Sorrento Restaurant

>158 James Street, Northbridge, Perth WA
www.sorrentorestaurant.com.au

A week of work in Perth had me checking out the Northbridge area, recommended to me as the place to eat in central Perth. A craving for Thai food going unsatisfied, I wandered into Sorrento, a pleasant-looking and busy Italian place on the main drag. Decorated in the style of a stereotypical Italian trattoria (all burnished walls and wrought iron), it was a cosy place to dine alone.

The menu was Lygon Street typical: pizzas and standard pasta dishes, with a decent selection of primi piatti in the usual style. I ordered a glass of local cabernet sauvignon, a bowl of minestrone and a lasagne.

The minestrone was delicious, although without the cannelini beans and pasta absent it would have been more correctly described as a vegetable soup. Nonetheless I enjoyed it with plenty of parmesan cheese (freshly shaved for me) and a basket of strangely light bread.

Moments after my soup was served a second waiter arrived at my table with my lasagne. I’d hardly tasted my soup, and he didn’t seem to want to take it away, but I convinced him in the end. My original waitress wandered past a few minutes later to see how I was, and I mentioned my lasagne. I asked her to make sure that it wasn’t left in the kitchen sitting around, then reheated and tarted up again for me later: she assured me this would not happen.

After a decent interval, sure enough out came the lasagne again. It was the original one, left sitting the kitchen since its original appearance, then reheated and tarted up again. I could see the original parmesan shavings which had been melted and topped up with fresh; I could see the edges of the lasagne slightly curled up at the edges. Disappointing.

I couldn’t be bothered complaining again. It was tasty enough anyway, and piping hot, so I got on with my dinner and called for the bill. Just as I thought the disappointment could not get any worse, the lightweight bread which had been served with my soup was listed on the bill as a $4 item. How very 1980s, charging for bread. What decent Italian place does that anymore?

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