Brunch in Belmont at Sapore
Flashback to early 2013, and a visit to Belmont for a meal, or even a decent coffee, would have left you wanting. Mario and Jess Fisicchia changed all that with the opening Sapore in April 2013, offering a relaxed dining experience centred on local, fresh and quality ingredients.
“The rule of thumb for me since day dot, is no complacency,” Mario says. “There’s no room for it. I want people to treat themselves, and we should do as much as possible to ensure the experience is being enjoyed.”
Mario pivoted from a comfortable senior public servant position with Sapore, marking his first foray into the food industry. He’s developed a taste for it, opening a second restaurant, Tavolo, in 2016. As a Melbourne native, he’s had many an opportunity to experience the trattorias of that food-centric city, not to mention memories from his childhood, all from which to draw inspiration.
“We came from a European background,” he says, speaking about the influence of home-cooked holiday dishes. “Nan would always prepare an incredible homemade rabbit stew around Easter, slow cooked and marinated with tomato, parsley, garlic and red wine. We’re aiming to show the same care and appreciation for the ingredients in everything we prepare.”
It’s working. The kitchen team search out the most excellent produce, including Trentin Grana Padano for their pasta dishes. As a brunch/lunch destination, one of the firm favourites since day one is the mushroom bruschetta (that’s, broo-SKET-uh, if you want to say it in the traditional Italian way).
“Meredith Chevre just beautifully compliments the mushroom bruschetta,” says Mario. “It’s a beautifully, delicate cheese. The bread it’s served on is from local suppliers… and we finish it with a drizzle of truffle oil, sourced from the Manjimup region.”
While the goat’s cheese may be from Victoria, Sapore looks to WA for a majority of their ingredients, including free-range eggs from the Swan Valley, local fruit and veg, and Bannister Downs milk for their artfully created lattes. Staying on the dairy side, Blue Cow stocks many of the cheeses at both Sapore and Tavolo.
“Blue Cow Cheese has offered us some really great, and really unique cheeses which you can’t find anywhere else,” Fisicchia says.
Behind the kitchen pass, head chef Totoy Zacarias also brings 30 years of kitchen experience to Sapore. Fine dining is his forte, having worked on the Queen Mary for six months, among other liners, he has an eye for detail in plating. As does sous chef, Joe Tabanio, who has worked across the country, including as a personal chef for a well known international singer. These days, Joe’s artistry in creating a range of sauces has diners singing his praises.
While the menu hosts firm favourites playing to the ever-growing group of local fans, dishes do change seasonally. The summer menu has more surprises in store, so book a table, or stop in for brunch in Belmont.