I’m currently involved in a community theatre production with the New Farm Nash Theatre group. Performances have started, so a significant portion of my time will be spent out at New Farm.
New Farm is one of the loveliest areas of Brisbane. Aside from the sprawling wonder of New Farm Park, this Northside suburb is also home to many cafés and restaurants.
On the Preview night of the performance, I arrived way too early so I figured I’d walk down Merthyr Road and get a cheeky Nandos for dinner. But prior to reaching Nandos, I came across Arriva. As someone with Italian heritage (and excellent taste buds) I was drawn towards the luscious aroma of Italian cooking. Without hesitation, I walked inside and asked for a table.
Entrees are a must-have when it comes to Italian cuisine. So after taking my seat, I asked for the bruschetta al pomodoro (toasted bread topped with tomatoes, garlic, basil, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil). Bruschetta is a simple dish, but it is essential for the ultimate Italian dining experience. It’s a total cop-out to choose garlic bread.
The bruschetta at Arriva was divine: the tomatoes were juicy and full of flavour and the bread was baked to pure, crispy perfection.
One of the greatest debates in the history of humanity focuses on the pronunciation of bruschetta: is it pronounced broo-SHET-ah or broo-SKET-ah? After chatting with the waitress (most of the staff at Arriva hail from Italy), she confirmed that it is pronounced broo-SKET-ah. The debate has been settled.
When it came to choosing my main course, I was torn between so many options. Pizza or pasta? Cream based sauce or tomato based sauce? Penne or fettucini? I eventually settled on the cannelloni. Wikipedia defines cannelloni as being ‘a cylindrical type of pasta generally served baked with a filling and covered by a sauce.’ This definition does not give justice to the cannelloni at Arriva, which emerged from the kitchen steaming, bubbling and covered in bechamel cheese. Each bite of the cannelloni made me moan uncontrollably, much to the bewilderment of everyone else in the restaurant.
One of the best things about Arriva is that they have placed butcher’s paper over the tablecloths and jars of crayons on the table. Whether you have children dining with you, or if you’re a child at heart, it’s the perfect solution to staying occupied and patient whilst waiting for the next course.
After finishing my cannelloni, another question was raised: to dessert, or not to dessert? Unfortunately, it was time for me to head off and get dressed for the performance, so I had to desert. But after the performance, my lovely boyfriend bought gelato for me, so I suppose that counts. Mille grazie, darling.
On the whole, I would definitely recommend Arriva to anyone that loves authentic Italian food but can’t be bothered cooking it or leaving Brisbane to go get it. Arriva has lovely staff, it’s very affordable, the service is impeccable, and the food is a gift from the gods. As the performance continues, I will definitely return to Arriva.
*****= 5 Stars
That’s a wrap, at least for now. If you would like to suggest places for me to visit in Brisbane, suggest ideas for future posts, or suggest that I need a tracheotomy, send me a comment on my Facebook page.
Pear and Ivy xx