Mirko Silvestri’s lifelong career in hospitality started at his parents’ restaurant in Rome. At university, he discovered a love of coffee and trained in all aspects of speciality coffee, from roasting to brewing. After working in Melbourne as a coffee-roasting consultant, he moved back to Perth to open Lupolab. It’s a pretty space, with a fit-out that screams quality and attention to detail, from the glass-enclosed kitchen to the furniture.
Lupolab’s food is based around Silvestri’s family’s recipes, with modern tweaks here and there. Breakfast dishes are mostly familiar – think avocado and toast and scrambled eggs but the “Roman-style” beans and creamy polenta with mushrooms are an exception. Superb fresh pasta is the focus at lunch, with dishes featuring simple sauces such as a beef ragu or guanciale (cured pork cheek) and pecorino. The dinner menu (Thursday to Saturday) gently ups the complexity of the pasta dishes while adding mains such as osso buco.
Lupolab’s coffee is roasted inside the restaurant. Its “Larentia” house blend is direct-trade and Silvestri regularly visits the plantations where his coffee is grown. He’s also passionate about supporting farmers and has funded community projects in El Salvador and Brazil.