Carluccio’s, Chichester

Carluccio's Savoury Bread Basket
If someone told me I could only eat one cuisine for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t even hesitate before yelling “ITALIAN!” right in their face. I love, love, love Italian food.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been to Italy a few times in my life, and the authentic grub is definitely better than the equivalent over here. However, when you’re hankering after some pasta, pizza or other Italian fare, Carluccio’s is a pretty safe bet. It certainly beats the Jamie’s Italian experience, anyway.
The first time I went to Carluccio’s was the Portsmouth branch for a friend’s birthday where I played it too safe with a salad (I was trying to be healthy), all to throw it out of the window when I saw chocolate torte on the dessert menu. I was pretty impressed with the food, and have since been to that branch another time (a few weeks back).
My most recent Carluccio’s experience was in Chichester on Saturday. I was fully expecting the place to be packed (the Portsmouth branch usually is), but it was really quiet with only a handful of other customers there.
Italian breadstick dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Italian bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar is pretty much the dream, to me. I absolutely adore it. On a trip to Treviso a little while back when I worked at Kenwood, I think there was more olive oil in my system than blood. It was a no brainer that I was going to opt to have the savoury bread basket as my starter this time round, and on the most part it didn’t disappoint.
The focaccia was my absolute favourite – it soaks up olive oil like a sponge and tastes dreamy. The breadsticks were pretty darn good too. The only disappointment really was the seeded bread. You can see it looks really lovely, but the taste unfortunately let me down.
Seeded italian bread from Carluccios Chichester

Sufficiently full of bread and debating whether to cancel the main dish before I fell into a carb coma, I gave in to the mountain of Spaghetti Carbonara placed in front of me. I love Carluccio’s carbonara, and they are so incredibly generous with their portion sizes that I ended up piling some of it onto Liam’s plate. My only criticism of the dish was that the pancetta was crazy salty so table water came in handy!

Credit where credit is due, Carluccio’s food is really tasty and good value too. We both had starters and mains, and Liam had one drink whilst I opted for a jug of water for the table. The bill came to £30 which sits in the “just about right” spectrum for me for a decent and filling lunch which also meant skipping dinner.

Spaghetti carbonara

I definitely recommend giving Carluccio’s a try if you haven’t done so already. Although, I have to admit that after two visits quite close to each other, I’ll be taking a bit of a break from them for a little while!

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