Two creative foodies out to discover enticing flavours and food ideas. When we aren't tucking into our latest delicious find, we're photographing and designing our hearts out.
Published March 3rd 2015
True Italian cuisine with spectacular views on the marina
Abbracci Café Ristorante is located right on the waterfront at North Haven Marina. It's a great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner; especially at dusk while enjoying the spectacular sunset views. Open seven days from 8.00am until late and with ample car parking close by, it couldn't be easier to drop in for a bite to eat or sit and relax with a cup of coffee. If you're in the area, why not do what the locals do and take a walk around the marina before or after you visit? Don't forget to bring along your furry, four-legged friend as well as they are more than welcome to join you in the alfresco dining areas.
With views like this, where else would you want to be?
Family owned and operated, Abbracci specialises in delicious Italian fare. Their extensive menu has plenty of options suitable for most tastes including vegetarian and gluten free diets. We were pleased to find out that all ingredients used are sourced locally where possible including all meats which are provided by the local butcher. Specials boards located next to the bar are updated every three to four weeks, so make sure to check out what's on offer before you order. There's also a kids menu for under 14's. Dine in and enjoy the family friendly atmosphere, or call ahead with your order for a convenient take away meal.
There are so many options from the menu, which one will you try?
Abbracci's décor is bright, clean and airy, with cosy booths or tables available when dining inside and café style seating outside. Lounges provide a comfortable area to relax while waiting for a takeaway order.
The lounge area even has a projector with movies while you wait.
The wine list is reasonably priced, ranging from $6-$9 per glass or $24-$45 per bottle. We were pleased to see a large portion of the wine list dedicated to South Australian regional wines. However, if you prefer to bring your own, a corkage price of $10 per bottle is quite reasonable. Of course if you prefer the grain over the grape, you're sure to find a delicious drop amongst their range of premium imported and local beers.
A large part of the mains menu is devoted to steak, seafood, chicken and pasta dishes. Most are served with vegetables, potatoes, chips or salad. Make sure to bring an empty stomach as portion sizes are extremely generous - a proper Italian Mama's serve – so you will definitely not leave hungry.
Order at the counter, or at your table. The choice is yours. Split bills also welcome.
For those who prefer a light meal it was great to see a range of salads including Warm Chicken Salad, Mediterranean and Caesar, complemented by those with a point of difference such as the Calamari Bella and the Honey Mustard Prawn Salad. Focaccias and Turkish bread sandwiches are also available daily until 3.30pm.
Calling all pizza lovers: If pizza is more to your taste, you'll find a full range of tempting toppings to satisfy your hunger. When the craving hits, why not skip the standard range and go straight for the gourmet list. For example the Abbracci special consists of marinated lamb backstrap, beetroot, spinach and tzatziki - bellisimo. Sizes come in standard 6, 9 and 12 inches. Take-away pizzas are very popular as well if you don't feel like dining out but want a nice meal just the same.
Pizza toppings are also generous, we recommend having this take-away to make it last even longer.
Of course for a deliciously simple entrée you can never go wrong with garlic bread, but Abbracci's take on this old school classic comes in at the top of our list. The toasted ciabatta is served up crispy, fluffy and not too oily, with just the right amount of garlic and herbs. We bet that you won't be able to stop at just one piece, we certainly couldn't.
Golden garlic bread was fresh, toasty and full of garlicky goodness.
For main course we decided to try the Veal Scallopini Pescatore. According to our waiter it's one of the most popular items on the menu. This dish consists of tender veal topped with sliced calamari and prawns in a creamy garlic sauce with a hint of lemon. The veal and calamari were melt-in-the-mouth tender and the flavour of the sauce complemented them well although there was certainly lots of it. A liberal helping of steamed broccoli, rosemary potatoes, carrot, zucchini and green beans finished off the dish well, especially since they were nice and firm and not overdone.
Veal Scallopini Pescatore was our favourite of the evening. Creamy, tender and amazing.
There's a large range of pasta on the menu and it was hard to choose only one, however after a brief debate we decided to go with the Princess Pasta. Consisting of a rose sauce with prawns and chicken, the flavours were quite subtle with a hint of chilli. We would have liked the sauce to pasta ratio to be a bit higher for a tastier hit. Being such a large portion, it was good that it was such an ample serving so we could take the remainder home for lunch the next day.
The butterfly prawns just melt in your mouth in this exquisite Princess Pasta.
It's a shame but unfortunately after our massive meals, we were too full for dessert (we know what you're thinking, it was hard for us to make that final decision too). Next time we visit we'll be sure to leave some space. The Nutella pancakes are calling and we'll have to schedule another trip to give them a try. Or perhaps we'll go for the apple strudel, or the waffles, a scoop of gelato or a slice of cake…
Walk-ins are very welcome but you might like to book if you're planning to visit on a Friday night, Saturday night or Sunday breakfast or lunch, however this is not essential. Entertainment Book vouchers are accepted throughout the year. Large bookings are welcome for functions up to approximately 80 people with the price varying depending on menu/beverage options chosen. Contact Abbracci's for more information.
Seriously, the view alone is reason to go.
We give Abbracci Cafe Ristorante 3.5/5 Wanders for filling us up Italian style with a hearty and tasty meal that just kept on giving.
Where 1 Wander isn't worth getting off the couch for and 5 Wanders should leave a trail of dust in your wake: it's that good.