Dinner + Menulog

On a cold winter’s evening, after a long day of teaching little ones the art of the piano, the wind was howling and the rain ever so persistent. Feeling content lounging beneath a mountain of blankets, I was honestly too exhausted to leave the warmth behind and conjure up some dinner for J and I. On any other night, we would have ducked down to the local Italian restaurant to order a few gourmet pizzas or pick up some Japanese from our favourite sushi bar but with the weather as it was, we decided to indulge a bit and have our dinner delivered instead.

Menulog is one of Australia’s biggest sites for ordering food for a night in and is a big supporter of local businesses. As a keen supporter of local restaurants and cafes, placing an order with Menulog seemed like a natural step. Looking through the database of local restaurants, we settled on a small family owned Italian restaurant, Pasta Fiesta, a place we’ve passed by on so many occasions but hadn’t yet had the chance to try out. With such a chill in the air, we had our minds set on a robust meal so decided on the Tortellini Romana (beef filled tortellini with tomato sauce) and Fettucine Inverno (chicken + pesto + avocado – J’s favourite). As a bonus for ordering over $30.00, Pasta Fiesta offered us a free portion of garlic bread, which was most welcome.

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When our meal arrived, not only was it done so promptly, it was steaming hot and came just as the sky opened up and the rain poured out – perfect timing for a hot meal. The garlic bread was generously seasoned and moist, the tortellini well balanced with the creamy tomato sauce, and fettucine, a perfect marriage between chicken, pesto and avocado. All in all, our venture into online ordering was a success and we would gladly do it again.

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Hope that you’re staying nice and warm (if you’re going through the cold weather of winter) and that you’re having a splendid day.

-T.

(Photos by Luke Klingenberg for Lonely City. This post was sponsored by Menulog; all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own)

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Ace Pizza Part 2

ASpectacularLife_WeLovePerth

So like I said I would, I went to Ace Pizza for no other occasion than my sister‘s sweet 20th birthday. Ah, how they grow up quick; though she is only a bit younger than me, I must admit that I feel so much older than she is. But now is not the time to despair over how fast time slips through our fingers. On to the food!

Arriving promptly for our booking at 7.30pm, we were greeted by a friendly waiter (definitely recognised him from our visits to both Cantina and El Publico) who showed us to our cosy table for eight. After a quick glance at the menu, S and I ordered a refreshing Aperol spritz (aperol, prosecco, soda water) whilst the Duke ordered the enticing “Black Doctor” (muddled mint and lemon, served alongside cynar and chinotto). For starters, we began with the much talked about fried mac ‘n cheese and yes, those deep fried cubes of creamy goodness are truly worth getting. The “Flat Iron Quail” that then followed was delicious, served with a side of creamy garlic aioli and small fennel salad, topped off with a big slice of orange that bore the marks of getting too close to the grill (intentional, of course).

Though it was joked at the dinner table that it sounded like I was ordering whole animals for dinner (“I’d like one quail and two rabbits tonight please” was apparently what I ended up saying), one must say in a very serious tone that the rabbit and porcini (“Fat Pasta”) was so good that we scraped the plates clean within a few minutes. The al dente pieces of pasta were cooked to perfection, coated in a silky, creamy sauce (creamy and full bodied but not too rich, which suits me perfectly), tossed with tender rabbit and porcini, and finished off with a generous spread of parmesan and parsley. This dish was well received and comes highly recommended.

The pizza caused much debate that evening. Similar to The Skinny‘s review on Ace, we too found the the pizzas quite different to what we were initially expecting. The verdict of the chosen pizzas are as follows:

  • ms loren (spicy sausage, ricotta, lemon): sausage unfortunately not spicy at all and lacked punch; lemon was a nice touch but in the end, nothing too spectacular
  • baby blue eyes (sorry to disappoint but all I remember was the kale): I didn’t actually try this pizza but the Duke did happen to say “Kale is surprisingly awesome on pizza.”
  • fungo magico (as the title suggests, the star of the show were the mushrooms): consisting mainly of a cheesy pizza with a generous scattering of mushrooms. Despite the few ingredients, I quite liked the simplicity of it. My views, however, were not shared by all at the table.

Another topic of discussion was the base of the pizzas. Many of us expected the bases to be quite crisp but as mentioned on The Skinny and by many others on urbanspoon, they were rather soft. Some were for it, some were against it. Since none of us were Italian nor were we well acquainted with the many styles of pizza, we could only agree that the pizzas served to us must have been in step with one of the regions in Italy where this is tradition. Being the curious Duchess that I am, I looked into the issue (more like wikipedia-ed it) and found that our  conclusion was more or less correct:

“The pizza bases in Naples are soft and pliable. In Rome they prefer a thin and crispy base. “

 So Ace Pizza, you must be getting your inspiration from the dear city of Naples. In that case, I will not be too harsh on you; I understand your perspective.

So what comes after mains? My favourite part of the evening – dessert – but I’m afraid I have to admit that all we could manage was a few servings of the Tiramisu Donut. And even then, we were too full with pizza to fully appreciate even that. When my donut came out, I have to admit it looked rather brown, and I mean so brown that I’m not sure if it was slightly burnt or just extremely caramelised. Upon tasting it, the tiramisu filling that bursted from within was creamy and at just the right level of sweetness. The Duke however thought that to follow pizza (and its doughiness) with the donut (and its unique doughiness) was a bit too much and suggested that next time we opt for Ace’s soft serve.

All in all, Ace Pizza is a fantastic place to catch up with friends. A big portion of the food really is quite good, there is a wide variety of drinks available and the staff are very friendly. Actually, on a side note, S was particularly fond of the young waitress (should I say young? She’s probably the same age as me) that served our table that evening. In her own words “at times, the waitress was so awkward, it was awesome!”

So there you have it. What do you think? Did you think that the pizza is Ace (I can just imagine you cringing at the pun)? Or are you keen to give it a go after reading this post?

-The Fine Duchess

PS. Don’t forget that the front door is not real! So many people have been confused by it. The entrance is to the right of the building, by means of a sliding glass door. Yes, glass, so be careful that you don’t walk straight into it. I saw so many people attempting such things, only to be a bit embarrassed when they realise that everyone was watching them struggle. Hope that advice helps.

PPS. For images of the dishes, I highly recommend you visit Laura Moseley‘s lovely post. It was much too dark in Ace for me to take photos. I gave up after a few failed attempts.

Image via We Love Perth

Ace Pizza on Urbanspoon

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Ace Pizza Part 1

ASpectacularLifeAcePizza

And they are at it again. The team behind Cantina 663 and El Publico have opened up a new place just a few blocks down – ACE Pizza. With real wood ovens, charcoal grills and Aesop hand wash (you heard me right, they went all out), a meal at ACE is sure to be nothing less than marvellous (or Ace! Such a bad joke…)

Amongst my busy schedule of upcoming concerts and eisteddfods, I am determined to give the new place a go in the next few weeks. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Hope you’re having one fine day.

UPDATE: Part 2 of Ace Pizza can be found here.

-The Fine Duchess

Image via SixThousand

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