When I like a place I really like it. Since belatedly discovering Dough, this cute little pizza joint in Northbridge on Tuesday night I ended up visiting three times in the same week. This behaviour is repeated in history. When I first discovered San Churros I pretty much lived in their Leederville outlet and now I am experiencing similar loyal patronage to the Tuck Shop that I am up to a free coffee. I put it down to sharing is caring. If the place tickles my fancy I am so excited to show friends and family. This however usually leads to disappointment because I have talked up a place and then something usually goes wrong the day I take them there. For example the first time I took my friend Fran to Sayers, the steak sandwich massively disappointed with a chewy steak and lacklustre bread. You have read a couple glowing treats about Sayers but even I admit it let me down on this day. Dough did not give me a d’oh moment. I took Fran there to celebrate her birthday on a Tuesday night and Dough was packed. I felt so sorry for the waitstaff, the poor lady running around serving and seating. It seemed there was only three staff on the floor to a full house of hungry customers. Service was pleasantly smooth considering the volume of people. I love the décor, the black and white photos on the wall and the open wood fire oven give this place an authentic touch making you almost feel you were at a small pizza bar in Rome. Now that the introduction is over we can now talk food. We ordered the arancini and Regina pizza. The arancini had a ooey gooey cheesy centre and the Bolognese sauce was spot on. It reminded me of a miniature version of my neighbour Anna’s arancini except Anna’s is more generous in size and is a meal in itself. It was awesome seeing Fran’s face when the pizza was served on our table. The first thing she noticed was the thin base and she approved the simple toppings of ham, mushrooms and creamy ricotta. She said back in Genova where her family is from this is the pizza you would get. Fran is normally hard to please and so I was ecstatic when I received her tick of approval. It was risky as I myself had not dined at Dough previously but at least I didn’t give Fran a raving review only to be left disappointed like the sad Sayers situation. Warning, don’t bother with dessert. We ordered the crepes, which was a special that day. The crepe itself was fine but the frozen berries used made the dish too sour and inedible for me. I had a few bites and then put the fork down. I would have preferred a simple nutella and banana combination (not that Fran does banana desserts) but the tart berries did not justify the $13 we paid. This won’t stop me from going back there. It is safe from my blacklist while Sumo Salad and Zambrero are not so lucky. Don’t judge me but I did end up at Dough again the next night so obviously I have forgiven and forgotten the bad dessert from the night before. I told you I was loyal. I worked at Myer for 2 years and though I haven’t worked there since 2008 I still have this weird loyalty towards it over David Jones. Now Dough is experiencing this commitment. On this night my dining companion and I indulged in the fried calamari and Capricciosa pizza. There was a bit of indecisiveness over getting a red or blanche base but the red won in the end. My dining companion highly rates the signature Dough pizza but I will make sure to put his opinion to the test and try it for myself. It’s the least I can do for my readers. The only minor criticism I have with the Capricciosa pizza is the olives had pips in them, which defeats the purpose of putting them on the pizza because I was picking them off and eating them instead. However, now that I think about it this criticism is actually a positive because I love eating olives on there own anyway. I’m just grasping at straws really. The pizza had a good amount of artichokes, which is a favourite of mine that I unfortunately don’t eat often. A fond artichoke memory for me was my first College football experience in the USA at 16; my host family took me to the Rose Bowl where UCLA got demolished by USC. Google those acronyms for yourself but in a nutshell it’s pretty much the western derby for College football. So we were in Pasadena for this game and we went to this cute Irish pub, which name I can’t recall (it was a long time ago). All I remember is that there were a lot of autographed celebrity photos dining there including Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. Anyway the point of this story was about artichokes, we had one for the entrée and it was GIGANTIC. I tell you those Americans really do everything large. I had never eaten an artichoke like that before but it was so much fun peeling back the layers and sucking out the flesh from inside the petals. My love affair with artichokes continues to live on whenever I get a continental roll from Re Store (it’s been awhile I must go back there). It’s weird because I don’t really like the artichokes in the jar when I buy them but I like them when restaurants use them. Case in point is at Dough because I really liked the artichokes on the pizza and I didn’t get that preservative taste that usually accompanies the jarred versions. This is not the end of my Dough experience because I was back there on Saturday night. In my defence I had a friend visiting from Kalgoorlie and I couldn’t let Carly leave Perth without a great dining experience. The responsibility for choosing the restaurant was left to me and I knew Dough would not let me down. It didn’t. I was able to book us a table so no waiting and it’s BYO with no corkage. This time we ordered the Parma, a favourite combination of prosciutto, fresh rocket and parmesan all hit the spot. The chicken salad was a standout and we were all impressed with the amount of chicken in it. Don’t you hate when you order a chicken salad and you get a few pieces but really it’s all lettuce. This is mainly targeted at the extra $5 you pay to add chicken to a Caesar salad but you are never left satisfied with the amount of chicken you get for the extra you pay. The Dough chicken salad was colourful, tasty and generous in chicken. It was everything you want in a chicken salad and more. Before this treat turns into War and Peace, I will finish off with my broken Italian. Dough is bellissimo and you should do what I do, go molto times.
THE FOOD JOURNEY