Acme in Sydney. Tipo 00 in Melbourne. Borsa Pasta Cucina in Adelaide. The rise of the modern pasta bar is one of the more likeable restaurant trends taking hold around the country. Next month Perth gets in on the act when Joel Valvasori-Pereza opens Lulu La Delizia in the inner-west suburb of Subiaco.
Friuli, the mountainous border region in Italy's north-east that's as Slavic as it is Italian, was a touchstone for Valvasori-Pereza in the four years he was at Lalla Rookh, and his heritage again will be at the fore at the new venue.
Friulano pasta sauces are notable for their richness and reliance on herbs and spice - think combinations like smoked eel with garlic and white wine, or a deep pork and veal ragù scented with cinnamon, bay and rosemary.
That said, Valvasori-Pereza wants the handmade pasta itself to be the star. "Good pasta has natural bite," he says. "I'm not talking undercooking pasta, but the dough has strength. When you roll it out, it has its own micro-texture that you can see, and hugs and holds the sauce."
The plan is to offer up to six pastas each day, including a daily special "to keep things interesting". Cjarsons, semi-sweet agnolotti stuffed with zest and dried fruit, and fusi istriani, triangular pasta thimbles sauced with pig's blood and chicken liver, are among the regional specialties and family recipes we might find on the menu alongside northern Italian gnocchi, bigoli and ravioli. They'll be bookended by stuzighet (the Friulano answer to antipasto and stuzzichini) and dulç (dessert).
And yes, before you ask, Lalla Rookh's famed braised bone marrow will be making the trip from the CBD to Subi. Bring on October, we say.
Lulu La Delizia opens for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday in Subiaco at the end of October. instagram.com/lululadelizia