Chenzo’s Restaurant, 46-48 West Main Street, Uphall, West Lothian EH52 5DW T: 01506 855163
We wanted somewhere with atmosphere and good Italian food to meet friends away from the chain restaurants in Livingston.
Chenzo’s enjoyed good reviews including “a gem”, “lovely, authentic Italian restaurant”, “perfection pasta dishes” and “great food, good service and good prices” so we booked a table.
First impressions count. It’s a surprisingly big restaurant in the middle of Uphall, but the lighting and the floral wallpaper, plus the tables minus cloths, don’t provide a warm welcome.
The menu – there are also specials – has choices to suit most tastes and Chenzo’s say they update as often as possible.
We opted minestrone soup, a staple along with bruschetta, and stuffed mushrooms.
The minestrone was a tad cool and lacked taste, despite being packed with vegetables.
The mushrooms were well received and the bruschetta was tasty.
We opted to stay clear of pizza and pasta and plumped for stroganoff and chicken dishes.
The stroganoff had a pleasing taste, but was nothing special, but my chicken dish minus cream – I’m lactose intolerant – was a huge disappointment.
I expected a rich sauce packed with flavour from the likes of olives, garlic and vegetables, but this was thin and bland.
The chicken was advertised as being wrapped in ham and cheese but, once again, it lacked quality in taste and presentation.
The chips disappointed and most of the accompanying vegetables lacked bite, particularly the soggy courgettes.
Yes, we cleared our plates, which were cold on arrival, but that was because we were hungry, not because of the quality.
Service was with a smile, but that can’t make up for the disappointment served up from the kitchen.
Possibly we were there on a bad night, but the lack of patrons could be an indication of how locals rate this establishment.
And, of course, few diners means lack of atmosphere. Uninspiring frontage, uninspiring interior and uninspiring food. Average at best.