South Australia

"Real People, Real Reviews"

Restaurant review: Siena's in Mount Lawley

Written by 8th January, 2009

Siena’s is not particularly well-regarded among food lovers as a decent place to eat. The Bloggers’ view is no exception, previous visits (which took place many years ago) have been uninspiring – bland food, average service, mass produced pasta with little love or attention to detail. However, we had to go to Siena’s with an open mind, and we were prepared to be surprised.

To make the experience more palatable, it was decided that takeaway Siena’s might be better than dine-in Siena’s. Not sure how this reasoning developed, but it seemed logical at the time. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Siena’s was not worth a baby-sitter for Stinky.

Our first experience was in placing the order. Helpfully, Siena’s has a good website listing its full menu. We love this, more restaurants should devote time and energy to setting up a website, particularly casual-dining places which do takeaway. The average office worker spends fucking hours on the internet, loves to be immediately informed and doesn’t really want to talk on the phone with a restaurant for longer than needed.

Ordering was a smooth and successful transmission and soon Siena’s was cooking up the following for the Bloggers:

1. arancini balls (2 serves)
2. calamari (1 serve)
3. garlic bread
4. penne al diavolo (penne, spicy Italian sausage, onions,
mushrooms, in a chilli tomato sauce).
5. fettucine Siena (fettucine with prawns, broccoli in vodka flavoured
tomato and cream sauce, sprinkled with chilli flakes)
6. an Isabella pizza (tomato, mozarella, basil, Italian sausage,
olives, onions, artichokes)
7. a meatlovers pizza (Tomato, mozarella, bacon, ham, sausage
and chicken)

Picking up the order was more difficult. The Deliberator and the Brains were entrusted with the role of pick-up and take-home. The Deliberator, starving, sulky and desperate for a drink, made several driving errors that saw him turn right where no right turns were permitted, do a u-turn in the middle of Beaufort Street on a busy Thursday night, run up a curb and then park illegally. The Brains’ constant nit-picking did not help, and at after the car was finally stationary, the Deliberator stormed off the Vietnamese deli across the road, god knows what for, leaving the Brains to pick up and carry what was about 45kg of food. Order and calm resumed shortly thereafter.

As usual, and much to the bewilderment of anyone who actually likes food, Siena’s was packed to the rafters. It’s unbelievably popular, but does anyone know anyone who goes there? Anyway, the order was retrieved, and the only notable thing in relation to the pick-up was that the pizzas were sitting on a the bench a long way from the wood fired oven, so they were dead cold by the time we got them home.

So, to the food. It was fine. Really, it was. The pizzas, although cold, had good crispy bases and nice fresh ingredients. The pasta was not full of flavour, but the ingredients themselves were fine. The arancini were each as big as a cannon ball. The calamari was a disappointment, the takeaway container contained more lettuce than squid, and the squid itself was rubbery. So, all in all pretty much exactly as we expected. While we were not surprised, we weren’t completely put off either.

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