emilio’s pizza pasta

Emilio Pizza Pasta
58 Mitchell Street, Darwin

Takeaway pizza in Darwin: a five-minute survey of colleagues pointed me to Emilio’s, opposite Shennanigan’s pub on the main drag. I was tired and just wanted simple takeaway pizza to eat curled up on my hotel bed, watching Big Bang Theory re-runs.

Emilio’s is just five minutes away so I ordered on the phone. “What size are your pizzas? What size is medium?” A laugh. “Well, it’s hard to describe really. A medium would easily be enough for two people.” OK. I ordered a medium Mexican and wandered down in fifteen minutes.

$21 for a medium pizza is steep, and this didn’t feel like a generous helping as I walked back to my hotel. In the lift I came across a Dad with his young daughter with what looked like the extra-large option. “Seems like we had the same idea”, I remarked. “Hope it’s worth it”, the Dad said. “Thirty bucks is an awful lot for a pizza.”

So: how was it? I asked for well-cooked and I’m not sure I got that. The pepperoni was sparse, the vegetables plentiful and the centre of the pizza limp. Even though I had turned up a little early for my pizza it was already cooling down when I picked it up, so the last slice was pretty cold. It was tasty enough I suppose, but value for money at $21? I think not.

Maybe it would be better eating in, but I would not be sure. I could not give anything more than mediocre for this place.

>pee wee’s at the point


Alec Fong Lim Drive, East Point Reserve, Darwin

After a full day out exploring the beautiful Litchfield National Park near Darwin, my plans to experience a spectacular sunset over the ocean were scuttled when I had a blow-out on my 4WD in the middle of nowhere. Luckily I still had a faint signal on one mobile phone (how I wished I’d borrowed a satphone from work though) and RAC were soon on their way to help.

Hurtling back to Darwin I could see the sun disappearing fast and I knew my dreams of sipping a glass of wine whilst enjoying the sun melt into the water were gone. Nonetheless, hungry and worried that all the restaurants would be shut by the time I got back to the hotel for a shower, I headed for my original destination, Pee Wee’s at the Point.

The sky was almost dark by the time I got there and I could see the lights of Darwin lighting up across the bay. I could imagine how beautiful it would have been an hour earlier. Friendly wait staff showed me to a table with the best night-time view and I settled back with a glass of Henry’s 7 shiraz viognier from SA. The wine list was pretty good with lots to choose from by the glass including sparkling shiraz (must remember this for Orlando).

My starter was a single bug tail raviolo with lemon thyme and a tomato confit. It looked innocuous enough but it was divine: I was almost full afterwards.

Having been recommended to eat all the barramundi I could in NT, I chose a pan roasted crispy skin barramundi fillet, marinated in green spice paste, with coral Enoki mushrooms, asparagus, a crispy mudcrab potato cake and sea urchin butter. Couldn’t actually tell there was real sea urchin in the butter, but nonetheless the whole dish was fabulous – well balanced, beautifully presented and the fish was falling apart with freshness. The tiny rectangular potato cakes looked innocuous enough: delicious and full of flavour, but very heavy. Despite myself I could not finish them. I am not sure they “went” with the rest of the dish – maybe more of a dumpling idea would have been preferable.
Sitting back with a pot of peppermint tea I could imagine why this is one of the favourite dining spots of Darwin. I will certainly make plans to get here in time for sunset next time I am in town.

>darwin trailer boat club

>Atkins Drive, Fannie Bay, Darwin

It’s not the most sophisticated dining destination in Darwin, but by god it must have one of the best locations. The Darwin Trailer Boat Club is just a local boating club, with a simple bistro menu at excellent prices. You place your order with the lovely Dan at the cash register in the corner, wait until your number is called then go up and collect your dinner and fill up on salad and vegetables at the self-service counter. Nothing complicated, just good home-cooked food.

We got there in plenty of time for the sunset and sat outside at a trestle table in awe of the spectacular view across Fannie Bay. We could see already that it was going to be an amazing sunset. We bought a bottle of red (served chilled in true NT style), ordered our food and sat back to watch the show.

As the colours changed and the sun hung low in the sky on one of the most perfect St. Patrick’s Days I have ever had, we sipped our chilled shiraz and counted our blessings on having been sent here to work.

We were called for our dinner and I filled my plate with extra vegetables. It wasn’t gourmet food but with those views it was a perfect end to a perfect evening. Not even the Crocodile Warning on the steps down to the beach could dim my mood.