We decided to give La Camera a go. Steve and I had walked past a couple of days beforehand and made a reservation.
We were impressed by the large menu. Our waiter was friendly and sorted us out with some garlic bread with cheese whilst we decided on what else to eat. Wine seemed reasonably priced with a decent selection. I went with a cocktail and the boys share a bottle of Heathcote Shiraz.
Garlic bread was quite heavy with a strong garlic bite to it. I think a touch more seasoning would have improved it.
The gnocchi was with slow cooked oxtail, pancetta, basil, chilli, vegetable and mushroom ragú, topped with shredded Grana Padano. It was a pretty substantial portion with three or four bits of oxtail and a whole heap of ragu. The gnocchi was light and doughy and the whole dish was great comfort food.
Steve's risotto con agnello basically with lamb fillet, mushrooms, roasted capsicum, pine nuts and spinach,finished with veal stock and topped with shredded Grana Padano. Again a good size serve and enjoyable.
Christine and James enjoyed their dishes too as well as a chocolate cake / gateau dessert thing. We found service to be acceptable; a few uncertain trainees here and there and an Italian waiter who couldn't understand Chris' request for some salt but overall there were no major problems.
The place was buzzy and we had sufficient room for the pram. It's a family friendly place or somewhere to bring a large group. Prices are good; probably the cheapest in Southbank and the food decent. It's not the most romantic of places so if it was just Steve and I we would probably go for Tutto Bene or Scusami or Walters which are all a little more intimate. La Camera is about the bigger group. The fact it does 25% discount for locals one night of the week may well entice us back though.