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“The food was vile. Easily the worst meal of our three-week-long trip.”

Valentinos Italian Restaurant
Ranked #14 of 23 Restaurants in Turangi
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed March 18, 2012

The wait for this restaurant was very long, which led us to think that the food could be good. We ordered calamari as an appetizer, and received undercooked, chewy calamari saturated in oil and dripping on the plate. The calamari were still cold on the inside, and the breading not browned, but the color of the raw calamari. They must have just sat in lukewarm oil for 10 minutes before being presented to us. At this point we were hoping for the best for our mains.

While we were waiting, another couple next to our table received plates of pasta, and proceeded to work miserably through their meal. I watched them both shake salt on the pasta many times before promptly unscrewing the cap of the salt, pouring a generous handful into their palms, and adding it to their meal. They did not finish their meal.

I ordered the fettucine with the mushroom cream sauce, which was labeled "lightly seasoned" on the menu. It wasn't seasoned at all. I received pasta so overcooked that it came apart as I was trying to eat it, drenched in cream (not sauce!) and four button mushrooms. There was no amount of salt that could rescue the dish. Soggy noodles dripping in mostly uncooked cream and a meager 4 button mushrooms...nasty. I wasn't able to eat more than a few mouthfuls.

My husband ordered the venison, which arrived more or less blue. Neither one of us nor our in-laws were able to finish our meals. This was easily the worst meal of our entire trip. Not worth the wait. The proudly displayed restaurant review from 8 years ago paints a pretty accurate picture...if only most people took the time to read it.

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2  Thank Erica H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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84 - 88 of 97 reviews

Reviewed February 8, 2012

The entrance and decor are tired. When I asked if the pasta was fresh I was informed by the manager/owner that no, people come to NZ and expect too much, that her husband is a chef, not a pasta maker. I then ordered the Camembert and the woman sarcastically said "We don't make that either." My husband ordered focaccia, which was just buttered bread. I had the prawns- overcooked and tasteless. My husband ordered Beef Saltimbocca, which was a low quality cut of beef in a bizarre sauce that tasted like canned gravy with syrup stirred into it. We didn't eat our meals beyond a couple of bites
No one asked if we liked our meals, or if we wanted dessert. The wine was good, so we drank that. The whole meal was extremely over-priced.
We travel internationally on a regular basis. This was the most bizarre treatment we've ever had.

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2  Thank DeniseB58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2012

This was just okay the food was just average but the waitress was friendly and very kiwi all I can really day is just that it was simply okay

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Thank saascha K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2012

This restaurant is reasonable value if you are a visitor in the area. There are better and more expensive restaurants in the area but they are not always easy to find, and depending on your taste may not be worth the extra $.

The Valentino's menu had good variety, and our group ordered a range of the available dishes. The quality for the pasta and meat dishes was better than we expected (our expectations were not high - as the entrance and decor is a bit tired).

Service was good, except the front desk / manageress a couple of times seemed to think she was a teacher addressing young children - rather than her restaurant customers - which one of our group thought was poor.

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1  Thank MikeTemp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2012

Nice service, good range of authentic Italian dishes, cosy atmosphere and family friendly. The wine selection was fair and midwinter opening hours very suitable.

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

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