Earlier tonight a couple of mates and I had a few beers and wines at Shadow Wine Bar. The Austrian Veltliner I tried was impeccable, but the initial greeting left much to be desired. That alone left me very open to moving to another venue for dinner, though I must say for the rest of the evening the staff were actually quite good.
No Mafia is only a short walk further down William Street towards the Perth CBD. Having heard great reports about this place I had no hesitation in being guided by Haaron’s suggestion. When we got there it dawned on me that a lot of tables must have finished a good time before we had ordered our last drinks at Shadow.
Continuing on a wine sandwiched with beer theme we began with a terrific bottle of Montepulciano (which incidentally ruined the poor waitperson’s corkscrew), before finishing with a delicious cleansing Bassendean Stout by Nail Brewery. We needed a wine with some versatility and this worked well with a number of the chef’s selected dishes.
The service here is certainly suited to informal dining. We had a waitperson with the right amount of attentiveness and humour, without going too far. She even allowed us to have the $35 chef’s selection even though it is supposed to be for four or more.
We started with some fried baccalau that was excellent and some zucchini fritters that were passable, but I wouldn’t order them again. Then things started to get serious with some Napoli squid, capers, fried leeks, and lemon, which for the most part stayed tender, and had a good flavour profile.
The heavy hitters were my favourite dishes though with the comforting triple cooked potatoes bathed in garlic, chilli & aioli, something to go back for, and the Black-pig prosciutto, red-wine poached pear, ricotta, and almonds, being a dish that was delicate and glorious, even if styled on some classic combinations.
In between the pan-fried gnocchi was well executed with the semi-dried tomato pesto and rocket an aside on how good the gnocchi really was. Finally, the braised lamb leg with baked ricotta, peperonata, and green olives worked classic ingredients in another dish that is spot on.
I know my review sounds like everything was good to very good, but I will say I wasn’t sure about the ordering of the dishes, and also the overall decision on the menu. It felt a little disjointed put together and next time I would order a la carte. In isolation however, almost everything worked, and the menu is more than reasonable being this close to the city. No Mafia provides an interesting modern take on Italian near the arts precinct of Northbridge that is getting better and better.