The entrance to new kid on the city block, A’Caverna, a South American restaurant, is small but light and inviting, so I wouldn’t say it’s hard to miss.
A’Caverna opened just prior to Christmas 2016 and reopened on 9th January 2017 after the Christmas/New Year break. I haven’t worked in the city for years so by the time I have weaved my way through the crowds I was desperate to eat and descend the stairs with my stomach growling. I was pleasantly surprised at how bright, enticing and deceptively spacious the South American restaurant is. It features a function room if you are after a more formal dining experience or perhaps a business lunch.
The bar area takes up the entire length of the room and includes comfy stools to sit on while you have a casual catch up with friends or work colleagues for a quick bite. A’Caverna were granted a liquor licence in early February so no need to visit the bottle shop on the way in any more.
I choose seats at the funky bench seats opposite the bar. At first glance I thought everyone was kneeling, Japanese style, and I nearly hobbled away (old netball injury) until I realised the table was actually sunken and you climbed down into a ‘pit’. Perfect. My husband gauges restaurants by the comfort of the seats and these seats are extremely comfortable.
I checked out the lunchtime menu and they have a good variety of pizzas from tropical to seafood, ranging in price from $14 to $19. There are also lighter items from a $9 garden salad to a $14 calamari. I eat pizza by the bucket load so I opted for the Steak and Cheese at a cost of $18. It consists of grilled Porterhouse steak with cheddar cheese, caramelised onions and tomato chutney. I originally asked for it to come without the chutney as I’m not sure if it is something I would like. It comes out on a wooden board and looks delicious.
The turkish bread is an excellent choice as for the sandwich. The meat is cut into small bite sized pieces and is tender and melts in the mouth. The caramelised onion adds a sweetness and the aioli doesn’t overwhelm the flavour. The only thing I would change is the amount of cheese which I found to be a little too thick for me. I ordered a side of cassava chips ($9), which is a healthy alternative to potato chips. The cassava is a shrub native to South America and has its own unique but subtle taste. They are crunchy and the herb salt is a tasty touch. I would definitely eat them again.
I actually placed a small amount of the homemade tomato chutney into my sandwich and I must admit it did add an extra zing to the taste. Next time I would keep the chutney in the original order.
A’Caverna also offers a vegetarian sandwich and gluten free options.
From 3pm the Tapas begins and although I left too early to sample it, I have on good authority that it is worth the trip. The menu offers Brazilian chicken croquettes for $13, sliders, meatballs, pork bites, stuffed mushrooms at various prices and the most expensive is a $20 antipasto.
I thought my sandwich and the cassava chips were a generous portion and from what I could see other diners eating, the other items looked to be a decent size. I found getting out of the chair a bit inelegant but enjoyed my experience of sitting there. I was full from my meal but I did stop and look at the desserts. A slice of cake will set you back $4.99, churros with caramel fudge and vanilla ice cream cost $9 and vanilla ice cream with chocolate topping and sprinkles is $6.
If you are looking for something a little different then head into the city and try this South American restaurant. A’Caverna is open Monday to Thursday 11am until late, Fridays from 11am until 12am, Saturday from 6pm until 12am and closed on Sundays. You’ll find A’Caverna at 566 Hay Street, Perth.