Saturday, 3 November 2007

Ciao Baby

Ciao Baby is an Italian restaurant at Albion, which has been around for a while. Although its been on the list of places to go, its taken us until now to finally make it there.

The restaurant looks good. Not everyone is going to like the decor, but as far as I am concerned, better bright than bland. Anyway you're not there for the decor.

The food was great. Not spectacular, but very tasty Italian staples. There were 4 or 5 specials of the day, which helps change the menu around. The staff were very friendly and looked after us well.

Entrees were reasonably priced, and our table went for an assortment of breads & garlic pizza. That got the night off to a good start. Other entrees include soup of the day, bruschetta and scallops.

Mains are a choice between pizza or Italian classics. Both of which are not skimpy on the sizes. The pizzas will keep even the hungriest diner happy. Other meals include lamb, fish, eye fillet and rabbit. I had the rabbit (coniglio alla cacciatore) which was braised with herbs and olives. It was very rich and the rabbit melted in my mouth. Terrific Italian comfort food. Then there are the pastas, which also sounded delicious. The special spaghetti with prawns and scallops sounded fantastic.

There are desserts too, which are presented on a very big blackboard. The panna cotta with caramelised pear was one of the best desserts I have had for a long time. The slightly wobbly panna cotta was sublime. Other desserts included a chocolate meringue with strawberries, and a chocolate and nut brownie, which was a bit disappointing.

The restaurant is BYO wine, but also has a wine list for those that aren't prepared. We eventually were brought enough glasses for the table, but that was the only slight delay in the service all night. Given that we were on a large table, the food came out surprisingly quickly.

The food here is good, honest Italian fare. Servings are big, the service is friendly and its hard not to have an enjoyable night. Its probably going to be a bit noisy for a romantic night out, but the perfect place for dinner with friends.

Finally, a word on the prices. Its not cheap, with some of the main courses up to $34. Sure the food isn't mind blowingly good, but its pretty solid. I didn't mind at all parting with $34 for the rabbit, which was delicious. So long as you aren't expecting main courses for $20, you will be fine. Its a shame that their website doesn't post up the prices of the food, to help out anyone that might be considering going along. But if you take your own wine, you'll won't have to worry too much about the prices. There is a BWS bottleshop almost next door at the Albion Hotel.

What does all this mean? Good, tasty Italian food.

Food Bling Ratings

Food - Good
Service - Great
Ambience - Striking
Value for Money - OK

Vegetarian - OK
Gluten Free - Limited
BYO - Wine only
Other - Can be noisy, Entertainment Book

Ciao Baby
340 Sandgate Road
P 07 3862 4200

Ciao Baby on Urbanspoon

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