Up until my trip to Thailand at the end of last year, Italian food used to be my favourite. It's not that I stopped liking Italian, but after spending 28 days eating fresh exotic fruits, mouth-watering vegeterian/vegan/organic meals and desserts made entirely of coconuts, beans and palm sugar... pasta and pizza just doesn't quite cut it no more, you know?
So I'm pretty sure that Lo Zucchero was the first Italian restaurant I'd been to for about a year. And I think we picked a nice little place for my reunion with Italian cuisine.
The waitstaff were lovely people, even if a little unorganised. Genuine smiles (can be rare these days) and earnestness in their service. I rather liked the vibe. Very Dalkethian. A bit like, "I am eating this food with absolutely no regard to how much it is costing me" and a bit of "I'm from Dalkeith, and I'm going to enjoy myself in the company of my care-free wealthy companions with wine, lamb, crab pasta and multiple rounds of espresso coffee." Lo Zucchero isn't in the middle of a busy cappuccino strip in central Fremantle, so it had the typical buzz, motion and colour of a popular and successful Italian Restaurant without the hurried, jostled feel to it. Very homey.
I'll admit I was skeptical about the Garlic Bianca ($6) which read: "Pizza with fresh garlic and extra virgin olive oil topped with rosemary", which sounded more like toast to be honest. I ate my words when it came though: really crispy with excellent-quality olive oil and not too heavy, perfect for an entree. Reminded me of Jamie Oliver's cooking: he's always making such a big deal about how the simplest things, when thrown together in exactly the right balance can be just as good as other fancy crap.
I picked this one, the Agnello Pizza ($19.5) which was roast lamb, capsicum, olives, caramelised onion and rocket. This time it was my companion who was skeptical about putting lamb on pizza, but he, too was proved wrong. The flavours on this pizza were really unique: the lamb was nice and smoky, thinly sliced and so tender. And I'm pretty sure I've never had caramelised onion on anything else but a hot dog, but it sure worked well. The alien-goo looking green stuff is actually the rocket, by the way, which tied everything together really nicely. All that on a thin crust with awesomely ssssttrringggyyyy cheese made for an empty plate.
I would return to Lo Zuccheros just for their Tiramisu ($5.5). I wanted to eat the whole thing, but in fear of ingesting too much of a good thing and ruining the ecstacy, I exercised a great deal of self control and stopped myself at the half way mark. Everything about it was just yummy: the marscapone cream (not too heavy, not too light), the moist cake inside soaked with alcohol and coffee, and all through it were little chips of bitter dark chocolate... heavenly. Taken with my usual soy long mac extra hot ($4), which was pretty good considering how busy they were... 'twas the perfect way to end a lovely meal.