Dolce Italia is a new Italian eatery that’s cropped up on that crowded corner on Havelock Road (alongside Amrith and Xilaton). Given its location amid popular fast-food-style Indian/Chinese outlets, we had our doubts about its authenticity. But we were pleasantly surprised.
It just opened, so we’ll have to wait another week to sample their mains (pastas, panini et al). But right now they’ve got some great Italian pastries, biscuits, breads, and good service courtesy of their Italian owner and chef.
Update: They just opened their other branch close-by as well, on the Galle-Road-side of Dickman’s Road.
As if the scrumptious picture above isn’t evidence enough, the place has got a lovely selection of soft buttery pastries. The above is a cornetto (no, not the Walls kind), something like a danish, which tasted pretty great by pastry standards. A lot like Delifrance pastries but maybe a little better. It cost Rs. 320 though.
The pizzas they had at this Italian joint were unfortunately not the Italian kind, and were a hit and miss. They were made on very thin soft bread but were more like the made-in-the-morning-and-stored-in-the-fridge kind. This is keeping with the whole bakery theme downstairs though and we’re hoping we get to sample some real pizzas once their mains are ready next week.
The frollini are little sugary cookies, some of them like gnanakathas. You can get about a dozen for Rs. 180, and they make tasty finger food with a cup of tea.
My favourite was the panzerotti (Rs. 280), a giant sugary croissaint-ish pastry, stuffed at its center with thick, creamy chocolate.
Dolce Italia has a very clean, simple interior. The main door takes you to the bakery section where you get the pastries in glass cases, the breads on shelves, and also a very cute long window seat. There’s also a pleasant teal-themed room upstairs for dining-in, for when the place really gets on its feet.
We saw a few Italian customers patronizing the eatery, so like the throngs of Chinese customers at a legit Chinese restaurant, it says something. On your visit you’ll also probably bump into the Italians behind the business – Director Samir Noumeh, a very jolly giant, and the chef Manuella, who – we were told – has been in the restaurant business since she was 16 years old.
Dolce Italia is still brand new, and we’ll have to visit again for the final verdict – but so far, their stuff seems to be quite authentic and made with quality ingredients. It’s a comfy place to relax and have some quality short-eats and biscotti at the window seat, and we hope their main dishes are going to be just as good.