Italian at Arriva, New Farm

Whenever I hear “Arriva”, my immediate response is to giggle. One of my favorite childhood cartoons was Warner Bros’ Speedy Gonzales, the fastest mouse in Mexico.

He is probably one of those lesser known childhood characters and I doubt many would know who he is, but his trademark call “Ándele! ¡Ándele! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! Yeehaw!” sounds freakishly similar to “Arriva” that I cannot help by giggle at the complete disconnect between the two.

There is absolutely no similarities between this cartoon and the Italian restaurant Arriva, except for the fact I like them both.

Nestled on the fringe of the New Farm/Merthyr Village center, Arriva might be easily overlooked by hungry punters, but locals know this not-so-hidden gem has a couple of satisfying offerings, namely pizzas and pastas. It is not unusual to see people duck in quickly to pick up their takeway pizzas throughout the night.

While the restaurant itself might not be very large, there is a selection of seating areas spread out, including down along the side of the building. Tables are set up for intimate dinners for 2, chatty groups of friends of 4 or family groups.

One of the fantastic things about Arriva is that it is very child friendly. Rather than salt and pepper shakers, every table is dressed in crisp white paper and armed a small selection of crayons to occupy any kiddies at the dinner table. This makes for a much quieter and calmer meal for the staff and patrons.

Penne Puttanesca (anchovies, olives, capers and chilli in nepoletana sauce). AUD$18.50


Pizze Dolomiti (tomato sauce, mozzarella, smoked ham, truffled mushrooms and fontina cheese). AUD$22.50

The SO’s Dolomiti pizza was delicious – the truffled mushrooms and smoked ham were a beautiful combination. My Penne Puttanesca was as salty as one would expect from capers, anchovies and olives – perfect for when your tastebuds have gone awry from a cold.

On a previous visit, the SO had the Penne Senese (Italian sausage, walnuts and brandy  in a creamy parmesan sauce), which was delicious the first couple of bites, but was too heavy and rich to finish.

While some have lamented about the poor service at Arriva, the SO and I have not encountered anything particularly lacking in the service on our visits. Then again, we tend to visit on slower nights during the week, which might account for the quick service and attentive service.

Arriva is only open for dinner and can get busy on a Friday night, but otherwise you will more than likely be able to get away with a walk-in.


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