It’s no secret that I love Italian food. The trinity of great pizza, pasta and coffee is one of life’s great culinary pleasures. At least for me anyway. Which is why I was quite excited to try Eatalia in North Strathfield. Their radio ad described it as an authentic Italian restaurant and on their website, Eatalia is likened to restaurants found in Turin or Napoli, with a first class menu and flavour that could make you feel like you’re in the heart of Italy itself! Wow!
Now I know that’s just marketing fluff, but if you’re going to hype up your restaurant that much, at least back it up with great food, but more on that later.
Stepping into Eatalia left me with a great first impression, but it didn’t remind me of restaurants in Napoli or Italy. Not even in the slightest. Having said that, you can’t deny that Eatalia has a beautiful interior. Dark wooden floors, lots of glass and high ceilings with gorgeous chandeliers.
Now onto the food…
Pollo Pizza – Chicken, Spinach, Roast Peppers, Mushrooms & Pesto ($21)
Normally I’d get a Margherita (my favourite type of pizza) but on this occasion we opted for the chicken instead. When it came out, the pizza looked great. Lot’s of colour and a decent size as well. After digging into it, though, I discovered that while the base was great, the toppings were quite bland. Now I know chicken isn’t the ideal ingredient, but I expected more from this pizza.
Spaghetti – Mussels, Prawns, Calamari, Cherry Tomatoes & White Wine ($24)
If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ll know that I love Spaghetti Marinara (or any pasta with red sauce and seafood). Again this dish looked great coming out, but once again, left me incredibly disappointed as I began to eat. For starters, it was nowhere near warm enough. It almost felt like I was eating a dish that had been sitting on the counter for the last half an hour. And in terms of taste, it was very bland. It lacked almost any sort of flavour. What a letdown.
And when we thought it couldn’t get worse, the coffee came out. Just looking at the two cups of coffee left us both with a sinking feeling. The froth on the latte looked worse than what the Delonghi coffee maker at my work produces. And the Long Black tasted so bad that my mate couldn’t even get through it. Damn.
So what was described as a great, authentic Italian dining experience by their radio ad and website, turned out to be a massive letdown. Like I said before, great marketing is nothing if you don’t invest in the actual food itself. For those looking for Italian restaurants in the North Strathfield area, drive a few kilometers further to Haberfield or Concord instead.