I make perhaps the worst restaurant reviewer in history. That is unless anyone wants to read a bunch of reviews about which restaurants are the best places to go to on a complete whim shortly before they close and still hope to get a decent meal.
It was a Thursday night, we’d been out shopping, leaving it too late as we always do, by the time the shopping was done (read: I got hungry and cranky), it was around 9pm. Now to most of you reading this post from the Eastern States or overseas, this might not be such a problem. If you’re in Perth however, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say that the situation was dire. On a Thursday night, at 9pm, you’ve got a slim chance of finding anywhere to eat that isn’t a) Closed b) About to close c) McDonalds, or d) Primarily inhabited by drug addicts.
So it was a lovely surprise when we wandered into Cafe Banca at 9:15pm, and (after a quick consultation with the kitchen) were given a seat. Noted, we did have to order within 5 minutes, and asked to only order certain things because most of the stuff had been put away already… but we were so overjoyed at getting to eat at all it didn’t seem to matter.
Cafe Banca is a well appointed restaurant on Wanneroo Rd in Tuart Hill. It could be my local if I was one of those people who have locals, but I’m not, so it isn’t. It’s almost a little too funky for the spot that it’s in, which has lead me to question just how well they do there, but from the looks on the faces of the diners that were there (not being the kind of people who leave it too late to go out for dinner) it’s doing just fine.
We were initially seated next to the kitchen, but then moved to a comfy booth in the middle of the restaurant, one of the few booths i’ve been in that are actually comfortable and practical (I’m a big booth fan, but not when it means you’re sliding off the seat and have trouble reaching the plate because you’re slouched backwards in a highly trendy but utterly impractical way).
So, not wanting to overstep the mark of the already lovely service and hospitality we were shown, I promptly ordered the black and white prawn linguini, and Sharon picked the lamb shanks with mash potato, which I immediately wished I had ordered for myself. We also decided on a bottle of cheap wine to wash it all down, $15 for a bottle of Murphy’s Lore Shiraz Cabernet, crazy cheap, and a nice quaffing wine.
The meals arrived fast… a little too fast, but not surprisingly fast, if that makes any sense. By the time we got in and had ordered, the rest of the people in the place were ordering coffees or finishing off what was left in their glasses of wine before slinking back off into the night to their beds (like all good Perthites should). So there was nary an order coming into the kitchen except ours.
My meal was great, prawns were tasty and fresh, and the linguini had a chilli through it that gave it a nice kick. Sharon’s lamb shanks were so tender they fell of the bones before she could get to it herself (which I’m hoping was because they’d been slow cooked all day up until that point). The wine flowed freely and went down easily, to the point where we suitably rosey by the end.
At the end the owner was there to ask our how the meal was and generally made us feel like he was really happy we had decided to stop by, which was great. So you never know, it may just end up becoming my local after all.
75 Wanneroo Road, Tuart Hill
Phone: 9344 7007