We felt a little sorry for Avenue 9 – we had decided to amalgamate our visit there with the Brain’s birthday on a Friday night, and had already had a couple (ie: dangerously close to a skinful) by the time we arrived at 8:30. However neither this, nor the fact that we had 4 additional guests in train, would sway us from our weekly duty to the Beaufort Street faithful.
Kudos to Avenue 9: they performed very admirably indeed despite all the adversity that we presented. Our table was nicely placed in a corner (perhaps a deliberate move as they saw us staggering up to the entrance?) and service was attentive from the start. The atmosphere was lively and noisy (in a cheerful way) and décor quite modern and funky. Low lighting helped to maintain the mood as well (although maybe this was just our eyeballs dimming).
Garlic bread straight off was a winner (and a potential lifesaver for some in the party) as was the tasting plate – contained all your Italian standards (dips, olives, chorizo etc) though very well crafted.
Mains were all large and pretty tasty. The chicken parma was a good size and was, well – a chicken parma. Ticked all the boxes. BITO and the Brains’ fish was succulent and came with chunky chips the size of cricket bats and a mound of Greek salad. The Deliberator went toe-to-toe with a pile of rabbit the size of a small car which would have killed a lesser man. (The Deliberator didn’t blink.)
Though we came armed with a battleship worth of BYO wine, we inexplicably found ourselves dry midway through the night. Luckily, the well priced winelist was at hand to whisk us away from dread sobriety at the last minute.
An extensive desert menu was available, however not much room was left after dinner. Besides, the focus by then was simply to keep toasting the Brain’s birthday over and over again, which the staff were happy to let us do long after most of the remaining punters had departed.
The bill was presented promptly (could you blame them?) although (annoyingly) no split billing was available (they eventually relented though and let us split it in two).
Overall, a very pleasant evening with good hearty food and plenty of good service. And a glass of wine or two.
Service: Attentive and professional. (And even managed to stay that way despite some vintage menu deliberation from you-know-who.)
Food: Standard Italian fare, though well prepared and presented. A lot of it too.
Ambience: Lively and noisy, like a Naples street scene (with a far lower chance of being stabbed).
Highlight: The perfect place to informally celebrate a birthday.
Lowlight: If we had to pick one, it would be removing plates before everyone had finished eating (although this could be partially excused given the overall business in the place.)
Rating: 3.5 chicken parmas out of 5.
Will we be back? Most certainly (once released from rehab).
Details: Call on (08) 9271 7177 or website iswww.avenuenine.com.au. You can BYO and cost was around $45 a head for shared starters, mains, coffee and corkage.
Coming up: According to the Master List, the next establishment is Jessie's Curry Kitchen and Cafe. We might not be able to make it this week, so please be patient. In the meantime, feel free to leave your comments, we promise to respond.