Thursday, 25 April 2013

Taste Test - Cecchi's

Today we celebrated FH's last days before tying the knot and the last part of the celebrations was dinner at Cecchi's.  Although it is situated on Beaufort St, Cecchi's is easily missed because it blends in with the buildings around it, so you really need to keep an eye out for it.  There is ample parking around the area which is a bonus.

As we entered the premises, we received a very warm welcome from the owner (we think he is the owner anyway).  He shook hands with each one of us and called us beautiful which was nice.  Our table overlooked the courtyard which meant we watched the owner greet each and every customer in the same manner for the rest of the evening.

The menu at Cecchi's is short and sweet which makes it easy to decide on what to eat, although a bit disappointing if you like variety.  We weren't sure of the size of the dishes, but as we were not that hungry we just ordered a main each and sides to share.

Cecchi's is BYO and they charge $3.50 per head for corkage which they told us upfront.

Our order
Main course
Moi & MK - Squid ink linguine, squid, tomato concasse, chilli, lemon crumb x 2 $66 ($33 each)
Hubby, PL & RL - Pork belly, caramelised apples, hazelnut, frizze, vincotto x 3 $108 ($36 each)
FH & RC - Duck breast, creamy bacon faro, quince, pistachio x 2 $72 ($36 each)
CH - Zuppa di pesce, barramundi, prawn+mussel stew, crusty bread $36
TW - Rib eye, vegetable slaw, anchovies, red wine gel, parmesan+onion crumb $42

Sides to share
Pearl barley+roasted Mediterranean vegetable salad x 2 $18 ($9 each)
Broccolini, almonds, slow cooked egg x 2 $20 ($10 each)

Dessert
Moi & RC - Donuts x 2
FH - Profiteroles
TW, CH, PL, MK & RL - Panna cotta x 5, Donuts

Now we wait...

Food and presentation - 3.5/5

Amuse bouche - complimentary
We were presented with a complimentary amuse bouche of tomato soup to stimulate our palettes before our mains, it was average and a bit sour for our liking.  Our mains were a bit of a hit and miss with the serving size being much smaller than anticipated.  The squid linguine was tasteless and the pasta looked and tasted like it's been sitting there for a while; I didn't taste any lemon crumb and only found 2 small pieces of crushed tomato in my linguine.  The pork belly was yummy and the skin was nice and crispy.  Unfortunately, CH found her fish soup pretty average.  The duck breast was tasty but a bit expensive for only two slices, while the rib eye was quite decent in size and was quite nice.  The sides were just so and if we didn't have them, we would've still been hungry.


Pork belly, caramelised apples, hazelnut, frizze, vincotto $36

Squid ink linguine, squid, tomato concasse, chilli, lemon crumb $33

Zuppa di pesce, barramundi, prawn+mussel stew, crusty bread $36

Rib eye, vegetable slaw, anchovies, red wine gel, parmesan+onion crumb $42

Duck breast, creamy bacon faro, quince, pistachio $36
As we were not overly full, we were able to fit in dessert.  The waitress rattled off the desserts available as it wasn't on the menu.  The standard out dessert were the donuts while the panna cotta on the other hand was very small and wasn't the right texture.


Donuts

Panna cotta

Profiteroles
 Service - 3.5/5
The owner was very friendly and as previously mentioned, greeted each of us when we entered but as the night progressed we found that he was a bit too in your face.  At the beginning he told us about the origin of Pinocchio and asked us why we were here for dinner, which was fine but then it progressed to constant interruptions with "Let's cheer for FH!"  If it only happened once, then that would've been fine but it was multiple times and sometimes when we were deep in conversation with each other. 

Our water was replenished automatically throughout the night which gave them bonus points.

One of the waitresses needs some training in customer service and communication, let's just say it's not what you say but how you say it.

Atmosphere - 3.5/5
The restaurant is actually really nicely decorated, very rustic and charming but the constant interruptions and the drunk Pinocchio on the wall behind us ruined the feel of what could have been a classy Italian restaurant.




Value for money - 2.5/5
Definitely not value for money.  Quality is not bad but the price for the size of the dishes is really quite steep.  $36 for two slices of duck breast? No go!

I don't have any objections with coming back for another meal but I'll be exploring other options first.

Taste Test Total Score 13/20

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