A happy, chatty long-time-no-see meet up!
Location: opposite Kmart at Casuarina Square, and adjacent to the Cheesecake Shop, see precise location here.
Website: official website with full menus, a brief history and review
Price: $10-15 for entree sized, $15-20 for main sized pizza and pasta. See full menu.
Free bread: all meals are served with a slice of bread and butter per person. I love it because (it's free, and) you can fill your stomach a little as you wait for your food!
Ravioli florentina (entree) - described in the menu as "meat-filled pillows of pasta tossed with bacon, spinach and white wine in a napoli and cream-based sauce". Pasta was of a good texture and I enjoyed the mixture of cream and tomato-based sauce.
Linguine del mare (main) - seafood pasta also in a "cream and fresh tomato" sauce. The pasta was deliciously thick and had great texture. Sauce was tasty, seafood wasn't abundant but adequate. This is probably my favourite dish after eating at Fasta Pasta many times!
Spaghetti bolognese (kid's meal): good old spag bol. Great, yummy, meaty sauce! Kids meals are good value and come with a soft drink and gelati for dessert (but make sure you ask for these because the staff seem to "forget" that these come as a part of the kid's meal deal).
Cacciatore (entree): chicken pizza with capsicum and chilli. Good sized pizza even at entree size, hot and crunchy base and crust (thick, which I like), good blend of cheese. I also remember the vegetarian pizza from another time, which was very good, with a memorable assort of vegetables topped with the aroma of olive oil.
Other: a clean and modern look inside. The restaurants provides a conducive for casual chats with friends; it's usually quiet at lunch time but can be busy in the evenings. Some self service is involved eg. taking your own water, and your own cutlery after you order and pay in the front. I didn't mind this, but felt that it was unusual. Staff here are usually friendly although I'm sure I've met one or two rude ones.
Rating: 5/5! I don't mean the place or the food is perfect, but there are plenty of reasons to dine here. Fasta Pasta has branches all over Australia and I don't trust franchises, but the range of foods and taste is, in my opinion, comparable to the Italian restaurants on Lygon street in Melbourne (I lived nearby and used to eat there quite often!) Other pluses include convenient location, good ambiance and reasonable pricing.