03 Apr Great Gnocchi in Perth – By Liz Sheehan
Pasta lovers will know despite there being many different ways to make gnocchi, it’s best with potatoes. Royal blues are the preferred variety, with chefs saying they make the fluffiest dumplings.
Potato gnocchi is found all over Italy, especially in the north where the cooler climate is great for growing spuds. Sauces vary regionally, but there’s no denying that these little potato dumplings are a great base for just about any type of sauce.
Craving gnocchi? Here are five places in Perth worth a try.
Guildford Landing, Swan Street, Guildford
“Gnocchi for Chloe” started off as a placeholder on a draft menu after head chef Justin Hughes was told by his wife their new restaurant must have a gnocchi dish.
While the name of the dish remains as a hat tip to Chloe, the sauce changes frequently depending on what is fresh from the onsite garden or available locally.
Steering away from tradition, Ruby Lous are baked with the skin on before the soft flesh is scooped out and mixed with a combination of whole wheat and spelt flours.
With nothing left to waste, the skins are fried and used in the best mash potato you’ll ever eat. But… back to the gnocchi.
The hefty dumplings are then steamed and pan fried. This makes for an earthy base for bright tasting zucchini puree and charred pumpkin. It’s smokey, it’s crispy, it’s soft… and downright delicious.
151 Scarborough Beach Rd, Mt Hawthorn
This light and bright Mt Hawthorn restaurant is known for its hand made pasta but in a handful of these dishes are two potato gnocchi offerings. That’s what we love to see!
Gnocchi infused with basil and rocket comes with sugo made from fresh San Marzano tomatoes. It’s then topped with locally made La Delizia stracciatella that melts into the sauce for a touch of creaminess. The San Marzanos still had a touch of bite, and the pesto backdrop from the gnocchi make this dish a sprightly number with a clean twang.
At the other end of the scale is gnocchi with a sharp blue cheese sauce, crunchy walnuts and a parmesan crust. Just a few ingredients make such a complex yet delicious combination. It’s opulent and lip smackingly good.
Can’t decide which one to order? Grab a mate, order both and share away.
The menu changes seasonally so don’t get too attached to your favourite gnocchi. See it as another good reason to come back to LupoLab to try more.
85 Market St, Fremantle
Head upstairs off the cappuccino strip and you’ll be treated to plump but airy gnocchi served in a red wine duck ragu. The glossy sauce was rich and hearty, marrying well with the lighter style gnocchi.
Egg is left out of the dough. Only using Royal Blues, flour and water means the flavour of the potato really shines through.
Kids won’t be eating nuggets here either. They can choose to have the gnocchi (or any of the pastas) with a tomato sugo or parmesan and butter. Watch them lick their plate clean.
Chef Matteo doesn’t keep his gnocchi a secret. They run masterclasses for adults.. The included prosecco will help your gnocchi rolling skills – trust us. And, for nearly a decade Matteo has been teaching his gnocchi-making craft to local primary school kids. Talk about sharing the love!
Allendale Square, 77 St George Tce, Perth
The suits of the Terrace know that underground at Lalla Rookh is where you’ll find cracking modern Italian food and of course, the best gnocchi in Perth.
Head Chef Calum MacKechnie says he uses Royal Blues sourced from Pemberton. Their starchiness creates a more fluffy dumpling and he says this variety has a flavour which is much sweeter.
Combined with a light cauliflower sauce means the gnocchi is still the star of the show. A soft touch of currants add little bursts of flavour, while chopped almonds add texture and crunch. Dollops of dill creme fraiche punctuate the little pillows of delight with a hint of freshness. This dish is brilliant in every way and as must order.
78 Scarborough Beach Rd, Scarborough
In a little unassuming row of shops, away from the hustle and bustle of the foreshore sits the most amazing find. La Vela is a family owned trattoria where you’ll be treated like you’re a long lost cousin who’s turned up in need of a belly food of Nonnas cooking.
Start with some house made cacciatore sausage before moving onto the real reason you’re there. Gnocchi… and this one is a saucy babe. It’s loaded with meaty prawns, baby spinach and a lip smackingly good tomato and cream sauce. The dumplings are so light they almost dissolve as your chew.
Check out the specials board too, they always have another gnocchi on offer here.
Pair the whole dinner with a montepulciano from Abruzzo and finish with an affogato. Bellisimo!