It's official: my craving for Italian food is insatiable. I keep thinking that it's about time I started getting in the mood for a different type of cuisine but nope... pasta is on my mind. It's an affliction.
It so happens that Charlie has also caught the bug. With him it's more specific: seafood pasta in a creamy sauce loaded with chili.
We set out one day with this in mind. I wanted to try Arriva in New Farm but it wasn't open for lunch. Neither was Ciccio's (one of our favorite pasta bars). Finally, in a state of near-despair, we remembered Capri in the Emporium. Charlie had actually been there before but for some reason, thought it was a Spanish restaurant. I had never been there but was pretty sure it was an Italian restaurant. I think I was right in the end.
Once we navigated the horrendous one-way street maze around the Valley and finally got to the Emporium, we headed straight for Capri. It's large and spacious - lots of outdoor seating.
Charlie spotted a chili crab and prawn linguine on their menu and said "Bingo - that's me". He wasn't done there though, he was very very hungry. We ended up also getting a pizza and wedges to share plus I had a beef salad for myself.
Food took a while to come out. When it did (all at once), we quickly ran out of room on the table. Not that it mattered. The plates got polished up FAST.
Beef salad - Dukkah coated eye fillet with baby Coz lettuce, smoked Roma tomatoes, garlic croutons, Pecorino cheese and poached egg with honey & seeded mustard dressing
My beef salad was great. It's an entree option so the serving isn't huge but it's good for 'normal' eating as opposed to feasting. The beef was so tender and the leaves were fresh. I loved that they had a soft-poached egg on top.
Prawn and crab linguine - Australian prawns and fresh picked sand crab with chili, garlic, Italian parsley linguine and extra virgin olive oil with linguine pasta
Unfortunately for Charlie, his pasta did not hit the spot at all. The first thing we thought was that there was no crab in it at all. We asked the waitress and she said that the crab must have 'broken down'. After fishing around for crab bits, we decided that it had broken down to air particles or something because there wasn't a trace of crab at all. The pasta was also quite dry and bland. Charlie complained that it didn't even have salt. It was expensive at $30 so we really expected better.
Wagyu pizza - roasted 500 day grain feed Wagyu beef, halloumi cheese, fresh tomato and mozzarella cheese
The wagyu pizza got mixed reviews. I thought the topping was 'ok' but didn't like the base. I love a crispy base - this one was thin but doughy. Charlie liked the pizza and he said he prefers a soft base. Well, each to their own. Overall, it wasn't really stand out for me.
The wedges were really quite nice though - they were rustic, oiled and flavored with herbs. Try as I did, I couldn't identify the sauce they served it with. The menu claims it is smoked paprika aioli but the wedges were quite heavily flavored themselves. They weren't crunchy but in this instance, I didn't mind. I thought they were a bit more like roast potatoes than what you think of as typical wedges.
Capri was a bit hit and miss for me. The prices were a bit on the upper end and service was average. We had to wait for a long time for food and whilst the beef salad and wedges were quite good, the pizza was 'questionable' and the pasta was disappointing to say the least. They are supposed to be an award-winning pizza restaurant but I think the Pizza Cafe at UQ suits my preference more.
On the plus side, it is the Emporium and the atmosphere is lovely.