Saturday, 9 March 2013

Taste Test - Cantina 663

Happy belated birthday DT! Today, GN and I took DT out for a belated birthday celebration and one of the activities is lunch at Cantina 663 which is located in a tiny shopping complex next to the Astor Theatre in Mount Lawley.  Cantina 663 has both indoor and outdoor seating options. 

When we arrived at 1pm, it was already packed! Luckily we booked!  We were attended to in a reasonable time and shown to our table, however it was a while before we got menus.  When they eventually brought us some menus, the waitress asked us if we would like to try their special sangria of the day which was apple, pear and ginger.  We ordered one each as it was a hot day and it sounded refreshing but requesting one with alcohol for the birthday girl of course!

The menu at Cantina 663 changes seasonally and the menu was different to the last time I went so when DT and GN asked me what was good, I was not much help.  We eventually made our decisions.

Our order
Moi - Pan fried gnocchi, white bean puree, hazelnuts, asiago $23
DT - Pasta carbonara, house bacon, soft egg, reggiano $21.50
GN - Salad, braised lamb shoulder, baba ganoush, zucchini, lentils $20

Drinks
Apple, pear and ginger sangria x 3

The sangrias came out and it was delicious and refreshing, just what we needed on this very hot day.

Food and presentation - 4/5
The food at Cantina 663 has never disappointed and today was no exception.  I love gnocchi but most of the time I am disappointed when I order it because for some reason it is so hard to get gnocchi right.  However, I am delighted to tell you that the gnocchi I ordered was perfect.  My gnocchi was not a blob of dough, it was the right texture and the potato-to-flour ratio was just right.  The white bean puree was beautiful and the hazelnuts and asiago worked well with the whole dish.  DT was most impressed with her pasta carbonara, quote "This is the best carbonara I've ever had!"  We were a bit unsure about GN's dish though, the lamb was cooked perfectly but we didn't like the salad mix which was a bit overpowering.  Our dishes were prepared with high quality, fresh ingredients and was neatly presented.


Pan fried gnocchi, white bean puree, hazelnuts, asiago $23


Pasta carbonara, house bacon, soft egg, reggiano $21.50

Salad, braised lamb shoulder, baba ganoush, zucchini, lentils $20
Service - 3.5/5
The service at Cantina 663 is usually hit or miss but I am blogging about this particular dining experience and it was a not bad but not great either.  It was very hard to get the attention of wait staff but when we eventually got one, they were friendly and polite.

Atmosphere - 4/5
Cantina 663 is usually buzzing and is a great place to catch up with friends and family for a meal or to watch the world go by as you enjoy your coffee and paper.


Value for money - 4/5
I think the prices are reasonable for the quality of the food you get but it is a bit pricier than your average casual lunch.

Of course I'll be back!

Taste Test Total Score 15.5/20

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