Amalfi pizzeria ristorante - minus the salt please

Amalfi Pizzeria Ristorante - 29 Frome Street, Adelaide

Amalfi, one of Adelaide's famous Italian institutions is situated just off Rundle Street in the city centre. It was another Chopping Board 'family' meeting and we all thought this location would make a perfect lunch time catchup. We'd all individually been here many times, but the most recent outing was already at least a year ago.

Arriving at 12pm on the dot, we were the first of their lunch customers on a Thursday afternoon. This was to be our Christmas get-together before Mirko's holiday overseas and we had lots to catch up on so we weren't in any hurry to order, however within a matter of minutes the waiter/waitresses repeatedly (4 times) asked us if we were ready to do so.

On the Chopping Board
Amalfi signage
Almost immediately after we ordered, focaccia bread, oil and balsamic vinegar was delivered to the table. The bread was fresh but we were at a loss as to where to pour the oil and vinegar - we opted for our side plates. The balsamic vinegar bottle leaked from the base of the spout and neither the oil or vinegar poured well. Needless to say, it was a bit messy. This might be why the bottles were oily and when delivered to the table.
On the Chopping Board
Complimentary bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

On the Chopping Board
Pasta Amalfitana - Linguine with sundried tomato, spinach, onion, artichoke, eggplant, pinenuts and oregano
Tom: Although there are vegan options on the menu, they appreciate being told in advance if you need a vegan meal. That's what we did and I ordered the Pasta Amalfitana (cooked with vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. The pasta tasted fresh, I wouldn't say it was al dente but cooked perfectly for my taste. The sauce was chunky, I could identify all the ingredients (gold star for the chef and me!) and the sauce:pasta ratio was spot on. I opted for no pepper or additional salt and I'm glad I did, it was seasoned perfectly. I wish I had saved my bread to mop up the sauce and I would've liked some more fresh herbs to give it a freshness I thought it was lacking.

On the Chopping Board
Pasta Ragu - Rigatoni with rich veal chunks in tomato sauce
Mirko: There isn't really much I can say about the ragu. It was nice however on this occassion it was not as good as I have had in previous times. The ragu itself was a little dry and there could have been more sauce. Having said all this, the flavours of the ragu itself were nice. If I was to order this dish again, I think I would opt for another type of pasta which would have held onto the sauce a little more.

Sirloin steak salad - $24.50
Jess: Having  gorged myself the night before at the VIP dinner held by the Republic in Norwood, I wasn't in the mood for either pasta or pizza. Instead I opted for the sirloin steak salad, consisting of mixed greens, medium rare steak slices, grilled capsicum, spanish red onion, blue cheese and shaved parmesan to garnish. Mixed greens were fresh and crunchy, while steak slices were cooked medium rare and retained juiciness. Grilled capsicum was a nice addition and provided a relief from the acidity of the dressing. This salad was drenched in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, overwhelmingly so. The chunks of blue cheese were nice when paired with the steak slices, but were a little overpowering when eaten with just the mixed greens. Despite the minor qualms, the salad gave a solid performance.

On the Chopping Board
Americano pizza - Fresh tomato, bocconcini, cacciatore salami chilli and basil
Nathan: I had a big night ahead of me, which included a cruise Temptation Sailing at Glenelg, so I was keen to get my meal for the day in now, and make it large. I chose the large Americano pizza. This is a pizza that would normally be shared, but I chose to demolish it on my own. The Amalfi base is not like the normal wood oven thin base, its thicker, with a chewy texture. It reminds me of the pizzas we got while in the south of Italy, and those we get from the Campania Club in Modbury.

The toppings mixture was balanced well, with the thick cut salami adding some much needed chew. I loved the optional chilli oil, and poured that on every slice. It wasn't until I was finished that I realised how salty the pizza was. Maybe I didn't during the meal because of my addiction to the chilli oil, but I walked away very parched. I don't think that this amount of salt was necessary, and could be reduced.

On the Chopping Board
Amalfi special pizza - pizza with the lot 
Hayes: My benchmark pizza is always the Margherita and I firmly believe pizzas should have no more than 3 toppings. I've had the Margherita here at Amalfi's many times and it's absolutely fabulous. However I know many of our readers like the good old 'Aussie' style pizza where toppings are abundant so I opted for 'Pizza with the Lot' today. What a mistake that was.......This pizza looked like something only a mother would love. It seriously had everything including prawns, pepperoni, olives, anchovies, spinach, mushrooms, and capsicum just to name a few ingredients. 

The base as Nathan had described it above is a deep pan cooked pizza, similar to Pizza Hut's thick based pizzas. You'd think with a thick base it'll balance out the flavours, but this tasted just like a mess. After about 3-4 bites I was overwhelmed by how salty this thing was. My gums began to tear apart because it was just waaaay to salty. I don't usually give up on food, and I normally can eat for 2 people, but today I was unable to finish this pizza, leaving 2 slices to take home. 

Apart from the pizzas today, the Amalfi standard delivered without fail. Tom, Jess and Mirko walked away very satisfied with their meals while Nathan and I felt like we should have ordered a pasta instead.

The Chopping Board as a collective give Amalfi Pizzeria 13.5/20 chops on The Chopping Board

Food: 6.5/10 - Pizzas were a bit of a disappointment
Service: 3/5 - asking 4 times whether we were ready to order in a matter of minutes is a bit of overkill
Ambiance: 4/5 - always a bustling place to dine in

Amalfi Pizzeria Ristorante on Urbanspoon


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