Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Valentine's Day Dinner at the Roman Empire Restaurant, Carindale

We had heard great things about the Roman Empire Restaurant at Carindale, but we had only managed to visit them for some takeaway recently. We loved the quality of the pastas and sauces and decided that it would be a lovely place to visit for Valentine's Day.

We booked for 6pm, thinking that it would be too early for most people and we wouldn't have to fight crowds. It was wishful thinking, with every table in sight taken by the time our entree arrived.

The restaurant itself is lovely and bright, and to celebrate the day there was a beautiful long-stemmed red rose on every table which we could take with us. It was a nice touch and, according to DD, meant that DD didn't have to buy me any flowers.

I mentioned that the restuarant was very busy, however this really didn't impact our service. In fact, except for a small delay in getting our first drink order and we never received our bill after asking for it (we had to go up to the counter to get it), the service was attentive and prompt. I was delighted to see that they took care to refill our water glasses. I have never been to a restaurant before where that much attention was paid to each table. It was very nice.

On to the food...

Trio of dips served with grilled pizza bread: (from top) hummus, caramelised onion and creamy pesto.

The grilled pizza bread was served warm and was lovely and tasty on its own, even without the dips. It was lightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. My favourite dip was the hummus, which was so full of flavour. I don't usually like hummus, but this was amazing. DD loved the caramelised onion which was creamy and sweet. The creamy pesto was nice, but sadly it was overshadowed by the other two.

Fettucine al pollo: chicken tenders, macadamia nuts, avocado, semidried tomato, sauted in a light lemon cream sauce with cracked pepper, topped with bocconcini cheese

This was my main and it was just divine. Creamy and light and lemony. The semidried tomatoes were sweet and juicy and the chicken was moist and tender. I felt that the macadamias were a little bit unneccessary, but everything was very enjoyable. I wished I had some bread to soak up the rest of the sauce.

We weren't given spoons to help with the pasta eating, which was a little unfortunate as I am slightly uncoordinated when eating a creamy pasta with a knife and fork. It was a small annoyance.

Wild Herb Gnocchi: served with roast pumpkin, mushrooms, semidried tomato, carmelised onion in a creamy garlic sauce.

DD loves this dish. I don't like gnocci, so I didn't taste much of it. The sauce I did taste was sweet from the roasted pumpkin and caramelised onion.

Cannoli filled with vanilla and chocolate custard

Apologies for the slightly blurry photograph, but the cannoli was very nice. It was very well done . DD's only complaint were the blueberries (he's not a fruit fan) and that the cannoli was a little difficult to eat with his spoon.


My dessert was the Tiramisu. It had a beautiful rich coffee flavour and the mascarpone cream was delicious. It was a perfect end to the meal.

We both enjoyed our visit very much. The service was generally great and the food spectacular. The price wasn't too bad either.

As I said before, DD and I have ordered takeaway from the Roman Empire and the quality of the takeaway is as good as we received in the restaurant. DD will always prefer to takeaway and eat at home rather than going out for dinner and it's fantastic to know that we can get restaurant quality meals from here regardless of whether we eat in or takeaway.

The Roman Empire Restaurant
Shop 1, 742 Creek Road
Carindale QLD 4152
Ph 3420 0969

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