Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cafe Notturno

Location: 177-179 Lygon Street, Carlton
Cuisine: Italian
Company: Janette, Duy

Every time I walk down Lygon Street, Cafe Notturno always seems to be bustling with people. So today, when we went to Lygon for an early lunch, we decided we would give it a shot.

The menu had a good range of pastas, pizzas and typical main meals, including parmas, steaks and salads. We all ordered pastas. My penne bascaioli was essentially penne with chicken and mushrooms, with a cream and napoli sauce. Quite rich, but the flavours were tossed together nicely. Janette had the penne matriciana, which looked tasty, but was apparently quite spicy. Duy's sundried tomatoes and olive gnocchi came with a cream sauce, and looked far too rich and filling for my liking, although he asserted that it did in fact taste quite good.

The menu also had a small range of desserts (including nutella crepe) and a large drinks list.

~Atmosphere and Service~
The place was very casual. Seating was available both indoors and out, although we saw ants on the outdoor tables and decided to sit inside.

As it was an early lunch, the place itself wasn't that busy yet, however the service was somewhat disappointing. Our main waitress seemed to be very snappy and appeared quite rude. There was no indication of any customer service as she expressionlessly took our orders, and seemed somewhat lazy when setting the table - all it involved was putting down serviettes with a knife and fork, yet she was too lazy to do a bit of walking, and left my cutlery in front of Janette.

The plus side was that the food came out relatively quickly, however I was again disappointed that cracked black pepper and fresh parmasan were not offered, even though upon leaving I saw that it was available. Instead, we were given a shaker of parmasan, which was stuck together and didn't taste all too spectacular.

The prices were reasonable. The pastas were around $11-$15 and the main meals didn't look too pricey either.

~Overall Impression: 6.5/10~
Suitable for a quick, cheap lunch, but not a place I would recommend for any meal where you're after decent service.
Café Notturno on Urbanspoon

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