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“Fantastic Food, Great Atmosphere.”
Review of Cafe Valentino

Cafe Valentino
Ranked #22 of 1,055 Restaurants in Christchurch
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $11 - $14
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Benvenuti. Since 1991 Cafe Valentino has been one of Christchurch's favourite dining and drinking destinations, and it's easy to see why. Cafe Valentino offers superb food, an excellent bar and great atmosphere! Lunch at 3.00? Dinner at 9.00? No problem! Café Valentino is an all day restaurant. Enjoy a drink at the bar choosing from more than 35 selected wines by the glass, a superb range of local boutique beers and international beers on tap including an Italian selection. Or try a cocktail from our contemporary and classic mix. If you are a wine connoisseur try a wine from our 'Vault' collection which offers over 60 of New Zealand and Australia's finest wines including a great selection of our world famous Pinot Noir. Thirst quenched? Time for some great food! Try a pizza, the sort of pizza that only an Italian wood fired oven can produce, or try something from our pasta selection. Or perhaps one of our award winning New Zealand beef and lamb dishes. Since 1997 (except for 2012 when we were destroyed by an earthquake) Cafe Valentino has been awarded the coveted Gold Plate for New Zealand Beef and Lamb excellence. Finish off your meal with one of our delicious desserts, everything is made fresh daily on the premises. Our full menu is available on our website. We look forward to seeing you soon at Cafe Valentino. Ci Vediamo Presto
Reviewed August 20, 2014

We visited Cafe Valentino on a whim while touring Christchurch. The atmosphere is comfortable and attractive and we were seated immediately. The food was excellent and a very reasonably priced. However, the dinner service was disjointed with 4 or 5 different waiters and some resulting confusion about our orders. Otherwise the experience was exceptional. I will definitely return.

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Thank 577adamg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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557 - 561 of 674 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2014

We came here for my sisters birthday. It was very busy but we had made a booking. Our waitress was wonderful and friendly. It's quite noisy when busy and tables are quite close together which makes moving around more difficult than it needs to be. The food is delicious and is served in quite large portions. The menu had a great range of food, but given that it is an Italian restaurant, it is mainly pasta, pizza and salads with a few main meal options.

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Thank Sarah R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2014

My-self and three others went along here one Saturday night with a recommendation from a friend of a friend, so had no pre-conceptions about what it would be like bar having a quick look at the menu online.

First off, we all loved the decor and the ambience of the place, it was bustling and very noisy but it was a Saturday night at 7pm so that has to be factored in. We had a good size table for the four of us, but we were pressed up against the serving hatch from the kitchen which made for a warm dining experience but on the plus side it was less noisy than in the middle of the eating area. As an aside. They do have booths and some different seating options which is worth keeping in mind when booking ahead. We also saw people with small children, so good to know they are child friendly for the families out there!

Our wait staff were very attentive, we seemed to have two, which whilst unusual, ensured we were tended to very well.

We got three starters between the table; two bruschettas and some arancini. Both dishes were ample with really good portion sizes, the bruschetta had lovely fresh toppings and the bread was nice and crusty. I've never had Arancini but I want more! I could've ate that and nothing else, gorgeous flavours and cooked to perfection.

For mains two had the 'angry pasta', which is chicken pasta with a good dose of chilli- they'll prepare it according to how spicy you like it, one had chicken pasta with veg and I had pesto linguini. All were very well received. Somebody made the comment that it's easy to do a bad job with pasta but not so easy to do simple pasta really well. We all felt they nailed it.

Desserts were a blissful end to an outstanding meal. I should mention we didn't need them as the starter and main meal portion sizes were so good. However, desserts looked too good to pass on. Between us we had Tiramisu, Cheesecake and creme brulee. There is simply nothing bad to say about any of them. Again, good portion sizes so sharing may be a better option in future! I would have any of those three again but my fav was the cheesecake.

In terms of cost, it worked out at around $50 per person, that included two soft drinks and two wines, so really good value for money.

All in all an excellent meal and dining experience. The only minor things I could say is that some of the online menu didn't match the restaurant menu. One of our party was looking forward to the lemon tarte, which is on the online menu but it wasn't on the restaurant menu. The other thing was that we did get a feeling that they wanted us out by a certain time. It was a Saturday night so they were very busy. This is the only reason it doesn't get 5 stars.

The minor drawbacks would not stop me from going back and I would definitely recommend it.

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Thank Kelly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2014

Really liked the food - flat bread to start, gnocchi, salmon, steak - all hot, tasty, well presented and sufficient for hungry people. A really busy evening and staff flat out but calm. Seated by the window which was really cold - had my coat on most of the evening. However overall a good night

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Thank Janice D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2014

I was in Christchurch looking for a place to eat, within reasonable distance to my hotel. The hotel listed this place under their nearby recommendations, and I am glad they did. I walked in and the whole place was packed! It was the most people I had seen all day! Since there was a slight wait time for a table, and since I traveled alone, I opted to sit at the bar top. Which I am glad I did! The bartender Ben, was on top of his game taking care of drink orders in a timely matter, and making sure everyone around the bar top was taken care of at all times. I ordered the "angry pasta" which was a recommendation by Ben, since the menu was quite large and i couldn't decide what to get, and it was awesome. I could hardly finish it, as it was quite large and filling. I stayed for quite some time as the atmosphere was lively, the staff were attentive and kind, and the drinks were killer, and then I saw the dessert. Let me tell you, it was too good to pass up. Though I was stuffed, I opted to take it back to my hotel for later (I got the brownie) and I am glad I did. I would definitely check this place out if you're in town. And make sure you find Ben for some killer mixed drinks!!

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Thank Candice S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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