All these bargain voucher websites can be a wonderful thing….. until you sort of forget about one and it’s a mad rush to squeeze in a dinner before the expiry date. Such was my quandary recently with a Rifos voucher I had purchased. I had initially gifted it to my brother but he hadn’t had a chance to use it before he jetted off to the UK so it was left for GG and I to enjoy. Thankfully we were able to secure a booking, the night before it ran out. The deal includes a choice of entrée, mains and gelato for dessert, as well as a bottle of wine and also coffees to finish.

I hadn’t been to Rifos in years, but having grown up in Maylands, it was encouraging on the times I had driven past to see that it often seemed to be doing a roaring trade. Perched at the top of the increasingly popular Eighth Avenue in Maylands, Rifos was once a bottle shop, but has since worked towards established itself as a popular local eatery with an Italian slant, favouring pizza and pasta on the menu.

With our deal our choice of entrees was limited to two. Either a Salsicca, which was a tasting plate with spicy Italian Sausage, kalamata olives, some fetta and a few sparse greens or bruschetta.

We decide to give them both a whirl and ordered one of each. I think the Salsicca plate was meant to come with bread but I wasn’t overly disappointed that it didn’t when I saw the size of the bruschetta. It was very generous. A thickly sliced piece of white bread toasted and drizzled with olive oil because it was heaped with fresh tomato, basil, garlic and onion and then a few squares of fetta has been thrown on top for good measure. Working my way through a slice of that and some of the mini tasting plate definitely helped towards putting a dent in my appetite.

Then for mains the choices were either pizza, pasta or a salad. Being sat overlooking the pizza oven I decided I’d give one of these a go, the Tricolore – roasted capsicum, fetta, spicy Italian sausage, fresh tomato, olives and red onion, mozzarealla on a tomato base, while GG went for a chicken salad. The white wine we chose was fairly standard but did the job as we sat and waited patiently for our main meals to arrive. I knew as soon as my pizza arrived that there was no way I was going to be able to finish it. It smelled amazing, as pizza’s tend to do, but it did have slightly more cheese than I tend to like on a pizza these days. Nice base though – crispy and good flavour. The sausage was spicy and there was more fetta…. Which appears to always come in a generous cube when served at Rifos…. As pizzas go, this one was ok. Nothing overly special about it, but a crispy base always gets bonus marks from me. Plus leaving half meant lunch was sorted for the next day 🙂

GG was probably less impressed with this salad. I think he had thought the chicken would be served warm, which it wasn’t. He managed to put a respectable dent in his dish, but I suspect it isn’t something he’d be rushing back to revisit.

We were both more than comfortable at this stage so we passed on coffees but we stopped by the gelati fridge on our way out and chose our flavours. I went for a long time favourite of mine – lemon sorbet and it had a refreshing zap to it. I definitely enjoyed it, while GG went for a cherry ripe ripple flavour. I did get to try this one also… had a very intense cherry flavour to it. I’ve always been in the “I’m not a Cherry Ripe fan” camp so this selection was never going to be a favourite of mine.

In all, it was a nice enough meal at Rifos and the service had been pleasant, but there just wasn’t any real wow to the experience.

Another time perhaps.

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