Founder of Your Write, freelance writer, editor, corporate communicator and TV Producer in my spare time, around being a busy mum to 3 little ones and managing our team at Your Write.
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Published October 11th 2013
The perfect family restaurant
It's hard to find that type of Italian restaurant you used to frequent with your family as a child. You know the one – often family-owned, intimate, always accepts walk-ins when mum has decided it was too hot to cook or we just needed a treat out, huge serves of delicious food for both the adults and the children and of course, always something extra special for the kids. So I was delighted when I stumbled across Orlando's Italian Restaurant - it ticks all those boxes. And more.
Set on Old Cleveland road, Orlando's is part of the exciting rejuvenation of Stone's Corner. Situated just in front of the busway, it takes its place in the old Fasta Pasta building - but couldn't be more different. The venue has been transformed into a warm and stylish restaurant with an open style kitchen and a plethora of helpful staff on hand who are always pleasantly familiar and attentive, particularly to our 3 small people in tow.
The dinner menu is good and of all the different things we've tried, the pizza's stand out as some of the best around. They vary in price from $14 - $23, with most around the $17 mark. The secondi and pastas are all good too, including the staples of every good Italian restaurant; chicken cacciatore ($21.90), lasagne ($18), spinach and ricotta ravioli ($16.90) and fettuccine carbonara ($16.90). At $18.90, the chicken risotto with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts is also definitely worth a try. Those are some of my highlights - I'm still working my way through the remainder of the menu... and the decent wine menu.
The children's menu is very limited. This doesn't concern mine in the slightest as my children always go for the same thing – the spaghetti bolognaise. I have to admit, I just don't know they get it to taste that good! One main sized plate feeds the 3 of them at the restaurant – and then usually another meal the following day, provided my husband or I don't try to finish it off. That's one of the things that keeps us coming back to Orlando's – all the food is so generous and tasty and all so very reasonably priced.
Having dinner with 3 small children can often be fraught with danger. However, as soon as we are settled at a table, the kids are presented with crayons and paper for some quiet colouring-in time. This makes the short wait for the food (and it is usually only a short wait) quite surprisingly peaceful.
Orlando's posts specials on their Facebook page, so it is definitely worth keeping an eye on and 'checking in', if you are planning a visit. For example, every Friday night the kid's are offered free gelato after dinner. Somehow they always manage to fit it in.
And if dinner 'in' is more your thing, Orlando's also do takeaway. They are open Tuesday to Sunday from 5pm.
Going to Orlando's Italian Restaurant has become a bit of special (and often requested) treat now. I hope that my children will remember the evenings we spend there and want to replicate them with their own families in future years.
Sounds great. I'm so pleased that a decent restaurant has taken over this spot. After Fasta Pasta, there was a Mexican restaurant there for awhile which was atrocious-went once & never returned. I'll certainly have to try Orlando's out. Thank you for the review.