My girlfriend and I visited Cucina last month on a Saturday evening.
Looking through the internet to try and find a menu, we were surprised we couldn't find one. Nevertheless we were still looking forward to the meal based on Tripadvisor reviews.
Starting with the positives... upon arrival the décor is welcoming, the place had a quaint Italian feel to it. The food was good, in the top 5 Italian meals I've had for taste and very generous portion sizes (one of the biggest fishcakes I have ever had!). If this review was based on food quality and quantity alone it would get a 4-5 star review... however I consider the whole experience and unfortunately this was let down by other elements of the evening.
Negative points... the service was very, very, very slow. We waited more than 40 minutes after ordering for our starters to arrive, followed by a similar wait in between starters and mains and another wait to get the bill. We did get an apology from who we assumed was the owner when he passed us whilst waiting on tables, which was welcomed, but when you finish your drink well before your starter even arrives you really just want to start your meal.
A further disappointment was the food and drinks menus. The food menu was a little limited which is only a minor disappointment for me but I can imagine other diners would prefer more choice. The wine menu disappointed me more. The wines on the menu looked like they could be nice but unless you were drinking the house wine you had to buy the full bottle. I'm used to seeing this on more expensive wines but when you only have one option by the glass, and only in red or white (no rose) it's a bit limited. Even mid-range wines were only available by the bottle.
A slight gripe at the end when we received the final bill we noticed that we had been charged for 6 glasses of wine rather than 4, when I politely pointed this out to waiter there was a small debate where I had to re-iterate a few times that we only had 2 glasses of wine each, he finally accepted that we were right and brought back a reduced bill.
Final negative... the staff seemed overwhelmed with the amount of customers. At one point, who we thought was the owner, shouted (in Italian) at his kitchen staff and with it being open plan you could see and hear it all - not very professional. Also at the end of our meal there were two separate couples that had been waiting for a table for at least 15 minutes and seemed to be getting a little agitated at the lack of attention shown to them.
The evening overall was ok as per the 3 out of 5. They need a website or at least an online menu. If service speed picked up (more staff?) and there were more choices of wine by the glass I could see me coming here again, however as it stands I won't be back in the foreseeable future.
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