Firstly let's qualify this review with the fact it's about a restaurant in Fremantle or to be broader, Perth. Which is not to say it will be bad but it does tend to mean it will be over priced and the service will be passable at best. It does seem that, especially in Freo, there is a rule that says 'charge what you want and don't worry about quality because most of your customers won't be coming back anyway' which is a real pity. Freo is a lovely, eclectic, laid back place but please, please invest in some wait staff who actually enjoy their job!
Anyway, the review of Gino's. It's okay. Not bad but not great. It says something that so many people are effusive in their praise for a place that is noisy, the seating isn't all that comfortable and where you have to line up to order and pre-pay for your food. The food is pretty standard Italian fare - nothing to scary for the punters - it's pasta and schnitzel and calamari - you get the picture. The serving sizes are good (that word again) although to be fair some of the meat dishes that went past seemed pretty generous.
We had lasagne which was well cooked - nice layering of pasta and good sauce (ragu - not mince) ratio. The canneloni was fresh but a little lacking in flavour. The garlic bread was massive - too much bread to spread! On the plus, the food appeared quickly, there was a nice touch of not just fresh cracked pepper but freshly shaved parmesan, and the location means you are never short of local entertainment.
I returned for breakfast a couple of days later - again, it's the best of a pretty average bunch - and at least got a good cup of coffee and eggs that weren't water logged or cold.
Is Gino's amazing? No. It has a lot of history, it's obviously pretty consistent and at least you will feel like you've had value for money unlike many of the others along the 'cafe strip'.
You will be safe here and could do a lot, lot worse. Try and sit outside if you can, it's worth it for the local flavour.
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