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Summer may be over, but Julie-anne Sprague has another sweet treat in mind for those who aren’t satisfied with chocolate alone. Talk about melt in you mouth!!

WITH the Easter Bunny likely to visit homes throughout the city in a couple of days, the sweet tooths among us are salivating at the thought of overindulgence.

And while chocolate may be at the top of your agenda this weekend, why not titillate you tastebuds with a sweet gelati, especially if the weather’s right.

A visit to Siena’s in Leederville or Mt Lawley should satisfy most aficionados of the Italian delight.

Andrew Parissis, one of the owners of the cafes, says they’ve invested $50,000 in a machine brought over from Italy to produce top-shelf gelati. The team has been trained to make this soft ice cream in the traditional Italian way, with an Italian relative of Andrew’s spending four weeks teaching the craft of gelati making.

“We are getting new fridges to carry more gelati in the Mt Lawley store, so soon they will have 12 flavours instead of six. At Leederville there are 20 flavours and it is made on premises,” Andrew says.

And it’s the flavours that should get you excited. Ferrero Rocher, Bacci, tira misu, cherry, banana, kiwi, hazelnut, strawberry and the new liquorice flavour are just some of the mouth- watering ice creams available.

The gelati melts faster than normal varieties because of its natural ingredients, but it’s so delicious that it won’t last long enough in the bowl for you to notice.

“Normal Australian or American ice cream is hard ice cream, gelare is in between, and gelati is soft and creamy,” Andrew says.

And while preparing the ingredients may take a while, it only takes minutes for it to be processed in the machine.

Like the streets of many cities and villages in Italy, Leederville and Mt Lawley may soon become ice-cream-licking streetscapes.

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While Friends’ head chef Gwenael Lesle is gallivanting around Europe, Stuart Bell has taken the reigns. And he’s doing a mighty fine job, too. Stuart has worked in Melbourne’s Jacques Reymond and Paul Bocuse Restaurants and, according to Friends’ owner Clyde Bevan, is fitting in impressively.

“He was very keen to come and work for us and he’s doing a wonderful job,” Clyde says.

“He’s been here two weeks and he’s changed the entire menu. People love it. We’ve had corporate clients in and they’ve been really impressed.”

Clyde says Stuart is a dedicated operator who works tirelessly to make sure Friends’ diners get a fine food experience.

“He is very dedicated and works from 10am to midnight and I have to force him to take a half- hour break,” Clyde says.

“We’re very lucky in that we have a small marketplace for five-star dining. People can drink from wonderful glassware and eat the best food in the world.”

So is Gwenael’s job safe? According to Clyde, the Friends’ kitchen is big enough for both the very talented Gwenael and dedicated Stuart.

“Gwenael is off seeing the sights and to look at the food over there. Fine dining is all about new ideas and creating combinations to challenge people’s palates and he’s off finding that out,” Clyde says.

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Deciding what to do this Easter? East is where it’s at. The Eastern Autumn River Festival, to be exact, which comprises five festivals – A Taste of the Valley (City of Swan), The Guildford Heritage Festival, The Autumn River Festival (City of Belmont, City of Bayswater, and City of Bassendean), Heart of the Hills Festival (Shire of Mundaring) and the Harvest Festival (Shire of Kalamunda). Family activities, entertainment, food and wine all overlap over the April 6 and 7 weekend.

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The Hyatt’s cafe is open for Easter and will host a buffet lunch including a selection of seafood, hot and cold dishes and desserts. It will be held from 12 to 3pm on Easter Sunday, March 31. Cost is $60 for adults and $30 for children.

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Frasers is hosting a gourmet buffet breakfast on Easter Sunday, March 31, for $30 per person. Starting at the fresh time of 7.30am, enjoy the morning views and enjoy Easter morning with Frasers’ fine breakfast buffet.

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If you want to cook a feast for yourself and your family, Gusto has been lucky enough to get a recipe from Peter Manifis, head chef at the newly opened Zafferano. The restaurant has a seafood bar to match the river views and Peter says a kitchen with a view is an added bonus to working with Alabsio and the team at Zafferano.

Peter has produced this recipe for Gusto readers looking to cook a seafood meal this Easter.

Fritto Misto di Verdura e Gamberi (Lightly Crumbed Prawns and Vegetables)

Serves 2

Ingredients

300ml canola oil

6 whole king prawns U/10 size

1/2 carrot

3 mushrooms

1/2 zucchini

1 red capsicum

3 asparagus

Crumb mix

2 cups bread crumbs

1/2 bunch parsley finely chopped

salt + pepper

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

Method

Cut all vegetables lengthways and blanch in boiling salted water for 20-30 seconds. When blanched, cool in iced water. Peel prawns leaving tail and head intact.

Mix crumbs with cheese, parsley and salt and pepper.

Take vegetables out of the water and drain.

Set out three bowls and place flour in one, a beaten egg in the other and the crumbs in another. Place prawns in flour then egg then crumb mix.

Lay out on a flat

plate. Do the same

with the vegetables.

Heat oil and shallow fry prawns. Serve warm with fresh lemon or aoli (garlic mayonnaise).

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