Thursday, 25 July 2013

Ciao Italia

My friends told me that I'm probably the only Asian in Perth that hasn't been to Ciao Italia so they decided to take me there for our Wednesday night catch up dinner.  In my defence, I don't particularly like going to places where I can't book and I know I have to wait and possibly for a very long time.  To reduce waiting time, we decided to turn up straight after work at 5pm as surely we won't have to wait at that time.  Wrong!  MK and I had to wait because they don't give you a table unless all your guests have arrived.  This annoyed me especially since we told them they were no more than 5 minutes away but their response was "We may be full by then." Really?  Well, not really because they were still pretty empty 5 minutes later when FH and TW arrived.  Nevertheless, I was excited because this long anticipated visit has taken at least 10 years to become a reality.

Our order
  • Caesar Salad (mixed lettuce served with bacon, crotons, anchovies, capers, tomato, parmesan cheese and homemade vinaigrette) $15.50
  • Chilli King Prawn Pizza (marinated prawns in a chilli based sauce, whole peeled tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese topped with roasted capsicum) $27.50
  • Ciao Italia Fettuccine (our own combination of marinated tender free range chicken strips, sundried tomatoes and spring onions, fresh diced tomatoes in a creamy white sauce) $29.50
  • Linguine Alla Salerno (homemade black ink pasta served with prawns and a creamy white wine sauce) $35.50

Food and presentation - 3/5
What an anticlimax! The food at Ciao Italia was pretty ordinary, I really don't know what the fuss is about or have I come on a bad day?  I've had a bad food day today so I was looking forward to some good food to break the bad food curse, but alas it was not meant to be.  The Caesar salad was okay but my homemade Caesar is better than the one at Ciao Italia.   Yes it is a big statement, but it's true and it's all thanks to Jamie Oliver's recipe.  I thought the curse was broken when the pizza arrived because it was actually pretty good but when the pastas arrived I knew the curse was still hanging around.  We ordered two pastas, a chicken and a squid ink with prawns but they were both bland, way too creamy and it was hard to differentiate one from the other.  I don't know what sundried tomatoes they were using in the chicken pasta but they weren't good sundried tomatoes.
Caesar Salad $15.50
Chilli King Prawn Pizza $27.50
Ciao Italia Fettuccine $29.50
Linguine Alla Salerno $35.50
Service - 2.5/5
The staff at Ciao Italia were not particularly friendly or polite but they did their job and our food arrived quickly.

Atmosphere - 2.5/5
Squashy is the first word that comes to mind.  It looks and feels like they've tried to fit as many tables and chairs inside the restaurant as possible.  We were sat next to the wall and there were tables all around us, to get out we had to ask the people around us to do a chair shuffle.  It was pretty quiet when we arrived at 5pm but by the time we left at 5:50pm they were nearly full and there were people waiting outside, probably because not all of their friends had arrived yet.  The d├ęcor did remind me of some restaurants I went to in Italy but the food definitely didn't.
Value for money - 2.5/5
Eventhough the servings were massive, it's pretty expensive for a pretty ordinary meal at a pretty casual dining restaurant.

Won't be back anytime soon.

Taste Test Total Score 10.5/20

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