Pronto is an excellent little restaurant nestled (well not exactly, but it feels nestled) away on Bay View Tce in Claremont.
It is also T’Anne’s (my colleague, fellow food lover, and soon to be contributor to this site) favourite restaurant at the moment.

Having worked in Claremont for around 6 months earlier this year, it was a regular spot to go for long lunches. Not that i need any excuse to take a long lunch, but having nice food to eat, wine to drink, and a pleasant atmosphere tends to lessen the guilt of not being at work.

Me at Pronto's

Pronto’s is classic Italian food. They do great wood fired pizza’s and freshly made pasta. My personal favourites are the Pizza Pronto (below), the Pizza Calabrese, and the Rigatoni Bosciola (below)… All really tasty, and if you’re not too hungry the pizza’s will feed two people. Of course i’m always hungry…so when i go i eat a whole pizza by myself and then steal food off other people who look like they need it less…

Pizza Pronto

The wine list is decent. It’s mostly Western Australian wines, and a few Italian reds. I personally think they should have a much larger selection of Italian wines, and offer more wines by the glass. The Australian wine selection is nice, but possibly not as appealing or eclectic as i’d like, perhaps catering to an older crowd. Then again perhaps i just go there too often and get bored easily.

Pronto's Rigatoni Boscaiola

The best thing about Pronto’s would have to be the atmosphere and the service. Despite the reputation Claremont has for being the hangout of the pretentious ‘old money’ types, Pronto is always bubbling with laughter and people having a good time, enjoying great food. This is because the staff make you feel like you’re old friends. Maybe it’s an Italian thing, but everytime you go there you get smiles, kisses, and the odd pat on the back to say thanks for coming.

Pronto's Vegetarian Zingara

The only downside about the place would be that you can’t book…and so if you get there at the wrong time you could be standing outside for a while (our record was about an hour) before you get a table. It’s a testament to how much people like the place that they’re prepared to wait so long. Also they use Segafredo coffee (which is bad), so i’d definitely give the coffee a miss, but then you can’t have everthing it seems. If you want great coffee in Claremont, head down to Lemon Espresso on St Quentins Ave. The excellent barista Nolan makes a mean short macchiato.

I just realised i’m starting to sound like an advertorial, which is what i didn’t want to do… But i don’t have enough bad things to say about the place… I’m sure they make bad food sometimes… but not since i’ve been there… I’m still working out how to finish these reviews nicely… And i’ve got to stop using so many ellipsis…

16 Bay View Tce
Claremont 6010, WA
Phone: (08) 9284 6090


Curried Chicken Risotto

Curried Chicken Risotto

I hadn’t made a risotto for a while so i felt in the mood for one. I decided to use a chicken/white wine base this time.

This is my standard procedure of cooking risotto…

  1. Cook the onion/leek/garlic,
  2. heat stock (wine, stock, water, salt),
  3. heat and coat the rice with onion/oil/butter
  4. add a cup of wine to start with
  5. stir
  6. add stock
  7. stir
  8. test rice…still hard
  9. add stock
  10. stir
  11. add stock
  12. stir
  13. test rice…getting soft
  14. add stock
  15. stir
  16. add stock
  17. stir
  18. test rice, close enough to being ready to add things that need a bit of heat
  19. add those things (meat,seafood, hard vegetables)
  20. add stock
  21. stir
  22. add more stock (stock getting low so hope i dont need much more)
  23. add seasoning (pepper, salt, ground spices, coriander, cumin, tumeric, fennel seed etc)
  24. add stock
  25. stir
  26. taste
  27. add more seasoning
  28. test rice, getting close to being done now
  29. add stock
  30. add cheese (parmesan, peccorino, whatever you like, skip if it doesn’t suit cheese)
  31. stir
  32. taste
  33. add more seasoning
  34. add spinach or greens that need to be wilted (bok choy, cabbage, roquette etc)
  35. stir
  36. taste
  37. add a bit of butter or cream to boost that fat content up and add extra creaminess to finish (can also skip this)
  38. stir
  39. taste, perfection on a spoon.
  40. done !

So for this recipe i added onion, garlic and fennel at step 1, chicken (pre cooked) and baby carrots at step 19, tumeric, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice at step 23… and skipped the cheese, green vegetables, and cream steps of my normal routine.

It turned out pretty nice… lovely creamy curry flavour coming through the rice and chicken. I also use Carnaroli rice instead of arborio. This is because im under the impression that it has a higher starch content than Arborio, and gives a much creamier finish than Arborio rice does.

Give it a try !

Indian Tiger Mountain

Yes another coffee roasting post.

Indian Tiger Mountain

I’ve been having another go at roasting my own beans, and have now moved onto a new variety called “Indian Tiger Mountain”.
I’ve also worked out how to make my little home coffee roasting machine work properly. So this last roast turned out really well. I hit the first crack at around 6 minutes, and the second crack at about 9-10 minutes. I’d never heard the cracks so clearly before, as my machine gets pretty noisey in full flight. For non coffee roasting type people (possibly everyone), coffee beans roast in a similar way to popcorn. Basically they have lot of gases and oils inside the green bean, which when heated up cause the bean to pop (crack). A roasted bean will crack twice during the roast cycle, and when it cracks for the second time you’re pretty close to being done (for a dark espresso roast). If you go much past second crack you get a whole lot of charcoal and a nasty mess in your laundry (or preferred roasting spot).

My problem before was that i wasn’t getting enough heat into my system, and the roast was taking a long long time (around 20 minutes plus) and the beans weren’t cracking like they should. So i made a little modification to my machine, by sealing half of the air vent with aluminium foil to cycle the heat back into the machine. I also added more beans so that it spins slower… in theory making sure more heat hits the beans on each cycle… This proved pretty successful, so unless i was just completely lucky i seem to have worked it out.

IMEX CR-100 Coffee Roaster. (high tech mod)

The resulting espresso was great. Thick dark crema laden cups of espresso that was smooth and a little fruity on a the palate. Without the harsh bitter aftertaste a lot of blends/single origins seem to create. I’ll definitely be roasting some more soon.