It opened with a bang in 2017 accruing critical acclaim and punter love in equal measure. It was, and is, the best pasta restaurant in town. Improbably it has become even better in 2018. (Hence its move up our rankings in 2018).

Chef-owner Joel Valvasori-Pereza honours his northern Italian roots with this, his first restaurant. The craft of hand-making pasta is front and centre with the open kitchen setting the stage. Shelves loaded with wines and pantry items are also part of the open-kitchen décor.

Before you get to the much-applauded pasta dishes, try beef carpaccio, served properly at room temperature and one of the finest we’ve eaten. Paper-thin slices of dissolving beef were dressed with a parmigiano cream and shavings of Manjimup truffle (in season).

Quite rightly the hand-crafted pasta is the star, with sauce the supporting cast. Tagliatelle della delizia, buttery, silky ribbons of tagliatelle, tangled with pork and veal red wine ragu, is slippery and unctuous. It has bite, cooked just shy of al dente. Perfetto. Italian food and wine are perfect bedfellows and Lulu’s list is loaded with Italian wine. Titles from Australia are in a similar vein. Interestingly, there is a selection of orange wines, another tip of the hat to the north Italian region, where it’s said the orange wine revolution began.

From panna cotta to tiramisu, desserts are worth saving room for. Staff have charm and enthusiasm and they’re excellent at wine recommendations. Importantly Lulu has a happy, loud buzz about it, which makes it a joy.