What? 2 posts in a row? Am I ok? Yes…just a lucky streak! Here’s the Italian joint I visited tonight, enjoy the read
Out in the open along with all the other restaurants along Church St in Parramatta, you won’t find 317 a very challenging place to get to. A 5-10 minute walk from the station (assuming you haven’t already settled down in one of the many restaurants before this) will land you in this modern looking Italian restaurant. Especially because of its complete gluten-free option, this may be the right restaurant for you.
Upon arrival, one thing caught my attention, and didn’t really leave my mind for the rest of the night. The staff. Being greeted and sat down was possibly the most dull moment of my life. It felt like talking to robots. A large factor that certainly does decrease your enjoyment of being at a restaurant.
First impressions of the menu was…overwhelming. There was a lot of options. It almost felt like they were trying to nail down every corner of Italian cuisine. While some may like the variety, it felt like they were overcomplicating things to me! At least it was reasonably priced ($20-30 for a main). To start off the night we chose to get a Fetta Bruschetta starter pizza and our mains were a Prawn Spaghetti, Chilli Mussels and a Salmon Risotto. Service was ok and the food did come out reasonably fast, but you’d have a hard time trying to call the staff back if you needed anything.
Lets get started with our starter pizza. The pizza overall quite nice. The base was nice and the tomatoes were as sweet as days, complimented by that salty fetta. I felt like the base was getting too soggy and that the dish had a bit too much olive oil in it, but overall, a nice started (nicely priced too!)
The Prawn Spaghetti is a rather subtle dish. With its homemade pasta and other fresh ingredients, it’s tossed with basil and olive oil with a hint of seasoning. It was simple and clean and I quite enjoyed this dish. The homemade pasta was nicely cooked. Overall it wasn’t a heavy dish and is nice if you don’t want to exactly stuff yourself silly.
Now…the salmon risotto on the other hand is a different story. Almost opposite of what I just described with the prawn spaghetti, it was indeed a very heavy meal and flavours very strong. The rice itself was cooked quite well (not too hard or mushy) but the problem laid in the sauce. The sauce was an extremely rich cream and cheese base. While very flavoursome in every bite, you’d find in large volume, you get exponential sick of it. Particularly because of the salmon. It was salty and I found myself drinking glass after glass of water. If it wasn’t salty or so buttery, I’d love it. But this thing was submerged in that. Overall, I couldn’t recommend this to someone else.
The chilli mussels were ok as well. Disappointingly, the bread that came out was barely toasted and just wasn’t as good with that sauce. The sauce however, was quite nice! It did have that spice to it and was pretty well-balanced in flavours but I did, again, find it on the salty side. But of course, onto the most important part…the mussels. Now, I don’t know if it was just this batch or they got a bad source, these mussels were just not great. They were tiny; almost shrivelled up, and bland. It wasn’t as sweet as a mussel should be and just didn’t feel right. Again, a disappointing dish aside from the sort-of pleasing sauce.
In all, 317 , from the dishes I tried, was not at all impressive. While it came down to a reasonable price per head, I felt what I paid for could’ve been a lot less. Especially with the poor customer service. With the super saltiness of each dish and my desperation for water, I found it excruciatingly difficult to find a waiter to come by. It wasn’t busy and they didn’t seem attentive at all. While there may be some dishes (like the Prawn Spaghetti) that do come across as quite nice, I feel that 317 is trying to sacrifice quality for diversity of menu items. They should thin the size of the menu and put that more into the service and the quality. If you do happen to be on Church St however, you might as well give it a shot. Especially if you’re really craving Italian.