The fantastic Aussie art deco beach rotunda-like home of Cafe Salsa down West Beach Road, just a kalamata olive’s throw from Adelaide’s West Beach itself, has been given a new lease of life, and the enthusiasm of the new team’s take on authentic, down-home Italian cuisine is infectious. The team like to think that dining here is like taking Sunday lunch at nonna’s house, and we’re more than inclined to agree, with a very traditional Italian menu that somehow manages to leaven the stereotypical stodge with a good sprinkling of Neapolitan high spirits.
The revival of Cafe Salsa, a West Beach fixture for over 26 years, owes a debt to two Neapolitan gentlemen, peerless restaurateurs and magnanimous host Domenic Romeo and head chef Gianluca Amalfitano, who’ve decided to reinject some sunkissed fun into the beachside Adelaide restaurant that famously reclines under the prominent neon sign down West Beach Road. The sign alone, with its retro Googie-style design, evokes postwar Italian prosperity and the celebration of the distinctly Italian culinary culture. Federico Fellini would eat here after a dip, and you should too!
Taking Italian cookery back to basics, Cafe Salsa’s menu is bursting with carefully selected regional Italian dishes that are as rustic as they are robust, or as delicate as they are decadent, depending on your pick. Try the traditional Sicilian caponata, the Neapolitan maccheroni cozze e fagioli, the maccheroni Calabrese from the Aspromonte mountains, or simply some of the best pizza in Adelaide. Cafe Salsa is, after all, a Neapolitan enclave. The pasta is freshly made by hand, the drinks leaven antipodean tipples with European and Italian – perfect alongside some of Cafe Salsa’s tapas-style smaller, shareable dishes – and the atmosphere in Cafe Salsa’s lovingly restored West Beach restaurant is second to none, filled with 60s charm just like the original!
Great food, service very good, despite packed restaurant. Ordered more food later in night and told it would be long wait, but came out in 15 minutes! Ambience of restaurant very good with attractive Italian fit out and music.
Kids pizza was amazing value for the price. Adults meals were decent sizes but very pricey. When they say on their web site they cook al dente they really do. So if you want your pasta cooked longer ask them to cook it longer.
Best pizzas in town. Perfect base and balance of toppings. Friendly staff and funky retro decor. Great spot to dine in summer but also cosy in winter. Highly recommended.