Last Wednesday (10 May) we went out to dinner at one of our favourite restaurants, the excuse being to celebrate our engagement anniversary although that fell, in fact, the following day.  What the hell.

Our favourite restaurant has the added bonus of being a short walk from our apartment, so we don’t need to worry about transportation to/from and level of intoxication.  So long as we can manage a stagger in a more-or-less forwardly direction homewards, we’re good.

It’s a gorgeous Italian restaurant, classy and totally focussed on simple but stunning flavours.  The antipasto starter, for instance, is a selection of little items prepared that day by the chef (mine was specially put together just for me so no bread-y or crumbed items but there were still a dozen or so tastes); artichokes grilled with olive oil and a touch of lemon, artichokes stewed with herbs, the most amazing peperonata I’ve ever experienced and I’m not a peperonata fan, a mini caprese salad (bocconicini, tomato, basil leaves, fresh sliced prosciutto), char grilled baby octopus, cabbage rolls filled with a sensational meatball and parmesan filling, melanzane (eggplant) rolled around herbs dressed with olive oil … the entire plate dotted with little explosions of an amazingly fresh tomato sauce ie, made from fresh pressed tomatoes, and dabs of greeny-gold olive oil … it was heaven. I was making uninhibited orgasmic moans by the third bite.

Tuxedo had a plate of Vitello Tonnato for his starter; a dish I’ve always avoided, never enjoyed, never seen done well. Oh JAYSIS.  He gave me a couple of curls of veal in exchange for an meatball or eggplant roll or two; I’ve never tasted such amazingly, beautifully cooked meat, such a luscious subtle sauce (vitello tonnato is veal with tuna mayonnaise; sounds weird ja?).

I was wishing I’d chosen that, or any of the other starters, if that was anything to go by – although I was totally in lust with my antipasto misto.  Rough cooking this was not; simple yes in the lack of complexity and number of ingredients, but unbelievable attention to detail, the best ingredients, care and fucking tenderness, man. 

For mains Tux had the salmon tortolloni in a saffron cream sauce; out for me obviously, couldn’t even have a teensy taste but I could tell, just by looking, that the pasta was silky and sweet, the sauce creamy and rich but not overwhelming.  Tuxedo’s eyes were rolling back in his head, I swear.

I’d gone for the char-grilled salmon fillet with paprika and it was the best piece of fish I’d ever had. The skin side was just this side of burnt; crispy and almost caramelised, the flavouring again subtle but bringing out the best.  Simplistic, very very simplistic, the only garnish a few cubes of sauté potatoes (divine) and some salad leaves but it needed nothing else. We did share a rocket and parmesan salad which was incredible; just rocket, translucent slices of red onion, shaved parmesan, more of that green extra virgin olive oil and a little balsamic, roughly cracked black peppercorns … ummmmmmm.

Well how could we say no to dessert? We were already very very happy with the food and very very drunk (having started with champagne – proper champagne too; Moet et Chandon, no less, and a Kooyong Estate Pinot Noir – bliss – we’d brought these along ourselves but the restaurant has an excellent wine list with some sensational Italian wines).  We both went for the vanilla panna cotta with honey – how fucking simple can you get? How fucking ballsy does the chef have to be to serve that up and have customers moaning with delight? The texture and tingle on my tongue … ah me.

(I’m wondering if I should try my hand at writing porno novels?  I am usually very practical/pragmatic about my food; I analyse it, appreciate the hell out of it, yes, but to get all sexed up over it? And it wasn’t just the booze, either, shut up you.)

What a meal.  Simplicity as an art form.  And incredibly good value; not much more per starter/main than the casual brasserie-ish place next door.  And the experience; well, my taste-buds were saying “oh god oh god yes yes YES fuck me YES” all night.  What more can one ask from a dining experience?

Osteria dei Sapori
151 Broadway

Nedlands, Western Australia 6009
+61 8 9386 4243


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