We recently had dinner with our friends S and D and their kids at their local eatery, Riley’s Wood Fired Cafe in Brentwood. Riley’s is located among shops in the heart of Brentwood, with a bottle shop and butcher next door. You’d never think to go to Brentwood in search of a great meal, but if casual dining in a family-friendly cafe sounds good, you might like Riley’s.
We ordered three serves of garlic bread for the table (AU$4.50 per two slices). Now THIS is how garlic bread should be: buttered up to the edges, topped with big pieces of fresh garlic and toasted to a satisfying chewiness.
At Riley’s, there is a kids’ menu with pizza, pasta, fish and chips, fried calamari and cheeseburger (all dishes AU$8.50). Even better, kids under 12 eat for free on Monday and Tuesday nights.
I was very impressed with the generous servings of kids’ pasta. 5-year-old E’s spaghetti bolognese (AU$8.50) was loaded with rich meaty sauce and looked substantial enough to be an adult’s small/starter serve of pasta.
7-year-old F had the kids’ fettuccine with cream mushroom sauce (AU$8.50). Just like the kids’ spaghetti bolognese I was impressed by the generous serving and the quality of the pasta.
D ordered the fettuccine pollo – fettuccine pasta with grilled chicken and shaved parmesan in a creamy mushroom sauce (AU$13.50 entree, AU$18.50 main). The sauce was a food envy-inducing mushroom lovers’ delight. It was so mushroomy I would’ve called it fettucine funghi rather than fettucine pollo!
S had the ravioli (AU$15.00 entree, AU$20.00 main) The pasta were soft moon-shaped pillows filled with spinach and ricotta in a creamy tomato and basil sauce. They had a wonderful handmade look and texture and were absolutely delicious (apparently the whole family loves the ravioli, so in the great tradition of Being Mum, S ordered it knowing everyone would want a taste – Jac and I got to try it too :)).
A note on entree
Over here, the entree is the first course, served BEFORE main course.
Many restaurants offer dishes in two sizes – a smaller entree size and the full main course size. Whenever we have first course and main course I often refer to the first course as the “starter” to avoid confusion as I know for many readers, the “entree” is what we call “main course”.
The fettucine pollo and ravioli pictured are both the main course sizes.
Jac didn’t feel like pizza or pasta – she ordered the 250g rump steak (AU$24.50) marinated in local beer and served with sauteed baby potatoes and green salad in a red wine sauce. According to the menu, the salad was supposed to be a green bean salad – but there were no beans on the plate. Jac wasn’t too fussed – her steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare and she really enjoyed her meal.
I wasn’t in the mood for pizza or pasta either – I ordered Riley’s burger (AU$18.50), a 200g homemade pure beef pattie topped with sweet caramelised onions, bacon and melted cheddar cheese with fresh tomato and lettuce on a grilled bun, served with fresh crispy chips. Well… there was supposed to be bacon in the burger, I’m really not sure what happened there. I was starving and almost halfway through the burger when I remembered the bacon and realised there wasn’t any.
Despite the missing bacon, it was a really tasty burger. If I’m ever there again and order a burger (which is entirely possible – it was really delicious) I will mention the missing bacon.
By the looks of it, Riley’s pizzas are a very popular takeaway item. The pizza cook was a friendly fellow who didn’t mind the kids (and this big kid) watching as he worked after we’d finished our dinner. He was good-natured and patient as E fired questions at him. First: “Can you make a strawberry pizza?” And then: “Can you make a blueberry pizza?” – E is crazy about berries, her mum told us :) The answer to her questions was: “I don’t think so, but we have a yummy banana dessert pizza with chocolate, custard and caramel” – to which E whispered in my ear: “I like custard!” We watched pizza dough being rolled and tossed, covered with toppings, placed deep in the wood fired oven, then pulled out, cheese bubbling and ready to serve or pack into a takeaway box.
Sadly, we were too full to have gelato, which they sell on a waffle cone (1, 2 or 3 scoops – AU$4, $5 or $6) or in a tub (1/2 litre AU$8.00, 1 litre AU$15.00). I’d like to try that banana dessert pizza another time. They’ve also got a rocky road calzone served with gelato, and an apple crumble pizza topped with apple, honey, custard and oat walnut crumble. Sound good?
Next time I’ll try the pizza and/or pasta for sure. A round of garlic bread followed by that mushroomy fettuccine and then that banana dessert pizza! :D
A great little family-friendly casual dining cafe hidden in the suburbs. The staff are friendly, the food is delicious and comes in generous servings. It’s not fancy, but it doesn’t need to be. There’s a bookshelf near the front of the cafe – I didn’t have time to investigate, but presumably if you like, you can choose something to read as you drink your coffee or eat your pizza. Warning: watching pizzas being made to order is terribly hungrifying.
Riley’s Wood Fired Cafe
68 Cranford Avenue
Brentwood WA 6153
Telephone: (08) 9364 2554
Open 7 days 7am until late
Table service from 5pm
Kids under 12 eat free Monday and Tuesday nights
Breakfast every day from 7am to 11:30am
Wood fired pizzas available from 4.30pm daily and 11.30am weekends and public holidays
BYO $1 per person for corkage
Free wireless Internet for customers, ask at the counter for the password
Riley’s Wood Fired Cafe Facebook Group