstairs section, despite the toddler dramas. It is split into two levels and you can choose to dine on the balcony overlooking the café strip.
The location may have changed, but Sandrino still offers the same great Mediterranean taste I have become accustomed to, but now with the added incentive of a kids' play area. Just be sure to leave the pram at home.