Cafe Salsa - Menu Tasting

Cafe Salsa - 5 West Beach Road, West Beach SA 5024

Recently On The Chopping Board (OTCB) was invited to Cafe Salsa for a foodie day, to check out the new menu and vibe that the new owners have brought to this long time venue. All food and beverages were provided on behalf of Cafe Salsa.

Arriving on a beautiful warm sunny afternoon for a Sunday lunch, we admire the changes to the decor (keeping in mind it has probably been 15 years since our last visit!).  The front section, which I (Amanda) remember as the outdoor dining area, now has a beachy bamboo roof and retractable blinds added to the front. This allows fresh air and sunshine to beam through or alternatively to keep the burning sun or the colder weather out once Winter approaches. With retro tables throughout, it has a fun and casual vibe perfect for its seaside location.

Salsa Sun Cocktail - Vodka & Blood Orange

Calabrese Pizza - Mozzarella, Pork Sausage, Kale, Provolone & Parmesan $25

Vegeteriana Pizza - Mozzarella, Zucchini, Capsicum, Mushrooms $25

Seaside Pizza - Mozzarella, Prawns, Calamari, Anchovies, Garlic, Parsley & Lemon Zest $25
We started today's feast with a taste of the 'Seaside', 'Calabrese' and 'Vegeteriana' pizzas.  We enjoyed these pizzas with their addictive crispy base and tasty combination of sufficient toppings ensuring you had a bite of everything on your slice.

Arancini $11.90
The 'Arancini' balls had a nice fried crumb on the outer and were filled with sauce, cheese and peas.  The balls a little smaller then we are used to, were coated nicely with the sauce inside and were seasoned well.

Stuffed Mushrooms $15.50
The 'Stuffed Mushrooms' were filled with eggplant, mushroom, chilli, garlic and parsely and topped with melted provolone cheese.  The large portobello mushrooms were cooked well retaining a good texture but the 'stuffing' was almost a puree, dark in colour making it hard to identify ingredients but with a strong garlic overtone.  We would have preferred the stuffing to have more of a textural element, with maybe an inclusion of diced eggplants within a thick sauce, topped with the cheese but that is just our personal preference.

Gnocchi Salsiccia $26.50
The 'Gnocchi Salsiccia' consisting of house made gnocchi with pork sausage, chilli, capsicum and cherry tomatoes in a rich tomato sugo was one of our favourite dishes of the day.  The gnocchi had a nice soft melt in the mouth texture and paired with the flavourful slightly salty pork sausage and kick of the chilli took it from a regular pasta dish to something a little more interesting and enjoyable to eat.  The rich tomato sugo sauce was well developed with a lovely subtle sweetness,  great to mop up with the gnocchi.

Casarecce Granchio Pasta $28.90
The 'Casarecce Granchio' pasta consisted of Western Australian crab deglazed in white wine with cherry tomatoes in a rose sauce.  A hard dish to impress me with after having such an amazing version recently at Pepe's Cucina, this one using a casarecce pasta shape did help to trap some of the crab and sauce in it's slightly curved and grooved shape but there is something about twirling a long pasta around with my fork and spoon with a big helping of crab on top that is my preference with crab pasta.  I found the crab meat to have an overbearing strong fishy smell and I would have preferred for the meat to be less minced in texture and instead have thicker, chunkier pieces throughout for textural pleasure, providing more of a house made feeling of the crabs being freshly cracked open.

Pappardelle Vegitana Pasta $26.90
The 'Pappardelle Vegitana' pasta with zucchini, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, caspsicum, garlic, parsely and chilli, sauteed with white wine finished in napoletana sauce with grated provolone cheese is a great vegetarian option.  Filled with a generous amount of nutritious and filling vegetables it was a satisfying and well balanced dish.  Our pasta on this occasion was over cooked and sticking together in clumps, and the neapolitana sauce a little acidic, which would have benefited from a little more cooking time.

Lemon Pepper Calamari $27.90
The 'Lemon Pepper Calamari' was lightly dusted with lemon pepper flour and served with rocket and parmesan salad was unfortunately a little tough on this occasion and not the tender texture we were hoping for.  The lemon pepper flavour was there though and the light dusting of this seasoning provided a nice crisp coating.

Scallopini Funghi $28.90
The 'Scallopini Funghi' consisting of pan fried veal served with sweet potato mash, seasonal vegetables and creamy brandy mushroom sauce was exactly as described.  The veal was lovely and tender and covered generously in the nice thick, creamy brandy mushroom sauce. A decent meat and vege dish but not something that excites my tastebuds... too many soft textures all on one plate!

Banana Doughnuts
For dessert we were treated to 'Banana Doughnuts' and 'Vanilla Panna Cotta'.  We love doughnuts at OTCB so we were very excited for these warm ones filled with a banana cream and coated with cinnamon sugar dusting.  With a great banana flavoured cream oozing out of the centre on first bite, there were lots happy customers licking their gooey sugary fingers.  We would have preferred a thicker dough of the doughnut to balance out the plentiful banana cream inside.

Vanilla Panna Cotta
The 'Vanilla Panna Cotta' with berry coulis was light, easy to eat and a great refreshing way to finish a carb heavy meal.

Overall, it was a lovely afternoon basking in the warm and inviting surrounds of Cafe Salsa, with live music in the background and the opportunity to try many dishes across the menu.  If you live in the area or happen to be seaside, then keep Cafe Salsa in mind for an Italian fix and give our favourites from the day, the pork sausage pizza and gnocchi a try!

Cafe Salsa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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