Located along Prospect Rd, Café Cena serves a good variety of café food with a focus on Italian cuisine. During our first visit, we arrived at the time when they just switched to their "lunch chef" from the chef who prepared the breakfast dishes. Because of that our food took a bit a longer than usual to arrive. We were glad to note that our meal was served to us quite promptly when we went there for dinner on another day.
Café Cena's Marinara Pasta features your choice of pasta tossed with pan-fried king prawns, Barramundi pieces, scallops, squid and mussels in a tomato sugo (a traditional Italian slow-cooked sauce). The penne pasta we chose was cooked to al dente with all the seafood cooked just right. The tomato sugo helped to enhance the flavour of the ingredients with a hint of heat from the chilli in the sauce. Other choices for the pasta are fettuccini and spaghetti with a bit of an extra cost for gnocchi, ravioli and gluten free penne.
Marinara Pasta (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
One of the various burgers that can be ordered at Café Cena, their signature Cena Burger had a juicy chargrilled chicken fillet wonderfully complemented with bacon, tomato, onion, cheddar cheese and lettuce with the slightly sharp taste of the lemon garlic aioli completing the dish. The chips accompanying the burger were fried to golden brown with fluffy interiors.
Cena Burger (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Polpette Pizza is a pizza without a normal pizza base. Instead toasted pita bread is topped with tomato sugo, braised meatballs, roasted capsicum, basil and shaved Parmesan cheese. The meatballs were succulent and complemented well by the tomato sugo and basil with the Parmesan cheese adding a slight salty taste.
For those who prefer a pasta dish with a richer taste, the Calabrese is a good choice. It had a moreish smoky taste from the cacciatore sausage with a salty element coming from the Kalamata olives. As it was with their Marinara Pasta, the pasta was cooked to al dente making it a thoroughly enjoyable dish.
Calabrese Pasta (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The squid in their Salt and Pepper Calamari dish was tender with a delightful salt and pepper flavour. Lemon wedges were served with the dish to provide the lemon juice to enhance the taste of the calamari. The dish also came with chips (done as well as the one served with the Cena Burger), a refreshing salad and lemon garlic aioli to dip the calamari and chips in.
Salt and Pepper Calamari (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
While we would have liked a bit more prosciutto, their Bruschetta Prosciutto still had ciabatta bread that was toasted just right with the prosciutto giving the dish a delightful smoky flavour. It was wonderfully partnered by the rocket leaves and marinated artichokes with the tomato pesto tying everything together.
Bruschetta Prosciutto (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The Hazelnut Pavlova that we chose for our dessert was light and fluffy with a nutty taste from the hazelnuts and layers of cream enhancing its flavour. It was also topped with strawberries whose sweet taste went well with the Pavlova.
Hazelnut Pavlova (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Ambience of the café was very good with the tables spaced a decent distance apart from each other. A good amount of off-street parking is available in the carpark located in front of the café.
It's nice when cafés realise you want to talk to the other people at your table and hear their conversation, not the neighbouring ones. Too many cafés over populate their floor space with tables. I'm glad you made this observation. It's a good customer service that goes unnoticed by some cafés.