Cafe Bravo is what it is, and it's pretty good

Pizza la campagna

This morning started out badly. I woke up hungover (who knew that darts was such a rowdy game?), and the cold that had been simmering for the last week finally hit. I walked downstairs for my ritual two pieces of peanut butter toast and remembered that my original Friday night plan was doing the dishes that had accumulated over the last week. Once I'd eaten my toast over the sink I sat back on the couch feeling sorry for myself.

Before long my pity party was interrupted by Mum inviting Lucy and I out to lunch. I was feeling quite undignified, but faced with the alternative of a bacon sandwich eaten off the lid of a lunchbox, I obliged.

Cafe Bravo sits on the corner of the Parade and Edward St in Norwood. In primary school I had a friend Edward who lived on Edward St, next door to a transitional home for people with mental illness. Edward had a tennis court and at night the people from next door would often jump the fence and hang out on his tennis court. They told me if you say "Candyman" in front of the mirror 3 times that Candyman will kill you. I never slept well at Edward's house. But that's really neither here nor there.

While we waited for Mum to arrive we ordered some garlic bread. It was your typical café garlic bread, quite nice. We did have a problem with the waitress who had to be convinced to give us side plates for our garlic bread ("We only give you side plates once you order a main meal"), but otherwise the service was fine.

The food at Cafe Bravo is terrific. The menu is the same as just about every other restaurant of its type, but the difference is the way they make it. You can get spaghetti bolognese in any café in Adelaide, but at Cafe Bravo the bolognese is a rich ragu with chunks of slow-cooked beef that melt between your teeth. Mum and Dad both had the special — penne with pork ragu. I was surprised by how clear the flavour of the pork was, they'd clearly used good quality meat.

Penne with pork ragu

Lucy enjoyed her pizza la campagna (potato, bacon, and olives), and I had the lasagna. Oh my god. This lasagna was amazing. Alternating layers of tomato sauce, ham, and mozzarella finished with Bravo's beef ragu. The serving was perhaps a little large for such a rich lasagna, but this time I wasn't complaining.

In a city with a large Italian population, bistro cooking means Italian cafés. People generally don't give these sorts of restaurants much thought — they're everywhere, they're not fine dining (nor do they want to be), the menus are frequently interchangeable from one place to the next, and their success depends more on location than the quality of their food (what's that about Bocelli?). Still, that doesn't mean they can't be done well. Eat at Cafe Bravo for an example.

Cafe Bravo
140 The Parade, Norwood

Lasagna bolognese

The comments to this entry are closed.