francoforte spaghetti bar
by Mei Leong
The idea of a place specialising in one thing and not much else – the norm in Asia – is a concept that should be embraced. Restaurants that stretch to cover as many icons as possible limit their chances to spread their wings and chase that one sublime dish or cuisine. It takes confidence (and a fair appetite for risk) to do this, but it also needs passion, an ingredient that is the key to good food, whether it be grown from seed or squeezed from a piping bag. That’s why when we heard about Francoforte being a spaghetti bar and not much else, it sped right to the top of our must-eat list.
The wood panelling, groovy green tiled kitchen and bare restaurant space (complete with bygone mystery door – and who doesn’t love a mystery door) make Francoforte hip, yet humble. From the cash only counter service to the plates-optional antipasto, Francoforte is casual eating epitomised. With visions of Lady and the Tramp, we forgo the said plates and dig into the generous, vibrant antipasto with gusto.
Antipasto of bread, cacciatore sausage, olives, artichokes, cheese, rockmelon and salad. $9.
The plate is filled with juicy things – cacciatore sausage fresh from the grill, layers of golden rockmelon and tender, plainly pickled olives that were divine. On slices of crusty, dense Italian bread, we slap on artichokes dripping with marinade and fat cubes of hard cheese. The most complicated thing on the plate are slices of fennel rich cacciatore sausage and that’s the way antipasto should be – simple and heartfelt. And at $9 it’s good value and delicious.
And we have a winner: guanciale carbonara! Bring on the food envy.
Guanciale carbonara, $16 (large serving).
When K’s carbonara arrived, we both knew he had hit the jackpot. As a carbonara fiend, food envy does not get any worse than this. It doesn’t look like much but there is nothing better than carbonara straight from the stove. Ribbons of impossibly fatty, crispy guanciale (cured pig jowl, an ingredient essential for true carbonara) lay on the mound of slippery thick cut fettuccine. Coating each length and curve of noodle is an unctuous sauce of eggs and parmesan, literally cooking from the hot breath of the pasta, into a ridiculously luxurious sauce.
It’s amazing that three ingredients can be so hypnotically indulgent. So, so good.
Kale pesto spaghetti – kale & lemon pesto with pine nuts, pecorino cheese and cacciatore sausage. $13 (small serving).
Alas, I had to stop myself from eating his dinner and start eating mine. I’m not sure what came over me – some sort of foodie hipster sickness – but I ordered the kale pesto spaghetti. Yes, kale. Thankfully the pesto was excellent – chunky, fresh and with bite – and could have even done without the cacciatore sausage. With the sheepish pong of pecorino cheese and the distinct green, earthy flavour of kale, the pesto oiled the properly cooked, al dente spaghetti to perfection.
Because it’s so easy to make at home it seems an absolute luxury to order tiramisu. But I totally love ordering it and even do a (internal) happy dance when it arrives. Lots of booze and sharp espresso always make a fabulous pudding and this one did not disappoint. Not too wet, yet not too dry, this big fat scoop of tiramisu, with its extra cream and blueberries on top was gone in about ten seconds flat.
Tiramisu, $6. Cute bowl!
I adore this place, it’s casual, young yet traditional. Don’t come here if you’re looking for new or trendy or with your low carb diet friends. This is a place for your besties, your mum or your beloved, those who love the simple things in life, done well. The menu’s short, the space is small and the food is big hearted.
I’m crushing on this place, hard.
Francoforte Spaghetti Bar
4/189 William St, Northbridge WA
T: (08) 9227 9289
Mon – Sun 5pm – 10pm
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