Winter is coming, and Perth’s newest pasta deli is making us want to carb load all the way through to August and (far, far) beyond.
Wave goodbye to your summer bod, because for anyone who has ever loved pasta – by which I mean everyone, everywhere – Sal’s Pasta Deli is what dreams are made of.
Tucked into bougie Napoleon Street in Cottesloe, a line up of fresh pasta made daily, quick easy lunch, take home dinners your mum would be ecstatic to serve up, homemade sauces and fresh Italian products are the run of the day, every day except Sundays. Check out our interview with owner Paul “Sal” Salmeri.
Q: Tell us about Sal’s – what’s on offer?
Sal’s is a traditional “Pastificio” and Italian deli. We have a large selection of fresh traditional home made pasta, made everyday, sauces and ready meals like lasagne. We also have a small pantry of all our favourite Italian products and a deli serving cheeses and cured meats from both Italy and Australia.
Q: What is your “must-try” for customers new to Sal’s?
If it’s your first time to Sal’s, I would say you have to try our filled pasta! With no set menu, we make our menu according to what’s in season and the best produce we find on the day – just as any good restaurant would.
Q: Can you tell us about the space and fit out?
The space was an old bakery, a beautiful building from 1920, so we looked to capture the feel of an old New York-style deli from that era. We have kept it open so everyone can catch the action of our pasta being made, with the idea of creating a new space that has the feel of always having been there. I couldn’t have done it without the amazing help of Milieu Creative and Neon Constructions.
Q: How did you come to open Sal’s and where did the idea come from?
Put simply, I love making fresh pasta and wanted to share that. However, the idea actually came to me about 15yrs ago. I had just started culinary school in Florence, and for a project we had to put together a food concept and business plan. More recently, I had been home in Perth for a few years thinking what to do and when I saw the old bakery in Cottesloe come up. I instantly remembered my concept from all those years ago and dug up the business plan on my computer, I could envision how it could actually work in that space.
Q: Why a pasta deli concept rather than a full restaurant?
A deli concept is accessible and allows us to reach out to more people. We provide education and advice about our products, and being part of our customer’s daily menu means we connect with them at home. We’re thrilled to encourage people back into the kitchen and get them cooking again. It also allows us to show the beauty of Italian food in its raw form, while allowing our customers to bring restaurant quality food home.
Q: Tell us about your professional background up until Sal’s?
I went to culinary school in Florence, Italy, within a small school called Apicius. I was there for two years and then stayed on for a further four years cooking in Florence and then around Italy – from Sicily to Sardinia. I then went on to work at the River Café in London for a few years before returning to Perth, where I was a private chef before Sal’s.
Q: So what did the Italians teach you about authentic Italian cuisine?
Simplicity, seasonality and allowing the ingredients shine. Italian Cuisine in general does not exist, its actually Italian “regional” cuisine because traditions vary enormously through each city, town and home.
Q: Lastly, what’s the secret to a killer pasta dish?
Pasta loves three things: boiling water; salted boiling water; and lots of salted boiling water. That’s really it. Always finish cooking your pasta for one min in the sauce as the pasta with absorb the flavours, and add a touch of cooking water as this will help combine both the pasta and sauce to become one dish.
Sal’s Pasta Deli is at 44 Napoleon St, Cottesloe.
Open 9am-6.30pm every day except Sunday.
Call 0475 798 827.