Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chenzo's Italian Restaurant

It's great on a winter date night when you find yourself in a small, warm and cosy atmosphere for dinner.  This particular date night I was a bit sick and feeling a bit sorry for myself, so I just wanted a hot yummy meal before I cuddled up with a blanket, movie and some bad food.  And Paul of course.

Paul booked Chenzo's and we were off!  I was happy because it's in Greenwith and I really didn't feel like going back into town after work.  I really felt like a pasta meal so tonight I wasn't particularly fussed about trying new things.  I just wanted food and warmth.

Walking in it was lovely.  It had dimish lighting which for me made it look warm and inviting.  I loved the yellow light covers which gave it a glow and liked how small and quiet it was.  There was only a few other tables full - one with a couple of kids which made it seem that little bit more full with them running around the place.  At one stage a little girl started peaking over her chair at Paul then hiding whenever he would notice.  It was hard to get his attention back for a little while haha. 

The service the second we stepped in was really really good.  When we didn't want to sit on the table that was super close to another couple, they made up another table next to the original one without a bother (people had just left that one so it didn't have knives forks etc).  They were friendly about it and were all "of course this will be a better table for you, more space" etc.  It was just something that made me appreciate the staff straight away.  There was no eye rolling, no sighs, no looks of "are you serious", just flat out helpfulness. 

When we were ordering our drinks the waiter (who had helped us change tables) wasn't just about the ordering, he asked us if we had a good day, had plans after dinner… just general small talky stuff.  But it was general small talky stuff that we don't usually get!  I'm not saying other places have been rude or anything, most situations they've been far from it, but it's not usually the next step like Chenzo's did.  It's certainly not a big deal, it was just nice.  It's not like I would have wanted to sit there and have a big conversation about my day or anything… You get the jist. 

We decided on our meals pretty quickly.  Paul has developed a taste for gnocchi now so as soon as he saw that option on the menu he was there.  I'm a sucker for chicken and bacon in pasta so my choice was pretty easy too.   We also went the garlic bread.  Which was buttery and herby and greasy on my fingers - so perfect garlic bread really. 

Then the mains came out.  Surprisingly it didn't feel like the garlic bread had really made a dent in my belly so I was plenty hungry still.  There was a monster of a meal put down in front of me.  For whatever reason, even with my belly rumbling it didn't smell/look that appealing to me.  I was certainly happy I didn't have Paul's meal.  The bowl was way over filled and looked kind of slopped.  They were huge bowls too.  But that's just me being picky - who am I to judge how a restaurant plates up their meals?  I'm no chef or restaurant owner. 

Just from looking at my pasta I could see heaps of bacon and onion and chicken and spinach.  I was certainly looking forward to digging in.  The main thing I remember is the sauce being really salty, which may have been because of the bacon… or the amount of salt they put in haha.  The first bit of chicken I got was tender and juicy, the next was dry.  It went like that for each bit I got but hey, it kept me on my toes wondering what the next bite was going to taste like.

I stopped eating the bacon because nearly all of it was stuck together and looked like this:

and I had to rip it apart with my teeth (it was just too much eating it all lumped together) which made me look like a slop and then most of it would stay clumped anyway.  Wasn't worth it.  As I said before it was very salty and wasn't something that made me want to keep eating once I was full.  And I didn't get it take away because I knew I wouldn't eat it at home. 

Paul didn't particularly enjoy his either, but that was more because (as he found out) he prefers creamy sauces to tomato.  He said the gnocchi itself was good, just not the sauce. 

As we were finishing up a couple came in who appeared to be regulars.  By that I mean they were greeted by name and given a dessert menu straight up (eavesdropping whaaaaat?).  They got asked if they wanted the "usual".  It made me sad that I was too full for dessert because obviously they're awesome. 

I've heard great things about this place, and it has a fantastic rating on Urbanspoon.  It's family friendly and had a good number of people coming through for a cold winter night.  Being to a few italian places now I think we're spoilt for choice.  Plus I'm a bit of a picky eater and Paul prefers creamy to tomato-y so we can't really give a proper guide on the gnocchi either.  I personally wouldn't go back, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who would.  As always, don't take our word for it, if you're in the area give it a go yourself! 

Chenzo's Italian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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