Few establishments in WA, perhaps even the country, pulse with as much vim and vigour as this multi-pronged palazzo of Italo-inspired pleasures.
Swing by Si Paradiso on a chilly Saturday night, and you’ll find it heaving like it’s ANZAC Day and New Year’s Eve combined. Out in the tiered courtyard, a cool young crowd bops along to the DJs thumping Balearic house set, sinking Spritzes and frisky natty wines between bites of excellent, puffy-crusted pizza.
Inside the fabulously retro dining room, meanwhile, there’s a similarly upbeat tempo to proceedings, and what’s on the plate more than keeps pace. Here, Italian cuisine is less a rulebook than a springboard for cooking that’s as fun as it is refined, layered with savvy cross-cultural references. Ultra-fresh scallop crudo nods to Mexico, outfitted with bittersweet pomegranate aguachile, jalapeños and coriander. Tender charcoal-grilled lamb skewers take cues from Abruzzo as much as North Africa and the Levant, dressed in tangy chermoula and toum.
Here, Italian cuisine is less a rulebook than a springboard for cooking that’s as fun as it is refined, layered with savvy cross-cultural references.
A “crespelle” turns out to be more like a supersized vol-au-vent, with flaky roti paratha acting as a vessel for a sea of blue swimmer crab, brown butter and horseradish cream – messy and glorious in equal measure. Even with all these moving parts, there’s cohesion to match the cleverness thanks to a fresh-faced team that’s obviously happy to be among it. Rightfully so.