Zia Pina – The Rocks, Sydney

Yesterday the boyfriend invited our friend Richard out to dinner. After a hard day’s work, Richard was happy to oblige. After picking him up from his office, we drove down to The Rocks. Trying to find a parking spot wasn’t the most thrilling of things. I wasn’t very happy when the Indian lady in the spot in front wouldn’t move up 1m so I could fit into mine. She had 2m in front of her but was scared she couldn’t get out of her space later. But we ended up parking in that spot anyways. We made our way down to George St via those dark stairways that you find in The Rocks. We walked past Amo Roma that we had tried previously and vowed to never go back there again. A couple of doors down was this small, very cosy looking Italian restaurant. As we stepped in, it did feel like we had stepped into another world. Photographs and signatures of celebrities covered the walls. From my seat I couldn’t make out any of them though. I could, however, see some old-school kitchen containers.

All around me there were different groups of people having dinner. Old couples, work colleagues, families, friends. The atmosphere was very relaxed and comfortable. I scanned over the menu gave the tick to some items. Richard had insisted that we get the pepperoni pizza but agreed to compromise with a meatlovers.

Meatlovers: cheese, tomato, ham, cabanossi, hot salami, bacon, BBQ sauce
Large: $28

This pizza was my favourite but I did prefer if they had more sauce. I decided to let the boyfriend choose the second pizza since I had agreed with Richard’s decision and I was allowed to pick a pasta dish. He wanted the Vegetarian or the Four Seasons but Richard and I both shot him down. Or theory was, Vegetarian: ‘Why have a vegetarian when we can have meat?’ and Four Seasons: *screwed up face*. We finally agreed to have the Mexican.

Mexican: cheese, tomato, capsicum, onions, olives, anchovies, chilli, hot salami
Medium: $16

I felt a little bit ripped off since there wasn’t much difference in size, yet there was such a big difference in price. I suggest you get the medium if you go. Finally, I chose the Tortellini Alla Crema. The Gnocchi sounded delicious but I was won over by the tortellini.

Tortellini Alla Crema: ham, mushroom, cream
Entree: $14

The tortellini was quite nice. I found the sauce quite heavy and salty near one end of the dish though. It was a nice dish to share as I wasn’t under the pressure to eat it all myself. For the drinks, I ordered a lemon, lime and bitters. The boyfriend and Richard ordered James Squire pale ale. I thought my drink would be freshly made, instead it was a bottle of Schweppes lemon, lime and bitters. I did see 3 bottles of bitters sitting on their make-shift bar, so I was disappointed. I have made LLB before and it isn’t that hard to make.

The meal was just enough for the three of us with the thought of dessert next. However, one thing I must say was that the waiters seemed a bit rude and served everyone differently. A couple of very pretty girls came in, one was wearing quite a short skirt. There were seats downstairs but the waiter insisted they go upstairs. They opted for the seat next to us. I could see the waiter look disappointed as he signaled to another waiter that they were staying downstairs. From what I could see of the stairs was that they were very steep and open to peeping toms. I personally thought this was quite perverted. But throughout the meal, they were getting special attention from that particular waiter. The boyfriend had to flag down that waiter in order to get a glass of water.

Overall, it was an okay experience. The food was tasty, but for that price I could’ve gotten an even nicer pizza in Bondi. The ambience was great, but the quality of service let the restaurant down.

I have different expectations of things so you might be better off going to try it yourself. Personally, I don’t think I’ll be returning. Maybe someday when I’m in the area and I feel like some Italian I will go there. But you may have been here before and loved it. Don’t let my opinion change your mind.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

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