Archive for November 28th, 2009

Il Ciao

Before coming to Perth, I had no idea what Italian food was or tasted like. But since coming to Perth and discovering Ciao Italia, I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with creamy risottos, addictive chilli mussels and tomato cream pastas (love the taste, hate the carbs). So I’m always on a look out for good Italian restaurants, so far I’ve tried a few pretty good ones, Ciao Italia, Al Sito, Catalano’s, but have yet to try the famous Spaghis which is on my to-do list.

il Ciao is a restaurant that has been on my to-eat list for quite a while too. Rumour has it that Ciao Italia’s boss and chef used to work in il Ciao before upping and leaving to set up his own business (and taking the chef with him!), the now famous and roaring Ciao Italia. So I was interested to sample the roots and beginnings of Ciao Italia, having heard il Ciao is an institution itself.

A buzzing family restaurant, I immediately preferred the friendly, spacious and orange tones of the restaurant (surrounded by pictures of Italy) to Ciao Italia’s ‘elbow in the next table’s food’ space (they have expanded to the shop next door but I’ve heard it’s still a tight squeeze). I figured Spaghetti Marinara ($23.00) was a must-try since Ciao Italia does such a wonderful version. Sad to say, it was no Ciao Italia BUT it was still tasty,fresh and light. I’ve been spoilt by the huge chunks of seafood in Ciao Italia and the burst of seafood goodness in every bite of their risotto marinaras, so il Ciao’s version paled in comparison.

Their Calzone(enclosed pizza $19.50) came with tomato, mozzarella, chicken, capsicum, mushroom and sundried tomato.

It was an impressive sight, but taste wise it was only alright, the filling wasn’t err filling and the dough a little too thick for our liking. We probably should have stuck to ordinary pizzas.

Ciao Italia’s chilli mussels is a must order for me so I was interested to see if  il Ciao’s Zuppa di Cosse ($20.00) was any good. It was surprisingly similar to Ciao Italia’s version but perhaps not as flavourful but definitely cheaper and good for value. The mussels were kinda on the small side but the sauce was great with bread. That’s what I ate the whole night, bread dipped in chilli mussel sauce, ahh so indulgent.

Our favourite of the night was the Penne alla Vodka ($19.50) with bacon, onion in a Vodka tomato cream sauce. They don’t serve this in Ciao Italia (so one up for il Ciao) which is a pity because I love the after taste of vodka (buzzy feeling) in pastas, I’ve recently tried Catalano’s vodka pasta and it didn’t even come close to this addictive sauce.

So all in all il Ciao is a nice family restaurant that I would return to for a nice, casual, stress free (seriously Ciao Italia’s 1-2 hr waiting time is ridiculous, I hope it has changed with the expansion) pasta and carb laden meal. And I would return for the penne alla vodka.

Daitaoha ratings:

Food : 6/5/10

Service :6/10

il Ciao
771 Canning Highway
Applecross 6153
(08) 9364 9966

November 2009