Sunday, 11 August 2013


Anyone who has a sensitive tummy when it comes to shellfish and table manners - you may wish to not read any further.   Things are about to get rather grubby.

This is Pinocchio's.  It's one of the best Italian restaurants in town.  You need to book, it is always rammed and the food is brilliant.  It's tucked away from the high street down one of the side alleys (Castle Street to be exact).  I've eaten here a number of times and have stayed so late I have actually had the door locked behind me as I exited. 
As nice as dining out it is, it's a lot of effort and faff to get ready, get out, get parked and get sat at your table.  Some nights it is just far too much hassle and I'd much rather be in the comfort of my own home, slobbing on the sofa in my PJ's with no makeup on watching crap TV (i.e. Made in Chelsea).  If, like me, you just can't be bothered with all that getting ready to go out malarkey but still really want amazing Italian food then I have a little surprise for you.

Pinocchio's delivers.  You can call them up, order your food and they will either deliver it to your door (over £15 I think) or you can go in and collect it.

So far, so ordinary for an Italian with a delivery service.  However this place doesn't just deliver pizza.

It delivers pasta. 

Wait for it.  There's more.
It delivers lobster.  My Achilles heel.
Now it's not on the menu; you need to call them up and ask for it but they never say no (at least we've never had a problem and we order it so frequently they now recognise us when we go in to collect it).

Steve and I discovered this purely by accident when he went to collect our takeaway one evening.  He saw it on the specials board whilst waiting for the food to be bought from the kitchen and asked about it.  The second they said they could do it as a takeaway he ordered a portion to bring home for us to try.  It was an absolute hit.  Now every time we call them up this is what we order.

 You get a huge amount for your money.
However I always feel that, no matter how much food there is on your plate, there is still room for cheesy garlic bread that has been stone-baked in a pizza oven.
The first half of the lobster is easy enough to eat in a fairly ladylike manner.  You can manage with just a fork.
Then it gets messy.  Very, very messy.  You need to get into all the nooks and crannies, crack the legs open and make sure you get into the claw where, in my opinion, the best meat is.  Don't be afraid to go all caveman on the lobster and rip the shell with your teeth to get to hidden bits.  This is not a meal that works well with table manners.  If you don't have crackers then a skewer is very useful to have on hand.  My hands are testimony to how mucky this actually gets.  The mess is worth it though!
Not a seafood fan?  No worries, there are plenty of other options to choose from.  The pizza, risotto and other dishes are also out of this world.  You can tuck into antipasto or gamberoni, pollo Milanese or Neapolitan meatballs.  It's one of the best and broadest Italian takeaway menus I have ever seen.

If you are in Canterbury and fancy an Italian I cannot recommend this place highly enough.  You don't even need to leave your house to enjoy it.

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