I’ve always been a bit wary of going to any of the shops on the cafe strip (South Terrace) in Fremantle. There is something perturbing about that amount of walk-through traffic where an establishment could statically draw in customers with predatory carelessness.
Perhaps because I also find the dazzling liturgy of hotted-up Fords/Holdens/Riceburners doing mainies—rapidly accelerating and breaking in lurching tailback—as repugnant as the cabin’s contents.
Along High St however, among the clusters of university buildings there is less of that peacock behaviour. And on High St there is a sweet little restaurant called Villa Roma.
It’s been around since 2006 and Miss Handmaid assured me despite the mixed reviews on Urbanspoon it was worth trying. She’d been there many times while working at the university. She was not wrong.
After a quick tipple and saunter from Whisper Wine Bar, we were pleasantly greeted and seated in the covered back dining area. The space nicely laid out, tables uncramped and seated up the back was perfect to watch two table cover’s change that night as we slowly gourmandised.
We’d caused a sate of concern when we called over the waitress after receiving the marinated sardines ($10). I’m not quite sure if she appreciated those fleshy briny little slivers of silver as much as we did—they were that good it was vital we ordered another plate.
A wood fired pizza each, Nunzio ($23) a style presumably favoured by the owner, and for Miss Handmaid token dining option, Vegetarian ($16). They were both well balanced and generous. The fact that this place is BYO wine is a double bonus and they have vinturi decanters if your wine needs some air. We picked apart the Sandalford 'Prendiville Reserve' Cabernet 2005.
Dessert was only one choice, the Tiramisu ($9). It was one of the best I’ve had—full mascapone, moist inflated Savoiardi and coffee that pursed and padded out the entire caffeinated cloud of cakey extravagance.
The service was entertaining and courteous, a necessary element of dining which in its absence obliterate an enjoyable meal. From reading some of the reviews it’s clear that a lack thereof was the case. First impressions worked, although maybe we lucked-out on the choice. I like the place. The price and BYO just make it more lushly inviting.