Gina's Italian Kitchen

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User rating 

26 reviews
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161 Symonds Street,

(09) 302 2061

Gina's Italian Kitchen Information

Gina's Italian Kitchen on Symonds Street in Auckland is an Italian-style "trattoria" - so it is simple and tasty. We do lots of game specials and seafood. We have a good, solid wine list, which is food oriented. We play Italian music, old and new. Apart from great food, we are famous for our fun and generous atmosphere.

Opening Hours
Fri: 11.30 to 14.00 Daily: 18.00 till late
Essential on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Avg Food Spend
$$$ per person
Food Info
Take Away Service, Delivery Service
Jeans OK, Trainers OK
Outdoor Area
Crown Lager Best Ambience and Style Established 2006 - Lewisham Awards Best Italian Restaurant 2003, 2004, 2005 - Metro Magazine Scene Magazine's Best Restaurant 2004
Am Ex imageDiners imageEftpos imageMastercard imageVisa image
Disabled Facilities
Wheelchair Access, Disabled Toilets

Gina's Italian Kitchen User reviews

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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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Reviewer mrhaud
We went to Ginas Italian Kitchen on Sat 30th April 2011 and can safely say was the worst italian food I have ever tasted! It was a booking for 17 people for my friends 25th bday. We arrived at 7, mains were not served untill after 9 - to add to our frustration they missed 5 main meal orders and by the time they finally arrived at the table everyone else had well finished their meals. Might I add that one of the late meals also arrived stone cold in the middle and was left uneaten. The meals that did arrive were cold, overcooked or just plain bland. I have never tasted fetticine carbanara from a restaurant that tastes like an alfredo packet you buy from the supermarket, the WORST pasta I have every ordered! The meals are extremely small for the large price they put on their set menus. I highly discourage people from going to Gina's - i suggest you pick somewhere else.Thanks for reading. Frustrated diner.
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Reviewer curious
First time at Ginas last night and thankfully the last, unless its for free. We booked for a specific time and was told to make sure we are on time etc etc then when we arrive on time, our table was still occupied so we waited at the bar for 18mins exactly. We then sit at a table that could not seat comfortably the amount of people we had booked for so had to ask for another table. Once we were ready to order my friend had to stand and wave a waiter to our table. Once we ordered our drinks and mains we waited at least 20mins for our drinks and at least 40mins for our mains. On the menu that we were provided, the mains had a note: All mains come with Bread, salad and roast vegetables. When our mains finally came, which was reasonably tasty, there was no salad and no bread. I spoke to the waiter regarding this and all he could say was 'I can give you bread for free'. What is that?? There were 5 people on our table who ordered the over priced mains because of this note, but only 3 plates of bread was served for free. THEN my friend who was the first to order was served her food last, our table were nearly finished eating. To make up for the loooooooooooong wait for our food we got 2 free desserts which was a nice gesture but for goodness sake, we made a booking so they knew we were coming. I think the only positive from my first and last visit was the shirtless men who performed a birthday song I will never forget! Very very very entertaining! Come on Ginas, we were so looking forward to a amazing experience but left so disappointed.
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Reviewer Long_reviews
What a tacky, overrated restaurant!
As soon as we arrived, we were confronted with all of the waiters taking their shirts off and singing happy birthday to a group of embarrassed looking girls on the next table.
Then the food was entirely medeocre, I had cannelonni, but the pasta was clearly not cooked properly and the filling was very dry, and was served alone with no garnish, a total lack of presentation.
When we'd finished, the Waiter asked us how our meal was, and I expressed my concerns, but the guy just looked terrified that I was complaining and then told me that I was wrong because "You Kiwis like your pasta dry". I then told him that I was not a Kiwi, I'm a Brit, and I have spent time in Italy, but have never had such dry pasta. There was no apology, he just walked off to take his shirt off for another birthday group.
We then ordered dessert and a hot chocolate, both of which were served at the same time, so the chocolate was cold by the time we got to it. On the menu, the hot chocolate was described as 'indulgent' and 'traditional Italian' but to me it tasted like it was straight out of a sachet, watery and flavourless.
When we went to pay, we were asked again how our meal was. Again I complained, but again there was no apology, just a forlorn looking waiter.
My advice for Ginas would be to dramatically increase presentation of dishes, and to remember that the customer is always right, spend less time training waiters to song topless, and train them more on handling difficult customers (admittedly, myself included)!
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Reviewer tastes
My one word to describe Gina's would be overrated. I remember fifteen years ago when I was student and Gina's provided cheap and cheerful meals, it worked well.

But today they charge you full restaurant prices but don't deliver a restaurant experience. The food is ok but not for the price. The service is very patchy at best and it wasn't very clean.

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Reviewer volconus

We booked at Gina for the evening at 7 pm until 8pm (request of Gina staff because busy restaurant he said). I ordered a Regina’s pizza and I received the pizza with « extra slug » in the rocket. I asked the waiter to change this pizza, what he did. Therefore, I got my new pizza with no slug “cool” at 7.40pm. At 7.55pm they put the bill on the table without a word whereas my daughter has even not finished its pizza (note that child menu also included a dessert !!). When we asked for the dessert board the waiter explained us we have to leave for 8pm so we can’t have any dessert. When we explained that the delay was due to the slug problem, he never wanted to receive our request and our dessert command. So, we were obliged to leave the table for the next booking. We then asked the manager for a commercial gesture for all the disagreement. The staff clearly avoided us and we had to wait about 10 min before hearing: “We gave you another pizza so?”
After paying the bill, we left the restaurant without any remedy and felt under pressure during the entire diner.

I strongly recommend that you don’t go to Gina’s because they care more to their slugs than to their customers.

It is hard to go to countown to finish the dinner.
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Reviewer vmouse
I remember Gina's as a cheap and cheerful place. Our visit last night was neither of those things. I booked a table for two and when we showed up we were shown to a table for three right by the door; there was an empty table for two behind it so I asked if we could have that one instead. The waiter looked very put out and said no, when I asked why not he was really rude and said someone else had booked it and was about to show up any minute. Weird. The people never showed up for that table by the way. The waiters then seemed to be annoyed at us for questioning their wisdom and proceeded to ignore us for no less than 20 minutes. Not even a glass of water. We finally had our orders taken (food and drinks both at once which was weird). I had the vegetarian main - baked eggplant with mozzarella and tomato. Was nice, but more tomato than anything else, and at $28 pretty pricey for a vege main. My boyfriend had the veal marsala, dry veal with the most bizarre creamy sweet sauce on it - tasted more like custard than anything else. With dry potatoes, one piece of carrot and a handful of salad leaves on the side. $30, again over-priced. When we were paying as we left, the guy asked us how our meals were, when I told him we had to wait 20 minutes for even a glass of water he said 'sorry, can I offer you a free dessert'. As if we were going to turn around and go and sit back down at a table to eat dessert. Terrible experience, won't go back.
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Reviewer gabriela1
The staff are AMAZING and fun. Go to Ginas Pizza & Pasta Bar on your birthday and you will have a blast. good prices good food and a good atmosphere!!!
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Reviewer ruthk
I had heard Gina's was an excellent restaurant for a celebration, so booked a table for my close friend's hen's night. I booked at least 6 weeks in advance, and called a couple of weeks before hand to check it was all ok. I got a phone call to confirm on the morning. I then had a phone call later in the day to say they had over-booked, and asking if we would sit outside. I wanted to be nice, so said that was fine.
When we showed up, the had given the table away. If this wasn't bad enough, they told us they had given the table away because "someone" had called back to cancel the table. This was patently untrue, and it seemed pretty clear that they had overbooked, didn't have enough tables, and this was their solution. The staff were very uninterested, didn't offer any remedy, and it ruined an evening that was really important to me and my friends. If you have an important evening, I recommend that you don't go to Gina's.
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Reviewer AMB
I have been to Ginas quite a few times.. the food is great, and not pricey and there is alot of Italian flair. The waiting staff are awesome and full of energy and definatley make your dining experience. You have to book though ....and early as well as request a good seat as it it often crammed and some of the seating is right in the hustle and bustle of everything which is very annoying if you happen to be sitting there.
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Reviewer Tanya Warren
Gina's is a little taste of Italy in the middle Auckland. If you are after a loud and energetic experience in small surroundings, you'll be happy here! The wait staff are extroverted, full-on and flirty (one massaged the shoulders of one of our party while she calculated her share of the bill), and are happy to chat en route to serving. Our meals were tasty and filling, with one of our group fascinated by the density of the hot chocolate she ordered (literally like melted Cadbury!). Best to stay away if you are wanting a quiet meal in a refined environment, but if you are after a brash, bold night out that stimulates the senses, then make your booking!
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Reviewer Adriana Laree
Gina's is a fantastically fun, friendly restaurant! Last week we went for my mothers birthday, and after mouthwatering pizzas (I had porchetto and basil) we ordered tiramasu. They came out singing happy birthday with a candle in for mums, and the whole restaurant joined in! The atmosphere is just wonderful, with the chefs and waiters constantly singing and teasing. Very reasonable prices especially considering the fantastic service and food. Wide range of pizzas, pasta and even veal and chicken dishes.

Go for a noisey fun night, this place is not for the timid!
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Reviewer Anonymous
This was one of the worst experiences i have ever had. The brucetta was stale with a few pieces of tomato on top with no olive oil. I ordered a pizza which i had asked for feta to be included, when the pizza came out there was no feta on it. I returned the pizza to ask for feta to be added when an angry chef came over and said that there was feta on the pizza, he then proceeded to slam the plate back down in front of me and walk off. There was no sorry we can add more feta on if you like. So much for the saying the "customer is always right". Other people at our table ordered the fillet of steak which came out very thin covered in sauce with a pile of mash next to it. You could have had a better meal at a fastfood chain. The meal for 4 people including 2 bottles of wine came to $255 which i found rather expensive under the circumstances. I will never recommend this restaurant to anyone it was by far the worst service and meal i have ever had.
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Reviewer Anonymous
Environment is very unique and interesting, all the staff (waiters and chefs) are male, and they call out loudly when orders are ready. In general, very very loud, but interesting. But the food is not that impressive from amount to the price and taste.
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Reviewer Anonymous
I have had the oppourtunity to dine at Gina's Pizza & Pasta Bar three times now and have thoroughly enjoyed each experience. The starters, mains, desserts, wine and of course the chefs/wait staff are all delicious!!!! With a very fun atmosphere, and the guys singing and banging and crashing in the kitchen, this is definitely one for the start of a girls' night out, not for a quiet night!!!
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Reviewer Anonymous
The atmosphere at Gina's Pizza & Pasta Bar is awesome! The food great! The staff - well what can we say? "The men are gorgeous!"
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Reviewer Anonymous
The food, atmosphere, and wait staff make Gina's a brilliant choice everytime; definitely a favourite places for a guaranteed great night out.

Although the food is good (the tortellini amazing), the pasta selection always comes out above the mains, with the pizzas a close second.

Overall it's worth a visit even if just for the special coffees!
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Reviewer Anna Small
There is no question that the food at Gina's Pizza & Pasta Bar is fabulous, but their desire to maximise their patronage gets in the way of a great night out.

The last three times I've been to Gina's (once with a group of four; the other times with just one other diner), I've been asked to vacate my table having only been seated and served within an hour.

I love their food - but their service leaves a lot to be desired. Come on Gina's - let your patrons stick around for a while longer and we'll keep coming back. Sadly for me though it's happened too often so I won't be returning.

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Reviewer Anonymous
Authentic Italian food is served at this bustling city-fringe restaurant. But, that's not what makes Gina's so poplular. Dinner at Gina's Pizza & Pasta Bar is a fantastic dining experience, with some of the tastiest dishes on the menu showing that Italian at it's finest is simple flavours and a meal to be shared.

The wine menu boasts a good, but simple, selection of NZ and European wines, and the specials board is always worth consideration.

The open kitchen houses chefs who are not afraid to sing along to their favourite Italian tunes. Plus, there's the added bonus of potentially the tastiest male waiters in Auckland, who help make your dining experience that much better!
Gina's is not to be missed for a great night out with friends or colleagues.

Ps. Dont miss the tiramisu, or for those on a diet, a glass of Limoncello to finish your meal.
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