Located just a five minute walk from the sandy shores of West Beach sits the newly reopened Cafe Salsa, serving up delicious traditional Italian and, of course, seafood galore.
The cafe boasts a tropical fitout, lined with bamboo roofing and walls, as well as palm trees indoors to add to the tropical paradise vibes.
Having attended the official reopening, we got the chance to sample some of the dishes on offer, ranging from pizzas and pastas, to tapas plates such as arancini and stuffed mushrooms.
We indulged in jugs of Pimms and relaxed back to the soothing live acoustics performed live by local talent Angela Tripodi as serves of pizza came around for starters. The pizzas were perhaps our highlight of the menu, as they had delightfully crispy bases and fresh, tasty toppings of a versatile selection. The aptly named Seaside pizza was a crowd favourite, complete with juicy prawns, calamari, anchovies, garlic, parsley and a citrusy lemon zest to finish.
For our first tapas plate, we tucked into some battered White Bait which were quite salty and crunchy, with a strong fishy flavour similar to that of an anchovy – perhaps an acquired taste. They acted as great snack food, suitable for a night of cocktails by the bar.
For vegetarians, the Stuffed Mushrooms are a must try, combining eggplant, mushroom, provolone cheese, chilli, garlic and parsley – basically all of the good stuff. Cooked to the perfect consistency, the mushrooms are soft and the stuffing offers a burst of flavour with every bite.
The pasta mains included Cassarecce Granchio with crab deglazed in white wine, cherry tomatoes and a rose sauce, as well as the Gnocchi Salsiccia with pork sausage, chilli and capsicum in a rich tomato sugo.
Our seafood main was a Calamari dish with lightly dusted lemon pepper flour served alongside rocket and parmesan salad and fries. While quite a stock standard seafood dish, this one was particularly suited to day at the beach – you can’t go wrong with some crunchy calamari and fries after a long day of swimming and tanning!
To finish, we had what was potentially the best dish of the day and certianly the best dessert: the Banana Doughnuts. The texture was velvety and squishy, with a scrumptious dough and cinnamon exterior and a warm banana interior. Inside the banana there was a rich, melted chocolate centre and on the side was a small bowl of cold vanilla ice cream to cut through the rich doughnut.