Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Da Vinci Ristorante Pizzeria

Da Vinci Ristorante Pizzeria on Urbanspoon
I have driven past Da Vinci pretty much everyday at one point in my life, and did nothing more than just that.

The restaurant is situated on one corner of an intersection that I never visit, as by complete coincidence I always found myself on the other side of the road where McDonalds' beckons me with its big, tempting, beaming golden arches.

A group of us gathered here one weekend, where it was absolutely packed. Inside felt just like one huge happy family in an Italian home, where everyone is wining, dining, and probably comparing the food to their Mum's homemade pasta (which always seems to be the best version).
Calamaretti - $18.30
I met these plates of entrees by surprise as someone had ordered starters for sharing, and with complete self restraint as it was placed directly in front of me. The pieces of squid came lightly seasoned, shallow fried and with quite the price tag for what they were (or how much there were too).

Although bite sized, the squid pieces were extremely small, making the batter the more dominant on in the battered squid relationship. It came with a small dressed salad, that I ate all by myself. I just wish they'd called the marinated and grilled version of this starter.
Pane E Aglio - $7
And of course, the thing I wasn't surprised to see - the ubiquitous garlic bread that is always the prelude to an Italian meal. Da Vinci's version is 4 thick, fluffy slices of garlic buttered bread with crusty perimeters, and speckled with garlic.
Soup Special - $12.50

Penne Arrabbiate - $20.50
Seeing as we are one big sharing, caring group, the dishes we order individually become communal plates that get traded around the table like currency. I tried this Penne Arrabbiate, a pasta dish combining tube pasta with spicy italian cacciatore sausage, onion and chilli with fresh tomato sauce.

It isn't too heavy or rich, which is something typical of many pasta dishes, but overall it is nothing too exciting or to hurry back to.
Fettuccine Al Salmone - $24.50
A ordered a very creamy ribbon pasta main with crumbled pieces of smoked salmon, capers, leek, spanish onion and a hint of lemon zest, which all quickly melded into heavy, creamy mouthfuls. Perhaps if the salmon pieces were not as finely chopped, it would add more textural components to the dish to make it easier to eat.
Fettuccine Gamberi - $25
The fettuccine trend continued on either side of me, with a friend ordering the Fettuccine Gamberi - a good looking dish of fresh ribbon pasta with tiger prawns, anchovies, capers, onion and wilted english spinach tossed with garlic, chilli and extra virgin olive oil.

He said the pasta was really quite bland, and I offered him the contrarily very salty sauce from my main dish to pour over his pasta, which cried out for some flavour as he did.
Tortellini Alla Panna - $21.50
J ordered tortellini - travel neck rest-shaped pasta rings filled with veal and tossed with limited button mushrooms, bacon and onion in a cream sauce.

Penne Pollo - $20.50
The Penne Pollo, consisting of long strands of tube pasta in a creamy garlic sauce with strips of chicken and snow peas.
Spaghetti Marinara - $25.50
This is one of the dishes which appeared more substantial, that looked to fill up the stomach and appetite with meat rather than creamy sauce, which usually gives you the feeling of premature fullness.

J's Spaghetti Marinara came with tomato sauce and an assortment of seafood, including mussels, prawns and fish.
Pasta special - $24.90

The pasta special of the night with prawns, fresh tomato and snow peas was ordered by someone...somewhere... along the table.
Arrosto Di Agnello - $31.50
I think all of us at the table had a serious case of food envy when the only non-pasta dish (except mine) arrived. D challenged the norm of ordering pasta at an Italian restaurant and chose the honey and balsamic roasted lamb rump, served on top of a vegetable stack of potato mash, grilled eggplant, roasted capsicum and wilted spinach.

The masterpiece was garnished with a sprig of rosemary and dressed with a mint and rosemary jus. D shared his little piece of gold around, and we all welcomed our piece of tender juicy rump with open mouths. Very enjoyable, or perhaps just a really good refresher from all our carbohydrate-laden pasta plates.
Cozze - $24.50
When my dish arrived, I felt every head on the table turning in my direction. And while it is because I have probably said something stupid, this time it's because of my impressively big miniature wok-sized serving of mussels; which in hindsight, really are a guaranteed head turner.

My main arrived on the table with a spectacular entrance, piled high and proud. The dish comes with a little something extra - a very useful paper bib that is personally tied around your neck by the waiter.

Trust me, you'll need it. It certainly saved me from becoming a giant sauce drenched garlic mussel myself.
The fresh mussels have a mild chilli taste and come with the choice of either cooked in a traditional tomato or a white wine sauce. I chose the latter, which is quite a dry version and a strong, pungent garlic flavour that you see and smell very clearly.

My initial enthusiasm when I dived in hand first died off quick when I cracked open my first mussel, which I found was very salty. I'll stress now that this is definitely subjective to each person's taste! I did enjoy ploughing my way through my dish though, and I think a piece of trusty bread on the side to soak up the fragrant sauce would have worked wonders.
Da Vinci entrance
I really looked forward to Da Vinci, from the amount of times we never succeeded at trying the place and the amount of times it was talked up by a friend. This particular experience was unfortunately quite unremarkable, and we were all a little underwhelmed at what we each came across.

The overall consensus was that the food generally came as one of two extremes of being either too salty or too bland, and had people reaching for water, salt shakers or even the salty sauce from each other's meals to add to their own tasteless dish.

I spied the desserts blackboard labelled Today's Desserts which I assumed to change frequently, however I came across Perth Food Engineer's post from one year ago showing their dessert menu with the exact same offerings of wildberry meringue; warm sticky date pudding; apple pie; creme caramel; Da Vinci special cheesecake, and the heavenly sounding mango filled vanilla crepes with vanilla bean ice cream and butterscotch sauce.

If these are as amazing as they sound, I guess it's a good thing they stay unchanged.

(08)9201 1144

Lunch: Wed, Fri & Sun: 12pm to 3.30pm
Dinner: Wed - Mon: 5pm to late
Closed Tuesdays



  1. What's happened to the price of pasta nowadays? Unless it contains expensive seafood, imported truffles or ludicrous amounts of saffron, why on earth should it ever cost more than $20?!

    1. It does costs a lot just to be full nowadays! I guess Perth has always been extravagant with its prices, that it's just become the norm and everybody has accepted this fact. This is where chains like Fasta Pasta step in :)

    - pho


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