It’s Friday night date night for me and Jeremy. We’ve decided to be a little bit cute and make our way down to Fremantle to check out the Lipton Chai Winter Festival’s outdoor ice-skating rink. Since I used to compete in ice-skating as a child, it was a great experience to be skating on a rink outside for once. Even with my dodgy plastic hire skates.
Before we get there we stick our heads in Run Amuk (see my blog on here), where Jeremy wolfs down a pre-skating snack of their July special: chilli dog with the lot. He’s pronouncing it probably the best thing he’s ever eaten (I have to admit it is amazing) but he knows he won’t eat any more because we’d agreed on pasta tonight for our actual dinner.
Skating in the brisk winter’s night has built up our appetite and this is only fuelled by our decision to walk into Fremantle instead of moving the car. And I know just where I want to go. Sandrinos. It never disappoints and is always completely and utterly filled to the brim with happy diners. That says everything because though the place is in a reasonable spot, it isn’t the best people watching location. That just mean the food really is good.
Since the hot dog was still lining Jeremy’s stomach, we opted to go mains only knowing that I was in the mood for dessert (when isn’t this the case though).
We peruse the menu happily; our mouths watering at the thought of some beautiful warm pasta dish that will cut through this somewhat depressing weather. It isn’t long before he spies the crab linguine on the menu ($28). It’s the most expensive pasta dish on the menu, made up of shark bay crab meat with olive oil, fresh tomato, basil, garlic, chilli and saffron.
It’s bright yellow in colour with actual saffron threads throughout. The crab meat is definitely on the sparse side which is a shame because what’s there is flavorsome and sweet. The sauce is pretty phenomenal, with just the right amount of seasoning to escalate its profile. However the linguine has been taken just a little too far and is softer than ideally desired. It’s a bit of an up and down dish.
Somehow without realising, I’ve also gone for a saffron based pasta. The home made ravioli filled with prawns and scallops in a saffron cream sauce with semi dried tomatoes, basil and shaved parmesan ($24).
The pasta itself is one of the best I’ve had. The mixture of prawns and scallops is so delicious and generous, puffing out the soft pillowy ravioli. The sauce is very saffron rich but still enjoyable, especially when you make sure you get a bite of parmesan each time. It all adds up to a complicated and wonderful experience. One downfall though was the absence of the basil (except maybe two small slivers) that the menu had promised and there was only one semi-dried tomato present, buried way below sauce and pasta. It needed something to cut through the richness, more of that tomato or another vegetable of some kind.
I definitely enjoyed my meal but part of me was a little disappointed that for the first time I found some flaws in this place. In the past I’ve had the garlic prawns and the carbonara and walked away utterly sated. Hopefully it was just that night and not a sign of what’s to come for this place.