In a line: A place perfect to unwind your day at this eclectic and casual Italian restaurant right from UK.
Price for two: Rs. 1800(approx)
Must haves: Lamb Shank, Pizza Vita
Nearest metro station: IGI/Chhattarpur
When you’ve devoured a delightful thin crust pizza, smothered with tangy tomato sauce and topped with oozing cheese or have finished an entire bowl of al-dente pasta that is bursting with flavours or simply love the crunch and freshness of a bruschetta that is topped with fresh tomatoes and basil, you do know that love for Italian food is endless.
If you are one of those who crave for Italian food often and are ever willing to take your taste buds across a trip to Italy with some delicious salads, pizzas, gelatos and vino, then Bella Italia might just be the right place for you to fly those cravings away and to dig into some delicious Italian delicacies.
A brand that is passionate about bringing you the true taste of Italy, Bella Italia is a chain of over 90 Italian restaurants operating in UK that has its first outlet in India at Holiday Inn, Aerocity. Setting aside the general notion of 5 star restaurants having only high end fine-dining restaurants, Bella Italia is a breath of fresh air and adds the quirk element to the hotel with it’s cosy and chic ambiance that makes it a perfect place to catch up with a few friends or the entire family over a good and hearty Italian meal.
Spread across two floors, this spacious restaurant is marked by vibrancy and warmth which accompanies the splash of different colours along with a courteous and non-intrusive service.
The menu is as eclectic as the ambiance and has the perfect blend of different dishes which make sure that all your Italian food cravings are met.
Last Sunday, I started my meal with the complimentary focaccia bread that was accompanied along with fresh tomato salsa that had set my palate for the culinary journey ahead.
The Arancini Funghi or deep fried mushroom risotto balls, oozed melting mozzarella cheese the moment I bit into them and were indeed a cheesy delight. The Chicken Wings Italiano turned out to be a great departure from the spicy sauce laden wings available elsewhere. The freshness of the lemon added the quintessential zing to the wings.
Nothing shouts more Italian than pasta and pizza and hence, it was time to devour a few. The Quattro Formaggi or the four cheese pizza was delectable with the well balanced flavours of the mozzarella, bocconcini, goat cheese and blue cheese. The BBQ lover in me was awestruck with the Chicken Barbecue Pizza that was topped with morsels of chicken cooked in BBQ sauce and was slithered with more BBQ sauce on top.
Prepared with whole wheat base, thin and crisp Pizza Vita brings together the deliciousness of a pizza with tomato sauce and the health of a salad. I tried the Olive Pizza Vita and though liked it, felt that the olives could be chopped, instead of being placed as a whole.
While I liked Pasta Capra, al-dente fuscilli tossed in pomodoro sauce, because of the creamy goat cheese, it would be the Ricotta e Funghi Ravioli that stole my heart because of its simple burnt garlic and butter sauce. Topped with Grana Padano, this is definitely a must have. Another must have is the Lamb Shank, which was cooked so well, that the meat was falling off the bone. The flavour of the rosemary in the red wine sauce came across beautifully, while the green beans added the crunch and fresh element to the dish.
The milkshakes, I felt, lacked the consistency and flavour that I long for and hence, a tweak in the recipe to make it more creamy, thick and flavourful, can certainly help to save these souls.
No meal can conclude without a good dessert, and fortunately, there are a lot of good desserts to choose from at Bella Italia.
Their gelato cart is surely going to bring out the child in you and will make you want to try them all. Nothing can come close to chocolate and coffee gelato, other than the unusual pan gelato that had a predominant hit of gulkand. While I felt that the vanilla cheesecake was delicious in its own decided decadence, it was the vanilla cream that came along with it that didn’t seem to go well together with the cheesecake. The cookie dough lava cake, freshly baked cake with moist chocolate center and cioccolato diavola, sticky chocolate fudge brownie, both accompanied along with vanilla pod ice cream, were more than enough to subside the choco-cravings. The creamy Vanilla Pannacotta with cherry sauce was velvety in texture and the simplicity is what caught my attention. The Limenchello Meringue Pie on the other hand had a burst of lemony goodness because of the lemon curd filling in the perfectly cooked short crust pastry. The blowtorched meringue on top added the drama and appeal to this refreshing dessert.
Overall, the journey across Italy, started off well with the delicious starters and ended off well with the drool-worthy desserts. A few bumps here and there across the ride didn’t impact the overall great experience that I had at Bella Italia!