Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Published March 25th 2013
Italian Style, Wine and Dine
I seldom venture down into the wilds of Perth, but when I do I love the feeling of vibrant humanity, the vitality of Perth after dark, especially in the nightspots and restaurants of Leederville and Northbridge.
The restaurant is pretty big seating a large crowd of happy diners, furnished in shabby chic, with slate, open space and, tucked away to one side, a play area for the smalls. A splendid idea to keep them entertained while we eat.
We sat, a large expectant group all intent on paying separately, something restaurants seldom enjoy, but Siena's were quite willing to do, although we all had to pay at once.
The menu is huge, mostly Italian, and for Perth, moderately priced. We began with a four slice serve of Garlic Bread ($4) - savoury and hot.
The three of us shared a 'meat-lovers' pizza as an entree. A Pizza Carne of bacon, sausage, ham, chicken and onions ($21.50 or $15 on special nights). This was absolutely delicious with a lovely crisp base and very obviously cooked freshly. A clue would have been the chefs up front making the pizzas to order. A generous serve, more than enough for four.
Meat Lover's Pizza
If our meal had ended there I would have left raving about the place. Unfortunately our mains were disappointing. I had Scaloppine Marsala ($25.50) pan fried veal in a sweet marsala wine and cream sauce with salad & potatoes. The veal was tough, something veal should never be.
Rachel's cannelloni ($21.50, $14.00 on special nights) of spinach and ricotta filled tubular pasta served with salad was pretty tasty, and again a large portion, but a trifle dry and more tomato sauce would have helped.
James' Gnocchi Sorrentino ($21.50, $15 on special nights) of homemade potato dumplings with mozzarella cheese and basil in a tomato sauce was excellent. Full of flavour and rich, and although not served in the traditional shape the gnocchi had the redolence and texture of old Italy.
Service was prompt and polite and as we were leaving the line of people waiting for tables stretched out of the door and down the street.