AWARD-WINNING ITALIAN FOOD WITH SERVICE TO MATCH
Immersed in rich tradition, a bustling atmosphere and delicious food, Augello’s mirrors the most-loved aspects of Italian food and culture with a coastal flair that has plates piling on tables.
If you’re a Coast local, you’ve probably been to the world-famous restaurant perched on the corner of Mooloolaba Esplanade. It’s known for its excellent service, great value and delicious food still winning yearly awards.
The Italian ristorante is a competitive space with many variations of the theme available to Coast diners but the Augello’s recipe is clearly working well.
Ambience and appeal
Augello’s is blessed with an outlook to the north, which takes in a panorama of Mooloolaba Beach and up to Mudjimba. For visitors to the Coast, the appeal of the venue is obvious, and it makes the most of the view with glass in just about every direction and an open alfresco dining area downstairs where everyone’s favourite pastime of “people watching” is covertly practised by a full deck of diners.
There aren’t many Italian restaurants on the Coast with an outlook like this, but the consequence is that there is little resemblance to a traditional Italian grotto or trattoria.
Augello’s presents well as a casual dining venue, although it is showing a few of the telltale signs of its popularity with some of the furniture beginning to look a little tired. But I guess that’s in theme. I’ve not visited many venues in Tuscany, Venice or Umbria where the fit-out, floors and furniture looked any less than 50 years old.
The service staff were well-presented with casual, branded black polo shirts and black pants. For a venue that aims to be casual and relaxed, the appearance of the team was entirely appropriate. The kitchen is very open to those dining upstairs so there’s no mystery about who’s preparing your meal and what’s going into it. It’s a bit noisy at times, but noone seemed to mind.
For a busy restaurant that delivers hundreds of covers each day, the service at Augello’s was outstanding.
Every patron was greeted with a cheery smile and quickly shown to their table. Drinks were offered and delivered quickly and needs were anticipated and inquired of in a non-intrusive way. The service team certainly knows its trade as members displayed great professionalism, striking the perfect balance between attentiveness and courtesy and allowing diners to engage with their table companions without needless interruption.
You don’t become a multiple winner of the Global Pizza Challenge and the Australia Pizza Challenge without making outstanding pizzas and there’s good reason why the chefs at Augellos have won these crowns since 2010. That year, it was their hot smoked salmon pizza - dill, parmesan-infused dough, salsa verde, cheese, baby spinach, hot smoked salmon fillet, onion jam, parmesan cheese, caper lemon juice aioli and salmon caviar which stole the show. To this day, you’ll still find it on the menu.
But on our recent visit, it was the chicken cacciatore risotto that most excited the tastebuds.
Chicken, cacciatore salami, mushrooms, olives, garlic, chilli served up in a delicious and very traditional tomato sauce. The texture was perfect and the level of spiciness was “Goldilocks” – just enough to lift the chicken but not so much that it had you reaching for your waterglass.
For a small and casual venue, the Augello’s wine list stacks up really well. There’s a nice balance of varietals and most of the major regions are represented. It was pleasing to see at least a couple of Italian options in both the red and white categories, including one of my favourite Italian grapes, Barbera. The Barbera D’alba DOC from Piedmonte is well-priced at only $45 a bottle. In fact, the entire list is very fairly priced with only a modest mark-up on a retail price. Kudos to management.
While the service is exceptional and the food, very good, it’s the value which brings the patrons back week after week. With gourmet pizzas costing between $24 and $28, and mainsized pasta dishes ranging from $20 to $37, Augello’s serves it loyal followers well. No wonder the placed is packed every night of the week.
The popularity of Augello’s is understandable with a great location, polished service staff and a menu with something for everyone. Kids are made welcome and you won’t feel uncomfortable taking the entire family.
It’s an ideal venue for a casual lunch when the sea vista from the upstairs balcony provides an enchanting backdrop. AUGELLO’S
Address: 13 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba Phone: 5478 3199
Hours: Open from 8am, seven days
EAT UP THE VIEW WITH THE MENU: Augellos Mooloolaba serves great food to locals and visitors. ABOVE: Sophie Stansfield serves breakfast.