il Cibo |  2 Market Street, Fremantle  |  Phone 9433 4900  | Instagram: @baked_at_ilcibo

il Cibo a summer retreat

On entering il Cibo, you’re instantly drawn towards
the cafe’s splendid display cabinet.

It’s full of delicious temptations, including giant homemade pastries, bright colourful salads, fresh fruit and a selection of patties, like “beet and bean” and salmon and dill.

The cabinet is a nice reminder that all the food at il Cibo is freshly made.

“I like rustic and homemade food,” owner Jess tells Herald Dining.

“We like things to be very visual and very fresh so people see the food and are stimulated that way.

“Our cabinet acts as an extension of our menu.”

Jess has been running il Cibo for the last eight years with her mum Donatella, who has over 25 years experience in hospitality and has run some of Perth’s best restaurants, including the much-loved Toscanini’s in Bicton.

Jess’s home-style cooking and ‘keep it fresh’ approach is one of the reasons il Cibo has been so popular for the last eight years.

“We have a lot of regular customers,” says Jess.

“People get a real sense of community when they come in here. We get a lot of families, couples and friends catching up. It’s a great feeling to see so many people enjoying our food.”

Heading-up the kitchen is il Cibo’s longtime chef, Desmond.

When he asked me what I felt like for lunch, I asked him to choose a selection of his favourites from the cabinet.

He returned with a plate of three salads and a mouthwatering Pork and Fennel roll. I didn’t waste any time digging in.

The roll is stuffed with chunky pieces of tender pork and mixed vegetables, and the distinctive fennel flavour brings everything together nicely. The pastry is made in-house everyday and tasted beautiful. This roll was a meal in itself.

Now it was time to try il Cibo’s brightly coloured salads.

The Pumpkin and Pine Nut was loaded with creamy feta, while the Spinach Caesar has all of your favourite ingredients, plus some avocado wedges.

My favourite was the Spring Bean salad, which was loaded with thick slices of mushroom, zucchini and broccoli, and coated in tasty pesto.

Fremantle has always had a big brekkie culture and il Cibo caters for early risers with their extensive breakfast menu, which includes buttermilk pancakes, creamy porridge, potato cakes, omelettes and eggs cooked every way imaginable.

“The best selling breakfast item on our menu is the sautéed mushrooms and grilled halloumi, with wilted spinach and poached eggs,” says Jess.

“It’s a favourite with cyclists because it’s not too heavy and gives you the right amount of energy to charge on with your day.”

As well as being a licensed cafe, il Cibo offers a wide range of shakes and smoothies, and the health conscious will love their juices, made from a mix of seasonal fruit and vegetables.

But if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll go mad for their delicious cakes, all made from Jess’s recipes.

“We have started doing our cakes to order for the customers who’d like to get a whole cake made for a special occasion,” says Jess.

“We’ve even started an Instagram page for our customers to browse so they can choose the cake they want made.

“There aren’t many places around here which offer this service so we’re looking forward to getting the word out.”

If you’re looking for inspiration then head over to il Cibo’s Facebook page and check out the Dark Chocolate Meringue Stack and the Raspberry and Passionfruit Pavlova. Delish!

Article and Photos by Matthew Eeles
matt.eeles@fremantleherald.com