If you’re going off the name alone, or taking a stab at what Cafe Salsa is serving up at West Beach then you’re probably thinking it’s gotta be Mexican. But funnily enough, it’s actually an Italian restaurant. One whiff of their freshly made tomato sugo and the sight of their Margherita pizzas and you’ll soon understand.
These guys have been in operation for 30 years, so you very may well have stopped in for a drink or a bite to eat somewhere along the way. At the end of last year, Cafe Salsa was taken over by brother-sister duo Lance and Tanya Scopocasa, along with best friend Natalie Baker. Their goal is simple – bring the crowd back to West Beach, enjoy authentic Italian food whilst basking in the summer sun or keeping warm in the cold winter days. This is really the perfect place if you’re in the area and looking for something more than fish and chips or a pub meal with the family.
As we walked into the bright and breezy dining area, we felt like we were being transported to a cafe that you’d find on your summer holiday. With bright splashes of colours everywhere, cactuses and retro furniture, the welcoming and vibrant space allowed us to relax and be at ease. The large and spacious dining area in the front coupled with a colourful bar, provides ample space for birthday celebrations, anniversaries and work functions, which can easily seat up to at least 85 guests. More seating areas are available further inside the cafe.
The jugs of Pimms were fruity and not-too-sickly-sweet. This refreshing cocktail was we needed to quench our thirst in the sweltering heat. Who cares if it’s 40 degrees in summer or 20 degrees in spring? We’ll cheers to Pimms. Any season, any time of day.
There is a variety of different entrées, which include crunchy salt and pepper white bait, served with tartare sauce. The arancini balls and stuffed mushrooms are the alternative pick for vegetarians or those who prefer something less fishy.
One of the mains that we enjoyed was the Gnocchi Salsiccia with pork sausage, chilli, capsicum, cherry tomatoes finished with rich tomato sugo. The minute we took a bite out of this mini pillow-like pasta, it hit the spot. It was soft, light and tasted just like Nonna’s homemade dish.
Now, repeat after us. There is always room for dessert. We were quietly doing the happy dance when we saw banana doughnuts and panna cotta on the dessert menu.
Last but not least, the vanilla panna cotta with berry coulis. Taking a leaf out of the Masterchef judge’s cookbook, we had to examine the panna cotta “Masterchef and MKR style” – giving it a good shake on the plate. It jiggled. It wobbled. It passed the test. We tasted a hint of subtle orange and lemon aftertaste in this creamy, silky smooth and delectably sweet dessert. It was a win in our books.
Cafe Salsa now offers breakfast on the weekends. It is a quaint little spot by the beach to grab a bite after a morning jog. Although pizzas and mains are priced between mid to high $20s for this casual dining affair, they are served in generous portions – perfect for those who prefer to share their meals.
Phone (08) 8235 1991
5 West Beach Road, West Beach SA 5024