Caffe L'Incontro - little gem in the heart of Adelaide?

In the heart of Gays Arcade in Adelaide's Rundle Mall, is an authentic little Italian restaurant.  I went there a few years ago, and had a 50/50 experience, long story short, I misheard the Italian waiter with a strong Italian accent say "Prawns".... the daily special dish came out and it was actually all black?  I questioned the menu and realised he said Prunes!

Anyway, I have heard and read good reviews since then about this place and decided it was time to try again.

This time round, the waitresses and waiters weren't all Italian, which made the little place 'less authentic'.  Last time it was purely Italian voluptuous waitresses and handsome Italian men......

getting back on track to the food.... ordered 2 dishes, including another special dish.




the first dish was meat tortellini with leek, mushroom and spicy Italian sausages.  Sounded good on paper (or from the waitresses mouth reading the specials), but when it came out I was expecting something a little different........

The aroma from this dish resembled something very 'Asian'.... probably something I would normally cook at home, as there are times when I would actually use mushroom, garlic and leek.  First off, the tortellini... nothing special, actually some of them were a little bit soggy, and some hard... not sure how they managed that, and in my books, its a big 'no no' with inconsistency in pasta texture.  The Italian sausages, interesting...... very 'home made', as they were just like hand rolled meatballs...  Tastewise, interesting too, not sure what herb was in it, tasted like parsley? and it was quite overwhelming.  however, this was the only thing that made it taste like 'Italian'. 

Overall, the taste of this dish was a bit disappointing.  If i had my eyes closed, it felt like I was eating an Asian dish... if I had a taste of the sausages, it would bring me back to Italy.....

The second dish is a normal menu dish, an Italian dish I always refer to as a 'safe dish'.  It was Putanesca, with Penne.  Normally I would order Fettuccine, however, I didn't choose this dish today, my totally awesome friend (she forced me at knife-point to write that) did.  I always like to have this dish at Italian places, as it shows whether a relatively simple dish can be accomplished.  Olives, capers, tomato and chilli.... a very a basic combination.


salty salty salty.... was our feedback.  It was nothing special unfortunately, and I usually like this dish with more spiciness to it, however it was not the case today, as I could barely notice any hint of chilli.

My friend and I commented on how this was a bad experience for us both today, and we concluded to the fact that a bad experience at a restaurant is usually when you eat something that you could probably cook better at home, or have had better elsewhere....  this was the case with both dishes..... the 'special' dish with the leek was something I could easily cook at home, and the Putanesca was definitely better elsewhere..

Hayes gives Caffe L'Incontro 2/5 chopping boards

Caffe L'Incontro on Urbanspoon



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