Visited Cucina Forno for dinner on our way to the movies, it is a new Italian place on Rundle Street near Steven ter Horst Chocolatier. The restaurant was quite packed for a Sunday 6 pm evening. We were greeted warmly by the waiters and the services were quite fast. Our menu and water was brought to us very quickly as well, which was a bonus. The TV inside the room had “How I met your Mother” with subtitles, the whole place had a very homely feel.
We ordered two entrees, which were “Arancini: 2 Vegetarian pear shaped risotto balls, crumbed and deep fried, served in a rich tomato sugo” and “Pasta al Forno: Large sea shell pasta filled with pork, fennel, mushrooms and peas, slow cooked in a Napolitana sugo, topped with melted Mozzarella cheese”. Also a pasta main to share “Spaghetti Frutti di Mare: Spaghetti with Botargo (roe), tiger prawns, black mussels, calamari, clams, garlic, chilli and fresh tomato, finished in a white wine and parsley sauce, garnished with a crab claw “. We wanted to order a pizza as well, since it is important that an Italian restaurant makes good wood-oven pizzas. However the waiter said we have ordered enough for two, we can order the dessert pizza later if we still have rooms afterwards.
Not too long later, the entrees came and the portions were quite generous. As I was about to dig into the arancini, the waiter (who was different to the girl who took our order) said that the pasta is coming as well. I was surprised since usually the mains and entrees don’t come at once. I politely told her that coming all at once is going to be too much for us and some of the food will get cold. She was like “darling, the food has already been made. Did you not tell the waiter when making the order?” I was not very happy, since I assumed it was general knowledge that the entrees come before the main, not all at once, even if we were sharing. I did not realize this was a “special request”. The lady than gave us a “sharing plate” that was the same plate size as the one for the main pasta. We did not have enough space on the table to occupy so much things! We placed that plate onto the spare table and made it very visible to them. However no one came and collected the empty plate.
When the waiter who took the order came and asked us how the food were, I told her that all the orders came at once and we are not enjoying ourselves. We did not like rushing through the food and afraid it was going to get cold. The waiter apologized since she thought we wanted the food to come out all at once, I told her would be nice if she can take a dish back into the kitchen to retain the heat, she smiled and seemly said okay to our request however she never came back.
The arancini and pasta al forno were served in a clay pot from wood oven, so they retained the heat quite well. However the seafood pasta was in a normal dish, we had to eat the pasta first and then have the entrees. The whole food experience was just awful. I think I would have enjoyed the seafood spaghetti if I didn’t have such a bad start, since the seafood were quite generous (there was half whole crab there). York thought pasta al forno was a bit salty, which I thought it was not too bad, just had a lot of flavors. The tomato based sauce tasted very similar to the ones in the arancini. I was so annoyed at the whole dining experience, I didn’t even bother to stay for the dessert pizza, went to Steven ter Horst next door instead. The waiters here were friendly, however I do think some customer service training is required. It is probably not a bad option if you would like to have a quick dinner before the movies.