Dolce Italia is a simple, charming Italian restaurant and bakery on a busy square on Havelock Road. It's run by a few Italians, and is surprisingly affordable. Our last review when they just opened was of their range of soft buttery pastries, but they now have Italian favourites like pasta and ravioli for grabs, and these authentic dishes get two thumbs up from us.
Judging by the ambience of Colombo's typical authentic Italian restaurants (Santore, Pranzo, La Trattoria), you would not at first expect Dolce Italia to serve up the same fare. The main bakery space is very casual, cafe-like almost, with a cheerful window seat and a few simple chairs and tables. There's an upstairs dining space too though, for busier times in the evening. But overall, this is casual Italian dining, at surprisingly unassuming prices (Rs. 500 - 700), which is pretty new.
In case you missed our last review, we've got to mention Dolce's chef Manuella and director Samir, the two Italian brains behind the enterprise. You'll see them around a lot, and they'll be happy to come sit and have a chat with you if you say hi. Manuella has been in the restaurant business since she was 16, and is an excellent cook, responsible for everything from the fettuccine to the ice coffees.
Check out our previous review to read about their bakery menu of croissants, cornettos, et al. They're good. But this time we tried the mains.
The shrimp fettuccine was our favourite from what we got, and we recommend it. It was a very filling and satisfying lunch that cost Rs. 700 - plenty of thick ribbony pasta as you can see (fettuccine means 'little ribbons' in Italian), tossed about in a killer creamy, tangy tomato shrimp sauce. I don't know what Manuella put in that sauce but it was perfection (I wish there had been more shrimp, but that's just because I'm greedy).
We also got the spaghetti carbonara (the chicken-bacon or 'fakon' as we like to call it), for Rs. 700 again (all the pasta mains are priced this way). This tasted good, but was the least exciting of the lot, very lightly garnished with grated cheese and plain strips of fakon.
The beef lasagna was another win, coming in a close second to the fettuccine. Wonderfully cheesy (all hail Italians, the gods of cheese), creamy, baked to just the right point, with the minced beef subtly infused and blending in nicely. Brilliant that this costs just 700 bucks - considering the quality of the ingredients, the care put into the recipe and how filling it is, you'd spend probably double the price for this at any other Italian place.
We also got two tall fresh glasses of iced coffee (Rs. 250) and picked the tiramisu from their collection of refrigerated desserts. At Rs. 300, this is good takeaway-tiramisu, which again you don't easily find at other bakeries. It isn't the best tiramisu, but with its soft, coffee layers and plenty of sugary cream, we have to say it works.
Dolce Italia is definitely a place we'd go back to, both for their authenticity and their affordability (it came to less than Rs. 3000 for three mains, dessert and drinks). It's a pleasant, casual space that can work both for a heavy dinner or an evening snack.
Dolce Italia is a good option for a family night-out or a romantic dinner for two.
Our look at Dolce Italia's new premises on Skelton Road.
We love the desserts here. Their pastas aren't half bad either.
Dolce Italia is a lovely little Italian restaurant cum bakery in Bamba. They do Italian favourites that are both authentic and affordable.
Dolce Italia is a new little bakery cum restaurant run by two Italians. They've got some very nice Italian pastries and breads, and the prices aren't too crazy.
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