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"BUON GIORNO EALING."
Bella Italia in General
Member Name: lak11
Bella Italia in General
Date: 07/11/11, updated on 10/07/12 (236 review reads)
Advantages: Comfortable, pleasant dining, good food but not exceptional in my opinion.
Disadvantages: Food nice though not exceptional in my opinion. Ambience okay but could be better.
My youngest daughter has recently left home to study at university. My husband and I and the daughter in question felt we would give her a few weeks to settle and find new friends before visiting. We did this until a few weeks ago when we felt the time had come for a visit to renew our acquaintance!
Two of her siblings had prior commitments on the day arranged and so there were five of us included in this outing; myself, my husband, our youngest son and his girlfriend and, of course, the daughter who we were going to see.
Four of us set off one Sunday morning. Fortunately my daughter's university and its accommodation aren't too far away meaning that we can visit for one day. Because of this we thought it would be nice to collect her from her accommodation and then take her out to lunch before returning home.
My daughter is becoming familiar with the Ealing area of London and suggested that Ealing Broadway would be a good place to dine and assured us we would find a parking space easily enough in this area. During the short journey from her accommodation to Ealing Broadway my daughter asked if we could eat at Bella Italia which has long been a favourite of hers and we said we would go there if we could park near enough.
She was right about parking being easy. We parked our car in one of a choice of several car parks in the area and followed our youngest to Bella Italia.
On approaching the restaurant we saw there was some seating outside. As this was the time of this country's incredibly lovely Indian summer we could have dined al fresco but, after toying with the idea, everyone seemed to prefer to dine inside.
When we entered Bella Italia we were surprised that it wasn't even half full and the time was now about two o'clock on a Sunday afternoon. In our home area most restaurants and pub restaurants would have a considerable wait for a table if it hadn't been booked prior to arrival. But we noticed there were many places in this area to eat.
We were greeted by a female member of staff who seemed to be doing everything in the actual restaurant. We were given a choice between two or three tables which were set for a party of our size, or more. We chose a long central table which, I think was set for eight people. Some other tables were reserved for diners who hadn't yet arrived. There were a few other occupied tables.
Our table was lovely as it had an empty decorative champagne bottle containing helium filled balloons in the colours of the Italian flag and with streamers, which made our table look very festive.
The menu here is good as there is an extensive choice for meat eaters and a good choice for vegetarians too. Also the menu highlights vegetarian options rather than having a separate section and, as there were enough meat free dishes on offer, this worked well, I thought.
*I liked the fact that the menu also highlighted dishes suitable for those with gluten intolerance.
* It also shows certain healthy choices from the menu which are under 600 calories per dish.
As expected from an Italian restaurant Bella Italia offer a good choice of pizzas ranging from the ever popular Margherita priced at 6.75 to the Carne Mista at £9.25. This is a pizza topped with Spiced Italian pepperoni, salami, smoked ham and smoked pancetta.
There was a great choice, as to be expected form an Italian restaurant, of pasta dishes from good old spaghetti Bolognese (£8.50) to a less well known , well to me at any rate, dish called Bucatini Gamberoni (£9.95) Which is (and I quote from the website):
"(a thick spaghetti with a hole like a drinking straw), 6 succulent king prawns sautéed with garlic and chilli in a spicy pomodoro sauce."
Also on the menu were fish dishes such as sea bass £12.95) and some interesting sounding salads.
I don't eat meat and so I always have a good look at what's on offer for non-meat eaters like me. I felt that the starters and main menu offered plenty of choice.
As already explained the menu doesn't have a separate vegetarian section but I found there was plenty to choose from the main menu and was pleased that all dishes suitable for vegetarians were clearly labelled. My son's girlfriend (also a vegetarian) felt that there was a good selection for the non-meat eater.
We were all given a menu along with a smaller supplementary menu showing specials of the day.) Bella Italia's Piatto del Giorno shows various daily dishes available every day from 12 o'clock until seven o'clock pm and these are priced reasonably, in my opinion, at £5.95.
We began our lunch by ordering drinks which consisted of a two glasses of red wine (Merlot - Biagio, Veneto to be more precise) a Fanta orange, sprite and a cola. Another cola was also ordered during the meal.
We decided not to have starters but instead to choose some starters and sides to have as accompaniments to our main meal and to share these.
The sides/starters selected were:
A large portion of dough balls served with a garlic butter dip, fries, zucchini fritters served with a garlic dip.
The fries were nice but there weren't many of them. The zucchini fritters were disappointing as they were rather bland, we thought.
Our main meals were:
An Americano burger served with French fries and a side salad. The burger bun was decorated with a small paper Italian flag. It looked nice but hubby said it was a little dry and he didn't think it was worth its price of, £9.25.
Lasagne Porcini was chosen by my son's girlfriend. This is a meat free option of a lasagne of wild mushrooms with a sauce of mushrooms, mascarpone & pecorino cheese, layered with fresh spinach and finished off with a topping of melted mozzarella. Again this looked nice but was a little too rich (so I was told) after a while.
The meat lasagne chosen by my son proved a good choice.
My choice was Rigatoni alla Norma, a pasta dish containing roasted aubergines, garlic and cherry tomatoes, basil and pieces of mozzarella. This was a nice choice too.
My daughter chose her all time favourite of spaghetti bolognese and said that it was lovely.
The ladies toilets were well equipped and clean and my husband endorsed the good standard of cleanliness also found in the men's toilets.
This restaurant provides disabled access.
A braille menu is available.
The lady who waited upon us seemed to be one of only two staff in the restaurant (excluding kitchen staff who, not surprisingly, I didn't see) and she served all of our dishes as well as drinks, cleared the table and also in between waiting at tables, she manned a reception desk sorting out bills, answering the telephone and taking payments.
We found this versatile member of staff to be both friendly and polite. She would appear discreetly every so often over the course of our meal to ask if everything was alright and did we need anything else etc. She was knowledgeable about the menu and answered any queries that we had.
Food, drinks etc were served in a good amount of time and all dishes came up around the same time.
This branch of Bella Italia is set in a busy location near to Ealing Broadway station which provides both underground tube on the central line and mainline national; rail service. There are many buses serving the area and a taxi rank by the station.
It is a popular area for entertainment and shopping with several shopping centres close by.
I noticed several car parks which serve this area.
36 New Broadway
Mon - Sat:
9.00am - 12.00am
9.00am - 11.30pm
Telephone: 020 8579 7089
The lunch for five adults came to £72. I don't think this is expensive but then again, I don't feel all dishes were really that special. I would say value wise it was reasonable but could be improved upon.
The Ealing branch of this large chain provided us with a pleasant dining experience. The atmosphere was nice even though it was quiet on the day that we ate here. The food was quite good and of not too bad sized portions although the portions of chips which my husband had and the side order could have been larger.
The space between tables was good and our table was comfortable. I felt everything was clean which of course is of the utmost importance when eating out but, both myself and my husband felt that it didn't quite measure up to other Italian restaurants that we have dined at. However I would probably still dine here again.
Summary: Pleasant and I would probably go back.