With a Scoopon voucher in hand for an entrée, main and dessert, I checked out Criniti’s at their Manly location. Our table was in the window seats area, perfect for enjoying a gentle breeze on a sunny day. After a bit of confusion about the conditions of the Scoopon voucher (it was our waiter’s second day on the job), it was time to order some food.
Soft Shell Crab – lightly fried & tossed with garlic, chilli & shallots
- A decent pile of little soft shell crabs that were on the salty side.
- The lime wedge was a bit sparse, and the chilli didn’t come through.
- More than edible but nothing special.
Agnolotti – scallop & prawn with salsa pomodoro pachino
- I had imagined visible pieces of scallop and prawn encased by the pasta but the filling was actually more of a semi-solid paste that didn’t taste of much.
- The sauce had a slight kick from the chilli and I did like the very tender pieces of tomato that were proof of a long sauce simmering process.
Tartuﬁni – homemade proﬁteroles ﬁlled with chantilly cream, rolled in decadent dark chocolate fudge & covered in dark chocolate shavings
- I went back and forth on ordering these as I had liked the description when perusing the online menu before my visit but the picture on the iPad menu made them look like little chocolate truffles that suggested a smothering of dense chocolate.
- Thinking they’d be bite-sized, I was surprised when they arrived as full-fledged profiteroles with much less chocolatey intensity than anticipated.
- They were definitely the highlight for me as they were light, not too sweet and lovely to eat.
Criniti’s had a few things going for it – a very extensive menu, a spacious restaurant in a good location and the vague promise of authentic Italian food. The food came out very quickly but dessert took forever to arrive. I wouldn’t be opposed to eating there again but the food wasn’t phenomenal, and I would question whether it was overpriced without the Scoopon deal.