I’ve been wanting to check out the other restaurants out at Gungahlin for while now and finally managed to try out Da Nunzio Caffe Bar Ristorante. The menu on their website looks good with a range of pasta dishes, seafood and steaks.
I managed to book the last table for 2 on Friday night. They were kind enough to advise that it wouldn’t be the best table. We soon learned it was the table right by the front door, so we’d get the draft coming from the door every time it opened, and stares from people waiting to be seated. But that didn’t really matter.
There were so many pasta dishes to choose from. Italian is my favourite cuisine – born in Italy, my late grandmother, mum and aunt all cook amazing Italian dishes. So I must admit I have very high standards for Italian food.
I always order a seafood pasta dish, gnocchi or risotto so I decided to try something different and picked out the ‘Maccaruni’ – home made maccheroni Calabrese style. I liked the fact that it was under the gourmet pasta made on the premises (pasta casarecce) heading too. Love fresh pasta! When the italian waiter came to take our order, he looked at me and said ‘why don’t you try something different? You can get maccheroni anywhere.’ A bit taken aback, and not mentioning that I’d never ordered maccheroni before, I played along and asked what he suggested. He pointed to the specials board and suggested the gnocchi with ragu. My friend wanted to order that and I didn’t feel like gnocchi. I asked the waiter what the favourite dish here was and he suggested the fettuccine with prawns, zucchini and chilli. Sticking with the supposed favourite dish – I thought I couldn’t go wrong.
Our meals were quick to come out. My fettuccine looked very simple and there was no sauce. Literally some onion, chopped tomato and zucchini tossed through the fettucine. I know a lot of simple pasta dishes are drizzled in olive oil but I like mine to have either a tomato-based or cream sauce. Consequently, I found the dish very bland and unimpressive. They could’ve at least cooked the prawns in garlic or something to give it some flavour.
My friend’s gnocchi was fresh but I found the lamb tomato ragu quite salty. My friend thought it was an average dish.
Both meals were quite large servings. Overall, neither of us were at all impressed with this place. When paying the bill, we were charged for a glass of wine we never ordered. The staff were apologetic and admitted their mistake. I did find the staff and service pretty good, and the food came out quickly given it was booked out for the night.
I do believe in second chances so I might head back again sometime in the future just not anytime soon.