Monday, December 6, 2010

Lucianos - Parramatta

My friends and I were up for a late lunch on a Sunday in Parra. Having all the options of the restaurants on Church Street, we had finally decided to test out Lucianos - a restaurant that none of us have been to previously.


Lucianos has a decent list of lunch specials. We were slowly seated... then even more slowly, offered a waiter to take an order... then slowly the drinks came... then slowly, we waited and waited and waited and waited ... then an hour later, our food came. That was the pace of the whole meal. Slow.

We ordered a garlic pizza to share ($9.90). The base to this pizza was super crispy and crunchy. It was done really really well. The cheddar melted on top and the garlicy flavour added the perfect taste to the pizza base. All up - this is probably one of the best garlic pizzas we've had. Just took around half an hour to get here.

garlic pizza - $9.90

In terms of mains, whilst there were 6 of us, we had only ordered 4 different meals (some of us chose the same thing) - and one of them was a salad. The pasta's weren't exactly extravagently complicated (in our view) and so, to wait an hour for them to arrive (ie. at 3pm), it was slightly unexpected.

Me and one of my friends ordered the Penne venetian ($9.90 including a drink). This was penne with chicken, basil, garlic and pinenuts all in a white creamy sauce. It tasted really quite awesome. The pasta was done well - al dente - it was creamy and tasty but not overpoweringly so. Pesto flavoured, heavy yet light at the same time. I was very happy with my meal (except that it took an hour to get into my stomach).

Penne venetian - $9.90

Two of my other friends ordered a vitello capri risotto ($9.90 including a drink). Risotto for this price can not be perfect according to my friend, so she was happy with it even though it was a bit more soggy and a bit more runny and watery than she would have liked. I guess flavour-wise, it was decent. Unfortunately, one of my friends found a long brown hair in his risotto - and being asian, it was obviously not ours. When we informed the waiter of this, he was happy to take it off the bill. I'm sure my friend would have complained earlier if it was not for the fact that he was scared that he wouldn't be able to eat for another hour.

Vitello Capri risotto - $9.90

My partner ordered a spaghetti aglio oleo ($9.90 including drink). This was spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, sea salt flakes (aka salt), pepper, parsley, basil and chili flakes. It was flavoursome and spice-y but I don't know. It seemed to lack something. I preferred my creamy penne I think.

spachetti aglio oleo - $9.90

I didn't take a photo of my friends chicken salad. It came as a huge bowl and there was no major complaints about it so I can only assume that it was alright.

All up, service was a bit lacking, the decor was 'wannabe vintage', and the food was decent (except there may be hair in your food). Probably won't be returning unless I'm looking for a place to hang and kill time.

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 4/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 26.5/40

281-283 Church Street
NSW 2150
tel: (02) 9687 6880


MelbaToast said...

I've been wondering about this place as it's just opened up - where Positano's used to be. Sounds like very average service and YUK to finding a hair in the meal...gag! Would you go back?

bbsnoopy said...

Yeh! I just opened up. Very very average service. I have to say - my meal was actually quite good. But to risk having a hair in my food plus super slow service ... I most probably won't be a returning client... nor would I be highly recommending the place :P

Anonymous said...

My wife and twin girls enjoy going out to eat a lot.
In our travels, the hair thing happens once in a while even at Rockpool in the city...must be Neil's.
That aside though, does that mean he can't cook or immediately would not replace your meal with another freshly cooked meal "on the house" and not charge you for it wanting to make you happy as a valued customer? After all, I don't think they do it on purpose, Do you?
We went there for dinner the other day and found the food morrish and generously served. The wait staff I must say very focused on customer service and the food came out in a timely manner. The bill came also reasonably priced.
For a newly opened establishment, it was very relaxing and family friendly which was truely enjoyable and gave us a taste of the typical Italian family gathering experience. Try the after dinner mint chocolates...Lyndt might be on the lookout for the recipe.
All up a very relaxing, filling and enjoyable experience. No doubt about value. (Al)

Anonymous said...

i know i'm on anonymous, but its only because i just stumbled across this site, but don't you hate anonymous comments? they're usually the restaurants writing good things about themselves! haha...
anyway i haven't been to lucianos but ive been to lianas and im wondering whats the big deal with the name rip off? as well as the whole $9.90 deal! i just wish people would think of things on their own!


Anonymous said...

My family and I went to Lucianos Restaurant for Dinner Friday night Christmas eve, considering how busy the restaurant was the service was quick and efficient, the food servings were enormous and delicious, nice clean and friendly atmosphere, great place to dine keep it up Lucianos and you'll be one of the best restaurants in the Western suburbs.


Anonymous said...

Yo anon. Mel!!!
New at this thing myself and it sounds like you are a "S..T stirer who is unqulified to comment in the first place. I bet your dinning experience is normally made of a McDonalds "unhappy meal"..ha ha ha
I love food and those who want to make an honest living out of it. Ever heard of "Lucky Luciano"... mafia type dude that should put a hit on your attitude....I love this site and I did go to the joint. - Anon. Rules but not to you Mel...I am also not related to anyone unless you respect other people.

Anonymous said...

I have some inside information.
The owner of Lucianos used to be the head chef of Lianas and Crinitis before that.
I'm a regular to Church Street and he is the talk of the town at the moment. Lucianos is the place to be. best food and value in town!

Anonymous said...

The owner of Luciano's built up the establishments of Crinitis and Liana's and deserves all the happiness and success in this new venture, a bit of competition is good keeps all refreshed and focused to aim higher and provide exemplary food and service.

The food ambience service and price/options are perfect as well as the surrounds though it still good to pop round the other two mentioned above.

Anonymous said...

Well, you guys judge really harshly for a business which just openned up. It might be a common name due a to a restaurant with the exact same in Penrith but this is the first time the owner has openned and run his restaurant. and why do i know this? its cause i work there.

Oh. btw the Owner aka Head-chef was the head-chef at Liana's restaurant across the road and was a head chef at crinitis too.

so if youve eaten at lianas its his menu.

and go to any other restaurant and your not gonna find any similar meals for the low price they are serving. they are literally throwing out food for free.

at lunch u get a free drink "wine included" with a pasta

In my opinion, lianas will go out of business soon, and thats what the owners planning too and crinitis will follow.

so go bitch somewhere else oritee?

oh btw im a waiter/kitchenhand there.

Anonymous said...

We were there on Friday 7th Jan 2011 for the first time. The food servings were enormous. I am partial to Penne & I would have to honestly say that the Penne I ordered was one of the best I have had. We also had Bruschetta which again was enormous and delicious. The service was extremely attentive and the food arrived quickly. We are planning to go back in the next couple of weeks with friends.

Anonymous said...

Just came back from the restaurant, the service was so incredibly SLOW. We waited an hour for a single pizza, even though we had ordered two with garlic bread. We received a second pizza 20 minutes later so half the table had finished eating before the others had even started and we never received our garlic bread even though they charged us for it.

NOT a restaurant i will ever set foot in again.

Anonymous said...

Im a regular here now and admit that sometimes the service isn't up to speed especially when they are packed to the rafters but the food is always fabulous and the waiters are always friendly and accomodating.

Overall great value and I like how the restaurant is situated on its own corner away from all the ruckus down the street. Very relaxing homey atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

I've tried all three restaurants and it's true. Lianas and Crinitis were very good when Manuel was cooking there, Now he owns Lucianos so obviously thats where the best food is. Combined with a great location and bargain prices,
How can he go wrong?

I like what he's done with his restaurant, It actually feels like a restaurant as opposed to the factory style (crammed in like sardines, ripped off and hurried out tactics of his competition.

No wonder he has turned Lucianos into one of the busiest restaurants in Parramatta in less than 3 months. He is smart, down to earth, hospitable, a top chef and a cool guy and and someone already stated, Manuel deserves all the success and happiness in his new venture.

So, do yourselves a favor, stop pretending it isnt true and lining up like hypnotised sheep-people to be ripped off by his competition and help keep the bastards honest =)

book now!


Anonymous said...

Hello I work at criniti's and mal was only a part time chef for 6 months. So please people get it right and look for a better more honest tactic next time!!

Anonymous said...

I also worked at crinitis around the same time mal did. He was there for at least 2 years.
" The truth will set you free"

Anonymous said...

Crinitis has been there for 8 years. Mmmmm so even if he was there for 2 years not so much help.. But the truth is it was only 6 months and that was not even full-time !! As he was teaching at university. So stop the crap.

Anonymous said...

well, I used to go to Criniti's but it has become too big for its boots, ie, the food is now mass produced/processed at their factory - then reheated in the microwave at their restaurants by their indian /asian "chefs" and served at ridiculous rip-off prices.

I think Lucianos has much better/fresher food at realistic, down-to-earth prices. Definitely the best Italian food in Parra.

Anonymous said...

Gee this sounds like the owner who is Greek trying to be Italian. A commissary kitchen I believe it is crinitis have where they freshly make all there homemade products and deliver them daily.

If crinitis is so bad why have lucianos copied them item for item and word for word???

How do I know this? Because I'm a chef at the commissary :)

Anonymous said...

rofl, actually, I am a disgruntled former employee of crinitis and a big fan of Luciano's. I dont even know the owner but appreciate what he/she has done.

I'm a local that has been dining at church street for years. crinitis used to be good before the expansion, now it only works because of the hype.

However, people are starting to wake up. Most Italian restaurant menus are practically identical with few "signature dishes" that differentiate them.

Homestyle italian cuisine is not supposed to be that expensive, most of it is peasant cookery (particularly southern style).
How do you justify charging $50+ for a pizza which consists of dough (flour, yeast + water)a bit of cheese and topping etc?

Particularly when it is mass produced in your sweat shop-factory by cheap indian/asian labor.

Criniti's is just a rip off.

Luciano's isnt just much better value, the atmosphere is more relaxing/comfortable and the food is much nicer in my opinion.

Oh and the waitresses are happier.

Keep up the great work Lucianos team :-)

Anonymous said...

Lmao yeah nerds!! Keep it up your doing great.. Italian menus are all the same just different names?? Right?? all of us are Italian at crinitis but you are the ones with the trolls lol remember mal what you referee to Indians as?? Trolls!! Or was it dish pigs?? That's not nice!! They're great employees :)

You haven't even payed for your shop, I heard people are chasing their funds.

Ps if you need help with the new menus just visit us online as per every other wanna be.

Cya Seftila!!!

Anonymous said...

Stop trolling and address the issue.

The majority of reviews for criniti's are by disappointed customers that feel robbed/ripped-off.

crinitis appeals to people that are graduating from dining at mc donalds and kfc. Anybody with a developed palate is not impressed.
frankly, I dont think anyone is impressed by being ripped off.

Anonymous said...


It's people like you who write those bullshit comments, maybe you should read your own?? good luck and hang around us!

Anonymous said...

After reading a couple of the comments the general consensus is food is ok, service was bad. After being a former employee, (bartending, waitering, and management of wait staff) (taking into account this isn't in defense of Luciano's) All staff, have little or no experience in the hospitality industry, being a manager of the floor staff being paid 10 bucks an hour, on 12+ HR shifts with 1 hr break, and having to pay for food and drinks, you could say Luciano's treatment of staff was apparent in the treatment of customers. 'Nuff said. Glad I left them.

Anonymous said...

Dont ever go to Lucianos in Parramatta. I took the family there and I had a horrible experience. 1st they got the entree wrong and 2nd somehow lost our whole order and we didnt get our dinner. We approached the owner to ask 'where is our order' and he kept saying in 2mins, it's being put on the plate. 30mins later we still waiting and then asked where our dinner and the owner told us off and to take our business elsewhere, he screamed at my fiancee in front of all customers. on top of it, the plates came out at the same time and we had to pay for our meal. The owner is totally rude, and even when it's their fault abuse their customers. A Current Affair ran a story tonight (15-Jul-2011) and showed a lady cafe owner with really rude 'offensive words' to her customers, the tall guy in Lucianos is exactly the same.

I would NEVER recommend this restaurant to anyone, avoid at all costs and if you have issues expect to be told off and then to pay for your meal.

Javier (from Parra)

Anonymous said...

The owner is a liar and has no respect. His Greek and trying to be Italian!

Go to sicilians they have better value.

Anonymous said...

We will not be going back to Luciano’s again. My workmates and I went to Luciano's for dinner last night (we were considering Luciano's for work functions, this was our second visit).
We ordered a gluten free pasta, asked the waitress 3 times whether it was gluten free, getting confirmation each time. Our coeliac workmate was given gluten pasta, and it wasn't until we asked for a 4th time that the waitress checked with the chef and found out it was not gluten free. Luckily our workmate is not an extreme coeliac, otherwise she would have been hospitalised.
During this time we were waiting on our water and 2 additional salads for 30 minutes. After asking 3 different wait staff a total of 5 times we got our salads, at the end of our meal. We also got our water, when poured out, out came a bug.
We provided our constructive feedback politely to our waitress, who did not seem to pass our feedback back to the manager/head chef. Upon paying the bill which came with several chocolates, we had the gluten pasta removed but was still charged for the rest of our meal, despite all the bad service we received. We complained one last time to the head chef who answered with "oh you didn't get our chocolates for that?"
Not once did we get an apology or anything to redeem their bad service.
The food was not bad, but due to the extremely poor service and no effort into rectifying this by the business, we will not be going back to Luciano’s in Parramatta.

Anonymous said...

Lucianos popularity has had an adverse affect on their competition.
So it's understandable that many of them a panicking and resorting to impersonating disgruntled customers on review sites in the hope of putting off potential customers.

The food is second to none in Parramatta, especially when the owner/head chef is cooking.

He has over 25 years experience in italian cuisine and is a master chef. His food speaks for itself. compare it to the food at sicilians prepared by failed x terrorists or the cooks of crinitis which are imported from sweat shops in asia. There is no comparison.

Anonymous said...

Gluten free pasta should only be available in hospitals or asian food stores.

No self respecting Italian restaurant would offer it as it isnt real pasta. real pasta is made from wheat.

Lucianos doesnt offer gluten free anything on its menu anywhere so what made you think otherwise?

Ive never been to a restaurant and ordered something that wasnt on their menu.. serves you right you stupid slut.

Anonymous said...

OMG - unbelieveable dribble from immature silly tiny minded idiots ( yes I know all of you!) Grow up, go sort out your own problems in private (& legally) and stop having personal arguments in a public food review forum. All you've managed to do is make each of your three restaurants look like a bunch of Emotional twits. Yes, you Lianas, Lucianos and Crinitis!
If any of you have not been involved in this trail of crap then suggest you sort your stupid staff/ex staff out before your all equally humiliated & lose business.
Sort out your own Messy backyards instead of criticising your neighbours messy yard.

Where is the website administrator? How about deleting the crappy personal arguements and Just leave reviews - good or bad.

Anonymous said...

DO NOT EAT AT THIS RESTAURANT! Lucianos - Parramatta. A group of us went there on Saturday night for dinner. Not only did it take 2 hours for our meals to come out, they all came over a 30 minute period so none of us got to eat at the same time. 2 meals were stone cold, another chicken dish was actually raw chicken, and the fish was terrible. 2 of our guests left before their food even hit the table because they were so angry at the service, and then the actual owner of the restaurant just didn't give a crap and when we complained, told us practically that he couldn't care less. NEVER GO HERE IT IS TERRIBLE!

Anonymous said...


Victor said...


Yesterday we went there to celebrate birthday of one our family members and it was total disaster. It took 1 hour and fifty minutes to get the first bit of food on our table. After one hour waiting we called the waiter (an oldish person) with a packet of cigarette in his pocket he waived us back to wait. After an hour and quarter we dared to ask a young waiter who went inside and came back saying it will take another 11 minut4es. These 11 minutes never ended and after 1 hour 50 minutes got Margrita pizzas which were hard like wood and rubbed with sour tomato paste. Fish of the day was an over cooked Salmon (less than 100 grams piece) with soggy potato chips and a bit of salad I think the cost was something like $34. Plate of pasta was just lumps with cream. On top of that dirty smelly washrooms.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha it is now closed! That's what happens when your full of it! Worry about your shop next time mal and forget the bullshit!

Anonymous said...

Apparantely Lucianos is in civil dispute. It became one of the most popular restaurants on the strip with line ups on friday and saturday nights in less than 9 months.

Nobody could believe their eyes especially the previous owners who failed miserably with their attempt on this location.

It appears that Lucianos has been hijacked by these local (corporate) terrorists for now.

didi said...

Hi... trying to read all these comments and decide whether I should buy a Luciano's voucher from this website:

It's $40 for 2 people for a 3 course meal and a bottle of wine. I'm thinking of going at 5PM on a Thursday... but after these reviews I'm slightly worried!! What do you all think??? And is it really closed down now? If so, then I definitely won't buy it!!

Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I used to work for Lianas but I am dismayed dissapointed and disgusted with the owners behaviour.

Ever since Lucianos opened across the street the owner of Lianas has spent all his energy on bringing them down. He recruited the local (wannabe) gangsters to terrorize the owner of Lucianos from day one.

Instead of picking up his own game and trying to compete he resorted to terror tactics. Apparantely the owner of Lucianos was being threatened including his family.

There were many attempts to extort him and a major smear campaign where he succeeded in virtually turning the whole local lebanese community against him, including the criminal low-lives.

I can still remember the expression on his face when Lucianos was busier than Lianas (most of the time) he looked enraged and furious.

The day after Lucianos was ransacked by his goons and wiped off the map he was dancing through the streets.

I have reported him to the police.

Please avoid/boycot Lianas.
This evil little poor excuse for a man doesnt deserve your patronage.

Anonymous said...

All bunch of weak lebos!! Strong with mouths and groups but man to man they are like little girls. Church st sux! Too many lebs, no class!!