Joining the masses at Ciao Italia

It’s Friday night and my friend Linda and I are catching up for dinner at an undecided destination. As per our usual fashion we haven’t chosen where but what we do know is that we wanted Italian. And when you want Italian in Perth and don’t mind waiting outside in the cold before being seated, you go to Ciao Italia.

It’s a famous little restaurant that stands alone in South Perth. The inside is jam packed with haphazard tables and diners squished into every little nook and cranny. The outside is basically the same, with people lining up to be seated and others awaiting their take away orders. You’ve probably driven past one night of the week and seen the mass of customers waiting eagerly for their time inside with some of the largest servings I have ever come across in Perth. 
We decide to share a pizza and a pasta between us, knowing full well that it’s going to be too much food. Really, one pasta would do well enough to feed us both happily. But because we’re greedy, we opt against our better judgement and go by our growling stomachs. 
We get a Toscana pizza ($24.50). It’s a large pizza that has a shape that looks homely and rustic. The toppings are whole peeled tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, mild Italian sausage, grilled capsicum and sundried tomatoes. Because we’re both massive advocates for pineapple with savoury items, we add this as an additional topping.  

The pizza is just as huge as I’d known it would be. It’s generous and each piece feels like the size of my face. Thankfully the base is relatively thin but it’s still somehow incredibly filling. The added pineapple combined with the tomatoes adds much needed sweetness to this dish and the mozzarella cheese is stretchy, soft and bubbling hot. It’s everything a pizza should be.

For our pasta dish we go for the restaurant’s signature pasta – the fettucine Ciao Italia ($27.50). It’s a combination of tender free range chicken strips, sun-dried tomatoes and spring onions, as well as fresh diced tomatoes in a creamy white sauce. However, this is Linda’s go to dish and she knows what works here so we request for the sauce to be a rose instead – a blend of tomato and cream.

The chicken is so tender it falls apart in my mouth almost like a good piece of meat would. The spring onions add a delicate shift in the palate when you catch one in your bite and the pasta itself is bang on the money al dente.

It’s such a large serving but we find ourselves distracted from the pizza and diving solely into this one for the most part. I do love my pasta!

There’s a really wonderful serving of sauce with the pasta which pleases me immensely. There’s nothing worse than running out of sauce when you’re eating a dish. And there’s plenty of chicken hidden under the ribbons of fettucine.

With half the pizza demolished and two thirds of the pasta gone, Linda and I are beyond full. We’re groaning and complaining of jeans’ buttons and generally wishing we could have a nap then and there. Even though we’ve taken our time eating while catching up on what’s happening in our lives, the food baby in each of us has announced its presence.

So even though it pains us to walk away (we could have taken the leftovers home but neither of us had time to eat them this weekend), we knew we had to for our stomachs sakes. But boy we were satisfied. Completely and utterly so.

We squeezed our way past the squished tables of people, noting that most were sharing dishes between them like a smart person should. And as we go to pay, we see others looking just as full as us. We couldn’t possibly eat again tonight. Well, so we thought until greed got the better of Linda and she ordered a tiramisu to go. Though I’m not a coffee fan myself, I’ve been told their creamily amazing here. I’ll take her word since hours later I still feel like I’m going to explode.

Ciao Italia on Urbanspoon

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