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Published August 18th 2013
As a University of Adelaide student I spend a fairly large amount of time in the city, this of course leads me down Rundle street quite often and in turn going past Brunelli's. I've eaten at Brunelli's numerous times, their prices are of average range and their servings are relatively large. However that doesn't mean they deliver on quality.
Perhaps Café Brunelli was better at an earlier point in time but after numerous accounts of eating there I've discovered that rarely am I satisfied and never am I impressed.
Previously I've had steaks from Brunelli's in which I've asked for medium and end up with a very well done shoe-leather type meal. I've had burned chips and I've had plastic lasagne. I'm writing my review on my most recent trip to Brunelli's which was this week. The experience is still fresh in my mind and the bad taste still lingers.
When first entering Brunelli's you know it's not a fine dining experience. The restaurant is large, wooden floor boards and more tables and chairs than most restaurants have these days. They have an easy set up with their bar to the left as you just walk in. However you're to order at the back of the restaurant which I find to be inefficient as you have to make you way pass everyone just to order your food. Perhaps you should think about placing your orders at your front bar?
Now I'd ordered a lasagne, bowl of chips and garlic bread. My garlic bread was more a plate of oil with some pastry and garlic as a side. My lasagne had no real sauce-y flavour and was tough to cut into, almost as though it had been microwaved and my chips, while very large, were primarily burned and scarce of salt. I am a university student of Irish heritage on a tight budget and I could cook a better Italian mean than the chefs at Brunelli.
Putting my meal aside, the table next to me had been left uncleared for twenty minutes, in which birds had flown in from outside and began picking at the food. The waiting staff were standing around chatting whilst wildlife stood on and ate the food that wasn't even 3 feet away from me. When someone had finally noticed they slowly wandered over and had to ask us if the people had finished with their meal. They had been gone for twenty minutes; chances are they'd finished their meal.
Overall Brunelli's is a large restaurant with a lot of potential in a prime location. Unfortunately they seem to be more interested in the quantity of customers they get, not the satisfaction of customers. I wish I had something nice to say about this restaurant, however I don't.
If you were my friend I would advise you to eat elsewhere. The price isn't worth the poor service and mediocre meal.
Brunelli's pizze are the oiliest I've ever had but their toppings are surprisingly inventive. Their chicken stack is one of the best salads I've ever had though and never fails to please.
I'd say that not one italian restaurant on Rundle Street gets it right. In future if you're looking for a top italian feed in the city, venture down to Signore's in the David Jones food court. It's a family run cafe and is reasonably priced, I'd recommend anything on their menu. Their Eggs Benedict are absolutely delicious. I salivate just thinking about them.