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Restaurant review: Italian time at Gavino's Restaurant in Subiaco

Written by 25th August, 2009

Gavino’s is quite a hidden little place right in the corner of Subiaco Mews in Subiaco (think Nando’s, but behind that inside that little complex full of shops and little cafe’s and restaurants)… Another landmark that might help you find your way there is the Woodpecker’s Pizza Restaurant or the Art Gallery that are sitting just directly opposite the Mews.

Anyway, we were a tad late due to our church commitments, and trying to find a parking is never easy in Subiaco… but fear not! We found a little space at the back of the Mews, along a road of residential houses. :) Dinner is near!

When you walk into the restaurant, you get a rather homely feeling, and this is the one thing that I found lovely about this place. The wait-staff were friendly but it was actually rather difficult to know who to talk to with regards to the reservation, etc. because they lacked a bit of the initiative to ask us if we even had one. Never mind that. We were entertained quite soon after we were browsing around the place, intrigued by its victorian/traditional interior decor.

We took our time to decide on the mains because we had our drinks ordered first:

  • Peroni (Me)
  • Strongbow Cider Dry (S.C)
  • Glass of Brown Brothers Crouchen Riesling (A.C)
  • Glass of Goundry’s Merlot (Me, during the meal)

I reckon they’ve got a nice extensive list of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that keeps people like me happy during the meal. :) Thumbs up!

The only thing I wish they had was beer on tap – but with the rather wide variety of beers they offer, this would really be me asking too much.

The two girls already knew what they wanted and it was really me deliberating between a meat or a pasta dish. Following my cow’s heart, I finally made the decision and here were our orders:

  • Bistecca (Me) – grilled eye fillet complimented with a blue vein sauce
  • Veal Fillets (A.C) – with a porcini (mushroom) and marsala sauce
  • Agnelotti alla Panna (S.C) – half-moon pocket pasta filled with ricotta and spinach, cooked with mushroom, cheese and a dash of cream
  • Garlic Bread to start

Oh, I do wanna add that this is the FIRST restaurant that I have stepped into with Escargots (famous french snail dish) on offer! Too bad I wasn’t really in the mood (or condition) to be eating them, but I will be trying it the next time I pop by!
So… let’s get onto the details…

The garlic bread was so populated with garlic that it felt as tho’ we were going to haunt down vampires. That said, I LOVE IT! KUDOS++! It’s one of the better garlic breads around and for $5, I think it’s well worth the moolah! It’s got a nice herb and garlic taste and the bread is toasted just right!

Just in case the picture is not too clear… there are a total of four pieces in one serve, so if you do go there in a group, just remember – Four in a Serve. :)

And…

The garlic spread is actually on BOTH sides of the bread. This is something I have noticed in other Italian Restaurants – they only spread the garlic on one side, and it makes the taste become so bland that it doesn’t feel like a real garlic bread.

The cows were fabulous this evening!

The veal fillets were served in a set of three little fillets (thickest veal fillets I have seen in my little adventures in WA!), cooked medium rare (as requested by A.C). I had a little taste and the sauce/gravy was divine. They had the Porcini mushrooms which gave it a nice rich mushroom flavour, and with a generous serving of it, the veal was just a sheer delight to munch through!

The Bistecca was a nice serving for a hungry big girl like myself. With the cow cooked medium rare, cutting through the meat was a breeze, and to have such a generous serving of the sauce was a nice little treat! Avid fan of sauces, this didn’t disappoint – rich but not too heavy, and there was just the right amount (to me at least) of saltiness to it. The thickness was nice for that big chunk of meat which I must say was grilled really well. :)

The salads could have been better for both of these dishes, but with the meat such a delight, this can be forgiven!

The Agnelotti alla Panna was something surprising. I expected a plate with the usual covering of sauce… but this dish came in a squarish bowl-plate that looked as tho’ the pasta was in soup (it isn’t a bad thing to me by the way).

You could see the generous serving of mushroom, and just like how the menu described them to be, the half-moon pocket pasta filled with quite a generous serving of ricotta and spinach. I didn’t get to try the pasta itself but was too tempted with the sauce that I just dipped my fork into the bowl without much of a permission from S.C… and I was pleasantly surprised.

This one had the saltiness tipped over the “too much” scale a little but it was definitely something bearable for my tastebuds. In fact there was this alluring factor to the sauce that is a bit difficult to describe.

Would have been good ifI tasted the pasta as well. S.C mentioned that it was average.

And you think we finished it off like that? What about desserts?!

I didn’t expect an extensive menu following their rather short mains/entrees menu before, but for a desserts menu – this was quite good!

We had the following to share:

- Sticky Date Pudding (who would miss this?!)
- Mousse Au Chocolat
- Limoncello Gelato

The sticky date pudding was a lovely dessert, and one of the better ones I have tried in WA. From the really dry ones that don’t taste anything like how it should be, to the absolutely divine ones, this one sits closer to the scale of the latter. :) With a moist texture inside, and soaked in that sweet and sinful butterscotch sauce, I have to give this one the thumbs up! It wouldn’t be doing justice to it otherwise :) Loved the ice cream that accompanied it too. Nice vanilla bean ice cream that actually tasted and looked like it was blended with some vanilla beans.

The limoncello gelato was a nice tangy and light dessert to cleanse our palate with… and something I would definitely get again when I head back there and am feeling a tad too filled up. :) A definite yes to the limoncello!

The mousse au chocolat was a bit of a surprise simply because of how rich it actually was. I mean, I have definitely tried some really rich mousse but none as thick and rich as this one. A dark chocolate based mousse, it wasn’t so much of the rich-sweet that got to us, but more of the thickness-rich that really got us going “oh noo, how are we going to finish this?”. I do know of people who would be able to finish this because of their love for chocolate tho’. So, for me, it’s a bit too much, but for you chocolate fans, you might actually want to try – and perhaps give some feedback as to what YOU think! :)

Just for the record, I also ordered a Cappucino to end the evening, and it came beautifully served with a little chocolate aptly named “Twilight”.

The coffee was pretty average but I do give it the kudos for bringing it in with the chocolate – a very fine detail that can make all the difference in presentation and making customers (like myself) that bit happier when ordering their little coffees.

The service was not too bad, with the staff friendly and patient (especially with me taking pictures each time they are about to serve our other dishes). A very warm atmosphere, and with a discount evident from the Entertainment book – what are you waiting for? :) Give this place a go, and we’d love to hear what YOU think!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T (a.k.a Miss Egg)

Gavino Italian Restauant
Telephone: (08) 9381 1323
Address: 375 Hay Street (Subiaco Mews) Subiaco WA 6008

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