Sunday, March 11, 2012


The problem my parents have with European establishments is that conversation volume must be kept at a constant whisper and, if you've ever been to a Chinese restaurant (or anywhere where there's more than 6 Chinese people), you would know that it is near impossible.

This is why we mostly frequent Chinese restaurants where you can practically  yell at the top of your voice and it would barely be heard over everybody else. 

In my mind, European restaurants were all super sophisticated and, therefore, near silent where conversation is kept to a hush and the only sound that should be heard is the occasional clinking of wine glasses. 

Chinese food is about atmosphere. That, and the ability to talk about anything you want and not be overheard.

I was overjoyed to find that Gina's (or, GINA'S) Italian Kitchen prided themselves on atmosphere and absolutely delighted to see their tag line:

"You want quiet darling? Then you'll have to go elsewhere because we don't do quiet."

And with Jason's recommendation of their food, immediately booked a table for three for the night. 

Classic Bellini and Kiwi Bellini - $10.50 each
Upon entering Gina's, we were immediately greeted by a bunch of enthusiastic (and gorgeous!) men and women who were speaking Italian at the top of their voices. We were led to a table in the middle of the restaurant (and right in front of the kitchen) and, coincidentally, perfectly positioned to experience what Francesca calls "true, Italian restaurant atmosphere." We started our night with Francesca's favourite EVER drink, the Bellini while I opted for one with a more Kiwi twist consisting of kiwifruit nectar instead of peach puree.

Pizza Garlic Bread - $10.00
To accompany our drinks, we ordered a pizza garlic bread for the table. It was then I decided that I was going to dedicate as much time as needed to learn the secret to that base -light and crispy on the outside and soft, but not doughy, on the inside. 

Tre Funghi Pizza - $24.00
Still in her "OMG I love pizza phase", Francesca ordered the Tre Funghi pizza which consists of grilled portabello, chanterell√© & porcini mushrooms 
with rosemary & truffle oil. If there's one thing that Italians do better than anybody else, it's making pizzas. The base is similar to the pizza garlic bread we had before and the earthy taste of mushrooms was perfectly offset with the rich truffle oil.

Tagliata di Manz - $30.50

Jason opted for a grilled scotch steak with a side of chunky fries and salad. The steak was cooked a little rare for his liking but was well seasoned and went very well with its sides.

Fettuccine Mari o Monti - $25.00
My hands down favourite dish of the night was definitely the seafood fettuccine. I was informed, when ordering, the the kitchen had run out of fettuccine but could replace it with some spinach tagliatelle (which is basically the same thing). The dish comes with prawns, chicken and mushrooms swimming in the most amazing sauce made of marsala, roasted walnuts, truffle oil and pecorino cheese. Mmm.. just writing about it now makes me want to go back for more. Delizioso! 

If you want to experience authentic Italian food with amazing atmosphere, or if you want to talk about secret things without fear of being overheard look no further than Gina's Italian Kitchen. 

Gina's can be found at 101 Symonds St, Auckland, New Zealand.

View Larger Map


  1. Well, more than authentic Italian food I would say authentic Kiwi Italian food, with a Brazilian flair. Fun place though, good looking boys. :-).


  2. Oh!! It all looks so delicious! I love Italian food and that big garlic pizza looked amazing, as did the steak, I love my steak rare so I would have been very happy with a big chunky piece of rare steak.

    I know I would have had to try the pizza too, especially with the truffle oil!!

  3. What a great attitude and atmosphere! That garlic pizza looks so amazing indeed, yummo!

  4. Hehe what a funny tagline! And sometimes you just want to be able to talk and not be heard! :D

  5. I'm not a fan of those super posh restaurants where you have to keep your voice down... Not that it matters, I talk as loud as I want, lol. Great looking food!

  6. Hehehee marrying to a Chinese person, and having Chinese people around now, I know what you mean. Even my kids know that iPad or iphone doesn't work in Chinese restaurant (too loud that they can't hear). LOL!! But when they were babies, I was so happy that no one actually heard of them crying and I can happily have a meal, without hurrying up. Anyway, the food looks gooood!