by Andrew Wheeler
“Emporio Pizza & Pasta” is a classic Italian Dish restaurant.
It’s mainly known for its excellent pasta, but this relaxed restaurant also offers a selection of dishes outside of pizza and pasta ranging from simple Chicken Parma through to full steak servings.
Emporio has been a busy hive for locals, foodies and international tourists for more than 10 years. Located in the “Crown Casino Complex” (so you have to 18 or over to come in) in the CBD (that’s the Central Business District for out of towners) of Melbourne, this is a high quality restaurant offering excellent service but also value for money.
These kind of places usually go for a quick in and out client base, but this one aims higher and better.
I went there with a small group of friends looking forward to trying a new food place that thinks outside the box but also focuses on traditional menus.
Entering the door, the restaurant looked full from the high volume of people eating here, but table space is surprisingly big, as it is shaped like an L. The décor and staff give the impression of somewhere far pricier.
The service is a bit slow in regards when getting drink before you sorting out the food, but when you are ready to order the mains staff are knowledgeable and respectful of your indecisive questions (in English, that’s our inability to make up our minds, not any lack of clarity on the menu). The staff overall is very professional and caring.
We started our order with some drinks, ($12.00AUD) per whiskey and coke, while a soft drink in a tall glass is around $4.00AUD.
I ordered chicken Parma ($23.90AUD) as my main dish. I could not finish this as, for the price, the dish was huge much larger then expected. It was great.
One of the other dishes served was the traditional spaghetti bowl, this was a standard size, but came out to the table hot and fresh, with a free slice of garlic bread (pasta dishes cost around $24 to $30 AUD). My friend said the pasta to sauce ratio was perfect.
When the table was eating we were asked if there was anything else the staff could do and checked the dishes were up to expectations, once finished there was no rush and as this was relaxed, we did not feel pushed to leave and were able to order more drinks and socialise.
The food used in preparation is excellent and there is precision and experience in the kitchen.
I shall be back to enjoy Emporio restaurant again. It’s been there for 10 years, – which is some recommendation in itself – and is a guaranteed success for your lunch or dinner plans in Melbourne.
There’s also a limited choice mains menu at $15AUD.
Ground Floor West End Casino (Near Clarendon St)
8 Whiteman St Southbank
Public transport Tram:1, 12, Train stations: Craigieburn, Mernda, Werribee, bus 234 or 236
Phone ++61 39292 5777 (reservations only for ten people or more)