If you live in Perth and you’re into Italian eats, chances are you’ve been to No Mafia more than a couple of times. But, in case you missed it, these guys moved from their cosy little nook on William Street to a much bigger, more open space just up the street; the site that used to be Los Bravos, and Comet Pizza before that. It’s still got a cosy feel with booths inside, and they’ve managed to keep the much-loved outdoor dining so you can perve on the people of Northbridge as you knock back a spritz or devour an entire bowl of the triple cooked potatoes (yes, they’re still on the menu).
So what’s changed? Apart from the ability to seat way more people, the new space has a little courtyard which is the perfect place to sip just about anything from the delicious spritz menu. If you’re tired of the plain old Aperol Spritz, never fear. They’ve got a strawberry and Campari spritz which is out of this world (and no, it’s not too sweet) as well as a mandarin and rosemary spritz for the woody-herb lovers of Perth. While we couldn’t quite manage to work our way through the entire cocktail menu, let’s just say we’ll be back soon to have a go at the Amaretto and grapefruit sour as well as the Nocello lemonade.
If cocktails aren’t your thing, the wine list will be. Full of local West Aussie and Italian wines, you might not recognise all of the names, but you’ll want to get to know them. Lucky for you, every single waitperson knows their stuff when it comes to wine and they’ll be more than happy to let you try before you buy if the bottle is already open. If not, live a little and let them pick something for you.
Once you’re sufficiently spritzed, it’s time to move on to the food and we suggest you begin with the burrata. Sitting atop zingy beetroot, the creamy burrata comes from local cheesemakers La Delizia Latticini and it’s fresh as can be. Cut it open and make sure you have some of that delicious Bread in Common loaf on hand to mop it all up.
The house-pickled octopus is also a winner, and if you’re lucky enough to get a special that is anything like the cured Spanish mackerel we were treated to on the night that you go, do yourself a favour and order it. It’s absolutely bursting with flavour and let’s just say you won’t want to share.
When it comes to mains, seafood lovers won’t want to go past the spaghetti with prawn butter and bottarga. Topped off with zingy lemon, the dish screams spring and it’s truly hard to wipe the smile off your face after the first bite. If you’re not into seafood, the pappardelle with braised duck and mushrooms might be more up your alley, though it’s hard to say no to the classic gnocchi with tomato sugo and buffalo mozzarella. Of course, you’ll also want to get those triple cooked potatoes as a side.
After loading up on antipasti and pasta, we realised our mistake; not saving room for dessert. Do yourself a favour and take it slow (or just go extra hungry) so you can have a crack at the Nutella mousse with almond crumb.
Whether you’re after a nibble and a spritz or a meal that will have you rolling home, it’s safe to say No Mafia is the place to go. Even with the bigger venue, it’s still packed every night so you’ll might want to go ahead and make a booking, stat.
Image credit: Danica Zuks