Saturday, 11 October 2014

TAKEAWAY REVIEW: Marinara Cafe & Restaurant

Cassie Cakes Marinara Review
I didn't take any photos of the actual restaurant as I didn't know I was going to do a review til I got home.
Well, this is a first. A takeaway review! I wasn't on planning on doing takeaway reviews but Marinara at Hawthorne has made me so disgusted, the rage has pushed me to do it. So that's something good that's come out of this.

Mr Cakes, Puppycakes and myself were out walking when we noticed that an Italian restaurant had opened up where previously there was a pretty decent fish and chip shop. I used to live just up the road from the fish and chip shop. When my friend and I were broke, we'd get a couple of dollars worth of chips for dinner and all would be well with the world. What a shame that they have now gone.

Cassie Cakes Marinara Review shit gnocchi
Once we had walked home, I called up and placed an order. The gentleman on the phone kept calling me 'darling' which did not bode well with me as I find it a little patronizing and a touch sexist but since I might be a touch of a headstrong feminist, I tried not to be sensitive about it. We ordered Gnocchi Bolognese ($28.50), Chicken and Mushroom Cannelloni ($28.50) and a Chilli Prawn Pizza ($25.50). The man taking my order let me know it would be a 40 minute wait and I said that was fine. As we only live up the road, we waited 40 minutes before leaving the house so we arrived after when they advised the food would be ready.

Cassie Cakes Marinara Review shit gnocchi
Closer up. Ew.
However, we were then advised it would be another 20 minutes. An hour for one pizza and two serves of pasta seemed excessive and we debated forgetting about it and going to Crust instead. I remarked to Mr Cakes that perhaps restaurant chains are not as sophisticated or cultural if you will as independent restaurants but at least they're efficient. There were about 15 staff working there who seemed unable to achieve anything as they buzzed both back and forward from the kitchen empty handed.

Cassie Cakes Marinara Review pizza
This looks better than it was.
Shortly after arriving, we spied some gnocchi come and sit on the front counter. We conferred that that box had better not be our gnocchi since the rest of the meal wasn't prepared, we didn't really want cold food. There seemed to be a lot of back patting of the customers, perhaps some sort of consolation for people having to wait for their food? Some customers had a better experience than us as about 3 lots came and went without a delay.

Cassie Cakes Marinara Review shit pizza
Undercooked. That's 'Everybody Loves Raymond' on in the background. Which is shit too.
I returned to the car shortly to sit with Puppycakes. Mr Cakes was offered a free drink while he waited so credit must be given their for the acknowledgment of the wait.  After about 15 minutes, a few containers arrived on the kitchen pass and Mr Cakes began to ponder if they were ours. Another 7 minutes elapsed and finally Mr Cakes asked if the food cooling was ours. Indeed it was. Maybe 7 minutes doesn't sound like long but when you're hungry and have already been waiting close to an hour, it's an eternity, goddamn it!  

Cassie Cakes Marinara Review shit pizza
Doughy. Undercooked.
The gentleman who took our order finally passed the food over and then offered a prepacked dessert of what appeared to be cheesecake. He proffered the container with a "For you, my friend!". Kind but when Mr Cakes said there were two of us, the probable proprietor of the restaurant said he could only give him one. What the hell? You can't give another dessert for two people who've been waiting over an hour for their order? That certainly didn't sit well.

Cassie Cakes Marinara Review shit cannelloni

On the short drive home we both agreed that all would be forgive if the food was phenomenal. Since Marinara was already on a roll with disappointing us, it won't come as a surprise that they decided to stick with it. As I unpacked the food, the bottom of the admittedly huge Styrofoam container was cool. So it looks like the gnocchi that made an appearance early on was indeed ours. And it didn't get better when we opened the container. It looked like cat food, tasted strange to say the least with some out of place citrus taste. The gnocchi was gluey and the Bolognese sauce was watery. Frankly, if I ate decent Bolognese and threw it up, it would probably would have tasted like this.

Cassie Cakes Marinara Review Fancy Feast
Fancy Feast.

They did give us 3 pieces of stale garlic bread and I really would have preferred if they hadn't. I have just started a compost bin today so at least they gave me something to put in it. The pizza was the best dish we got but that's not saying much. It was a bit oily, the prawns weren't deveined and the base of the pizza was undercooked and I doubt it had been cooked on a hot stone. Maybe someone sat on it for a while. Puppycakes enjoyed the prawns so every shit pizza has a silver lining.

Cassie Cakes Marinara Review shit dessert
FYI, this was shit too.
Things didn't get better with the chicken and mushroom cannelloni. I opened up, had a spoonful and that was it. The filling was like Fancy Feast. Maybe Marinara was trying to make us feel extra special with Fancy Feast Royale. It was like a grey paste. It's where chicken and mushroom went to die. Cos they hate each other . And it was a murder suicide. A moments silence for where that chicken could have went. Like a can of Roasted Succulent Chicken Fancy Feast.

Cassie Cakes Marinara Review Puppycakes looks less than impressed
"What is this? Fancy Feast? I ain't no cat, you fool!"...I love the look of absolute bewilderment in her eyes.
In short, bad service, bad food. Not even Puppycakes liked the look of the bit we gave her. The rest went in the bin.

Food: 0/5
Service: 1/5
Price: 1/5
Atmosphere: 5/5 -my house! best atmosphere ever!

Marinara Cafe & Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. That is a look of utter confusion "what is this greasy mess before me? This is not up to standard!"

    1. I know! Where's the chicken breast and a grade mince!

  2. That meal certainly looks like fancy feast
    And the service sounds like a beast
    I would not head there if I dared
    Such clever words and pic show you cared
    Saving us mortals from fail food holes like this
    I wish you, Mr cakes and puppy cakes every bliss!

    1. Oh dear reader! Thank you so much for your lovely poem! I showed Mr Cakes and we both love it!

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  5. I can't comment on their take aways, but Marinara is one of our favourite restaurants in the area. My kids love their pizza and I have consistently enjoyed the pasta. We also like the friendliness of the staff and the buzzy atmosphere. It is a bit pricey for the pasta, but I recommend that people go and make their own judgement before writing it off because of the - admittedly bad- experience described above.

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