Cafes, Restaurants and Dining in Perth, Western Australia.

Al Fornetto

199 Scarborough Beach Rd, Doubleview
Ph: (08) 9446 8000
www.alfornetto.com.au

Ten Delicious Years

Warm, friendly and welcoming. These are the words that come to mind when I think of the first time I entered Al Fornetto Restaurant. We were greeted by proud restaurant owner Cosimo Trichilo, who is celebrating ten years of operation in one of the toughest industries: hospitality. You only need to taste the dishes at Al Forenetto to understand how it’s managed to stay open for a decade – a feat many of Perth’s venues have failed to achieve.

The tale of how Al Fornetto began goes back to Albany, around 30 years ago. Cosimo’s first café, Cosi’s Café, was becoming more and more of a hit and it was soon too small to cater for the surge in demand. So Cosimo opened Al Fornetto Albany across the road, bringing his customers with him.

When the family decided to move to Perth, they had to leave their much-loved restaurant behind. So, what better way to replace it than opening another? Of course, the Albany restaurant is still operating today and although it’s undergone a few changes, Cosimo says it has retained a similar vibe to when he first opened it.

I have my own theories of how Al Fornetto in Doubleview has achieved ten years. For one, the food is all fresh. You can taste it in the dishes, especially the ‘Grilled Seafood Plate’ and the ‘Supreme Of Chicken’. Secondly, the restaurant caters for all tastebuds and palates. Yes it is owned and run by an Italian, but the menu stretches further than Italian cuisines. It largely includes a selection of modern Australian dishes including seafood, steak and chicken based meals.

My favourite dish was the Al Fornetto Tasting Plate’ – Italian sausage, calamari, risotto balls, feta, olives, prosciutto, ham and Turkish bread. The Italian sausage was delicious with the warm Turkish bread and feta, and also went well with a glass of red.

Speaking of wine, Al Fornetto has an extensive range on offer. The wine list features reds, whites and sparklings from around the globe including Italy, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Tumbarumba and of course the popular Australian wine regions of Adelaide Hills and Margaret River. A lot of these can be viewed in a feature on the back wall of the restaurant. This feature accompanies framed memorabilia of sporting legends that have visited the restaurant during its lifetime.

The unique thing about Al Fornetto is that it isn’t in the busy hub of the city or a busy street, so the restaurant has to bring people here on its own merits. When Al Fornetto started in Perth, everyone gave them six, maybe twelve months tops until the day would come when they’d be forced to close. Well, ten years later, that day still hasn’t come and it’s not looking to any time soon!

So what’s the key to successfully running a restaurant for ten years?
Looking at Al Fornetto, I would say passion. Cosimo says letting go of his Albany restaurant was “like losing a limb”, which shows the restaurant means a lot to him.
He also provides a personal touch that is often lacking it restaurants today – you can expect him to come out mingle with the customers, treating them like guests in his own home. He also has great respect for his staff, many of which have been with him since his days in Albany. This low turnover of staff has resulted in fantastic and consistent service over the past decade.

Al Fornetto is a family friendly restaurant inspired by Italian food, but also mixed with a Mediterranean menu to suit all tastes. Whether it’s just coffee, a quick bite to eat, long lunches, takeaways, a wood fired oven pizza or a special occasion, there really is something for everyone. Throughout the years it has hosted the likes of many sporting athletes, who have become regulars at the restaurant. This is because of the restaurant’s fresh and delicious meals, as well as the welcoming and family-friendly atmosphere that’s present from the moment you walk in.

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By Lauren Kelly

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