Gina's Italian Kitchen

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26 reviews
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161 Symonds Street,

(09) 302 2061

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Three of us went to Gina's on a relatively busy night and immediately I must say the atmosphere hits you straight away, it was busy, loud and bustling just like an Italian cantina should be. The menu is a mix of traditional and what I would know as "kiwi Italian."

On one of the most humid days of the year the specials board had an unusual yet enticing special in the shape of braised goat. The other guests ordered a platter consisting of mozzarella and garlic bread, a lamb and potatoes pizza and I ordered the goat special.

The platter was brilliant. Great pesto, lots of mozzarella and tasty bread, the pizza was as terrible as it sounds and we did joke when she ordered it and it is an example of the terrible "kiwi Italian" food. The goat was nice and it was my fault for ordering it but it was just totally out of season.

Overall I think they will be better off going down the traditional route whenever they moved away from the Italian routes it went downhill fast and that lamb and potatoes pizza pretty much lost them a whole star alone!
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As a Sicilian, I was excited about going to Gina's and experiencing a bit of Italian atmosphere. The waiter came immediately to serve water and take our orders - we thought that we were off to a good start. Unfortunately our four mains, each of which I might mention are ridiculously overpriced did not arrive until 9:45. It took an 1hr and 35 minutes to deliver two main chicken courses, one seafood spaghetti course, and a chicken salad. At 9:15 we asked the waiter how long it would be until we received our food - he replied with 5 minutes. Subsequently another waiter came up to us 5 minutes later to tell us it was going to be another ten minutes - offering a round of drinks as compensation. We ordered the mocktails as we were all driving, only mildly content at what seemed to be the first vague gesture of restaurant service. 25 minutes later we got our cold, overcooked and frankly putrid main means. Italians know Italian food and when I say that the chicken with 'tomato, olive and caper sauce' was literally a compilation of thick chicken skin drenched in tomato flavored oil with 1 olive and 1 caper, you should be as unimpressed as I was. Our complementary drinks arrived with the meals and for $8.50 a pop I am dubious as to why anyone would spend that much for syrup and ice in a small glass. As we came for the desert singing and dancing, we were greatly disappointed because at 10:15 pm, who wants a $12.50 Tiramisu? Certainly not us. We were offered no compensation on the bill and watched as customers who had sat opposite of us and experienced the same poor restaurant experience complained about the bill and the fact that it should in fact be free considering that the service was so blatantly inadequate. The waiters seemed nonchalant and uncaring. Do not come to this restaurant. Going through a McDonalds drivethru has a better service, price and food quality than this joke of a restaurant.
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Reviewer Ordinary
I've been wanting to go to Gina's Italian Kitchen for years, but now I have booked my birthday there I regret it. First I call and book for 15-20 people, 'fine' they say. I call to confirm it is definitely 20 people, they rudely snap at me that I have to have a set menu, that I was not told about before. The set menu's have salad and a margarita for vegetarians. Looks like I will be missing out on trying anything fun. I call back once I have confirmed with my friends they are willing to still come given the change of circumstance, and that their meals will be $40 each (my sister is a student). When I call back I asked about the vegetarian options being extended. They acted like they were doing me a favor and they would bring over the main menu for me to choose off (completely subtle and not making the vege awkward right?) 'Bella'. They then said I had to pay a $50 booking fee, which yet again, they had not told me about. I was told to put it into an account somewhere 'on the website' with no guidance.From one of the other reviews here I would also have to pay $15 bucks to bring a cake.... Didn't mention that either. I don't mind these things, but treat me with some politeness, I am your customer, and TELL me EVERYTHING upfront when i make my booking so I can see if it is the experience I really want. It's a week out now and I'm trying to find another place last minute, even though I talked to them a month ago. Frankly, I don't think I want to go there, ever.
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Reviewer Louie
We had a great night at Gina's last Tuesday. We got there during happy hour so got half priced Chianti wine by the glass. Both the pizzas and pasta were good. I had the pappardelle with walnut and spinach which was Divine. My friend had the traditionally made carbonara. Desserts consisted of a generous tiramisu and yummy affogato. The pizza bread was also a must have. Great atmosphere....if not a little too noisy and excellent service topped off a good night.
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Reviewer LCfranco
The best thing about Gina's were the portions. Huge amounts of food and a reasonably good atmosphere made the night enjoyable. The food wasn't the best Italian I've had but it is certainly at the higher end of the Auckland offering. A bit pricey for what it was...
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Reviewer vito1
Not a bad experience, dinned at Gina's Italian Kitchen on saturday 24the July 2011.Started off a bit of a let down, when the bar man couldn't tell the difference between the $100 dollar note i gave him and a $50 dollar note. Ended up getting short changed $50. Bu sorted it so prob a honest mistake. Starters prob a big let down , after waiting some 45 minutes for these, our shared platter came with no garlic bread as stated . Yet the other two platters on the table did. The waiter explained oh its on its way busy in the kitchen. After another 45minutes we got the last garlic bread. Pretty shocking as surely 3 platters mean 3 breads. Next mains Got Cannelloni con Pollo .Meant to be filled with chicken. Well must have been chicken stock as couldn't find any decent cut or portion of chicken in it. Dessert got the Panna Cotta. And as im a avid eater of this dessert, well finished off well anyway.Now bill time saw a $15 dollar charge for taking a birthday cake , was never told about this but we never asked . Would have been nice to have been told though.Adding to this we booked Gina's Italian Kitchen for 11. With this including 1 child. We were told on booking that the child could order off the children's menu. We later found out that no he can not he must have the $40 mains.I explained we were told on booking that it was fine to order off the child's menu. No No No. The answer. It wasn't like the 600 odd dollar bill for the table would have been dented by his dinner being some 20 dollars cheaper.Overall experience was atmosphere was brilliant, food was barley average. and the left hand didn't no what the right was doing. I must give them a try when they aren't so busy and dine off the menu next time. Hopefully GINAS gets there stuff together before the world cup because at 8 bucks odd a beer for the nice stuff dinners will go elsewhere.
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Reviewer Ted
Had my first Gina's Italian Kitchen experience on Friday and will now become a regular!! Four of us shared a range of pizzas including the pepperoni, blue cheese and walnut which was delicious and the artichoke vege one is yummy too!! A couple of bottles of great wine really topped the night off.
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Had my first experience on Gina's Italian Kitchen last night and can't understand why all the negative commentary. We had a whale of a time - authentic pizzas (the pepperoni and walnut one my favourite) , buzzy atmosphere and some great red wine - I was pleasantly surprised by my maiden Gina's Italian Kitchen restaurant experience.
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Content updated: 28/01/2015 09:57

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