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I don’t usually go out for Italian food, opting for cuisines that I don’t prepare at home myself, but on my recent catch up with a friend, I gave her three options to choose from on the same Glenferrie Rd strip (Italian, Mexican and Japanese) and she chose Italian. And so off to Anoia for dinner it was.

Dinner was on a Wednesday night, so when I got there, it was completely empty. This was a little bit unnerving, had a picked a place that served average food? I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and put it down to the early time and that fact that it was mid week. I took the opportunity to peruse the menu, and it read like a standard Italian menu – some entrees, breads, salads, pastas and pizzas.

My dinner date arrived fairly soon, and slowly the restaurant started to fill up. There was a group of four people having dinner together, as well as a large family group with a young child. It was with them that I started to notice cracks in the service and the temperament of the staff. The restaurant is quite small, and the waiter had brought out a high chair for the child. The child however was quite restless, and his parents struggled to manage him whilst the waiter set the chair up. This definitely tested the waiter’s patience. I don’t think the family were too bothered, but I felt the waiter was definitely exhibiting some passive aggressive behaviour.

We placed our orders for dinner. I chose a pizza, and my friend a pasta, typical Italian meals!

My pizza was called zucca. It started with an olive oil base, was topped with roasted pumpkin and pine nuts and served with rocket and goats cheese. The base was thin and crispy, and the toppings worked well together. It wasn’t outstanding, but it was good.

The pasta chosen was actually not officially on the menu. My friend had chosen a napoli sauce but requested that some cherry tomatoes, olives and chilli be added to the sauce. The waiter had expressed some uncertainty as to whether this would be possible, but when the dish arrived, it was clear they had found a way to make it work. Why it wouldn’t be possible was beyond us. Surely the sauce base was made up, and you could easily add things to it? She too said her pasta was good but nothing spectacular.

Overall this was pretty much the running theme of our dinner at Anoia. It was nothing special and as a result I probably wouldn’t go back again. Melbourne has so many good restaurants, that it’s not worth the effort visiting average places.

ANOIA Artisan Pizza & Pasta Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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