For years, Catalano's cafe has been a popular Italian cafe and is busy enough that you generally have to book ahead to get a seat unless you come really early or late. One possible reason for this is the large servings of food Catalano's is known for, as well as its reasonably large menu of Italian cafe style food. One thing for sure is every time I have eaten at Catalano's, I haven't left not full.
Situated on the Albany Highway cafe strip, Catalano's has a typical medium sized Italian cafe set up - clean and casual, a choice of indoor or al fresco dining, and lots of cafe style Italian dishes on offer (and large Italian sized portions). The size of the restaurant provides for a fair amount of tables (that seem to be packed quite tightly) but it is usually bustling with lots of staff attentively taking orders and serving food as well as a lot of groups and couples engaged in conversation.
Catalano's menu is quite extensive for an Italian cafe. It contains a selection of entrees, pastas, meat dishes, seafood dishes, salads, a few vegetarian dishes (or you can ask them to change dishes to make them vegetarian) and a selection of wines and beers. Also on offer are a selection of cakes in the cake display fridge as well as scoops of gelato.
The garlic bread consisted of four slices of bread (due to it seemingly coming from an oval shaped loaf, the slices were of varying sizes) and was reasonably tasty with the one sided spreading of garlic herb butter. However, for my taste, it was a bit dry and the layer of butter wasn't that thick so it would have been nicer to have more garlic butter.
The veal was thin, crumbed, fried and then topped with a tomato based sauce and large amounts of melted cheese. The veal was not tough or overcooked. The combination of the sauce and cheese on the thin but large parmigiana was tasty as you would expect.
The chips were quite thick rectangular shaped chips. They were good, slightly crunchy, and coated with seasoning making it very tasty for chips. A plus for me. However, my only concern is that the way the dish is plated, the chips got a bit soggy as a majority of it was placed underneath the veal. The chips were still tasty but I would have preferred them all to retain that nice crunch.
With these main course dishes, you get a choice of the salad or vegetables. This dish had the salad. The salad was a variety of salad vegetables including gourmet lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, capsicum, and drizzled with a vinaigrette dressing. It rounded off the otherwise heavy going dish.
Overall, this was a good, tasty, and large Parmigiana dish.
This dish was served and made very similar to the veal parmigiana above. The obvious difference is the use of chicken rather than veal. The chicken had also been pressed to a thin layer before coating with the breadcrumbs, and was tender and moist.
The vegetables were steamed and consisted of broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and string beans.
The veal was thinly sliced and cut into smallish pieces and cooked with the pizzaoila sauce. The veal was tender and not dry.
The pizzaiola sauce was a tomato based sauce (similar to a pasta sauce) with olives, mushrooms, capsicum, and garlic. Overall, this dish was not bad, though having a simple pasta like sauce the taste was pretty standard for a cafe. Perhaps a different sauce would have changed the dish quite a lot.
Catalano's cafe is a busy place that offers some pretty decent sized meal portions. Whilst the food is pretty good for a cafe, it does offer an extensive range of standard dishes that does make for a simple and filling meal out.
Points to note: Whilst the food is pretty typical of an Italian style cafe, the meals are quite good as far as many cafes in this part of the market are concerned and portion sizes are pretty large. Be sure to book ahead as Catalano's cafe gets pretty busy and books out quickly.
Go for: Pretty big servings of Italian cafe style food making it good value, but also not the cheapest as far as Italian cafes (with smaller portions) go.
266 Albany Highway
Victoria Park WA 6100
(08) 9362 1121
Open 7 days of the week: 7am to 11pm