Archive for February, 2009

Where: La Capanna, Kingston shops
Open: …?

When: Wednesday 28 January 2009, approx 6.30pm
What was ordered:
1 small foccacia (olive oil & rosemary pizza), $10
1 large pizza, half- delizioza (prosciutto, blue cheese, tomato, mozzarella) half-melanzane (eggplant, tomato, cheese), $23

lacapanna21La Capanna, as recommended by RossG, is a little Italian eatery located on the restaurant side of the Kingston shops. babelfish alleges “la capanna” means “the hut”. I must say I was struck by the decor, which could be described as rustic country bistro fed through an 80s style mangler: greenish stucco walls festooned with gay displays of faux bread loaves, plastic vegies and plastic plaited garlic, topped off with rope covered bottles. It earned points though for being comfortably air-conditioned on what was a very hot evening.

The waiter brought a carafe of chilled water without being asked, and indeed the service was a highlight. Waitstaff were efficient, pleasant, attentive without being in-yer-face, something you don’t take for granted in ONC. The restaurant did a steady trade of take away as we contemplated the menu. Family groups started to arrive for sit-down dinners; it’s obviously a child-friendly restaurant, (which is fine depending on the children – the ones at the next table were okay until the parents let them run about unchecked, making it very difficult for waiters to reach some tables including ours. Grrr.)

La Capanna offers 21 pizzas, a further 6 foccacia (pizza bread with two ingredients, no cheese or tomato base), 10 bruschetta, 16 pasta dishes, 4 fish dishes and 4 salads. That’s a LOT of choice for a small bistro. Thankfully, we were confining ourselves to one part of the menu.

The rosemary foccacia arrived in about 5 minutes, piping hot. The flavours were nice enough, though the Bald Man was quite disappointed at the lack of garlic (curiously the menu offers garlic bread, but no garlic foccacia). The pizza base, so prominent in a minimal item such as this, was of medium thickness, slightly underdone and a bit doughy. It had the texture and sort of fried look you sometimes see in mass-produced chain pizzas, but the flavour was okay.

lacapanna1The main pizza arrived shortly after, again piping hot. It was every man for himself. The toppings looked delicious, and were; I rate the eggplant topping better than that tried at Pizza Gusto. However, about halfway through our guzzling, the pace slowed. We were bogged down by that underdone, doughy, gluggy pizza base. Not just a minor flaw, it proved to be an Achilles’ heel in the dish: a real appetite retardant and unpleasantly fast filler for one’s digestive system.

It was at about this time my ears caught the muzak, and for the first time in my life I was exposed to a rendition of the Chicken Dance song in Italian. Even now, words fail me.

We limped across the finish line and plates cleared, departed bloated into the dusk.

Pros: inside dining with airconditioning plus outdoor tables; great pizza toppings; good service
Cons: that gluggy pizza base will always make us think twice before going again.

TBM comment: Meh.

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