No Mafia was quiet on Sunday afternoon when son AB and I ventured into Northbridge for a late lunch. Every time I’ve passed No Mafia in the evening, this little place has been jumping, but things were a bit subdued in Northbridge on this post-Fringe weekend. Not that we minded; it was great being able to get a table anywhere we wanted. We scored a booth seat at the back, woo hoo!
It was a perfect afternoon for an aperol and soda. Refreshing and light, this was my introduction to the traditional slightly bitter Italian aperitif.
No Mafia’s menu is basically small plates designed for sharing. With a focus on modern Southern Italian, the dishes are made from quality ingredients and there are several options for vegetarians. As tempting as the plate of greens sounded, when you’re restricted to a few plates it’s inevitable that you will opt for the less ordinary dishes that you wouldn’t cook at home.
AB was instantly drawn to the pork loin, as he rarely eats meat at home. The pork arrived as thin slices nestling on a pistachio paste and sprinkled with crunchy pink peppercorns and a smattering of sea salt. AB persuaded me to try it. “It doesn’t taste really porky” he proclaimed, “it’s a subtle flavour and it’s really good”. I get the feeling AB is determined to coax me into eating meat at any opportunity and I have to confess, he was successful today. The verdict? Exactly what AB said. The mild flavour was enhanced by the sprinkles of pink peppercorns and sea salt, and paired exceptionally well with the pistachio paste.
Our final choice was eggplant lasagne layered with sweet cherry tomatoes and basil. The fresh flavours of the lasagne were complemented by the basil pesto and parmesan cream. I thought the grilled eggplant slices were a bit chewy and would have preferred them softer, but overall the flavours of the dish worked well together.
The service at No Mafia was exceptionally quick and very friendly. Prices are a bit steep for the amount of food, but this seems to be the standard in Perth these days. No Mafia is not a place where you would linger unless you were lucky enough to get one of the booths at the back. Most of the seating is backless stools and you wouldn’t be too comfy sitting here for hours. If I’m paying high prices for a meal, I want all the comforts that go with that meal. I don’t know what it is with so many eateries these days where the only seating is stools. Rigor backtus anyone?