Newest Review: ... pieces and ice cream with chocolate sauce and topped off with sparklers- It was incredible, but really a meal on it's own. The staff di... more
I love Bella Pasta
Member Name: rose_haire
Date: 22/12/00, updated on 22/12/00 (343 review reads)
Advantages: good menu, something for everyone
Disadvantages: none that I know of!!
I know it's a chain but I think that Bella Pasta is a really great restaurant. There is a branch of it just around the corner from my college in Cambridge and my friends and I frequent it at least 5 times a term, as a result I know the menu really well! The Cambridge branch is especially nice as it is in an old mill-house so the water-wheel is there. If you're lucky enough then you get a table in the actual mill-house where there are glass panels in all the tables so you can look down at the water rushing under your feet. This is a really nice touch - except for when there's a huge spider just under your dinner!!
I've never actually had a starter at Bella Pasta as a poverty-stricken student, not even garlic bread. The drinks menu is very good though with a wide selection of fruit juices and some traditional Italian soft drinks, there's one that's a kind of rose-water thing that is particularly nice. A large juice costs £1.25 and a small £1. They are also very willing to bring a jug of water which is great for students who don't want to be ripped off for coke! Again I've never had anything from the wine list but the glasses are quite reasonable priced at around £2.50. A friend usually has house white and seems to enjoy it so it is recommended!
The main courses are divided into lots of sections. The pizzas are particularly good, as you waould expect from an Italian restaurant. They are about £6 - £7 and really tasty! They are quite large and the staff are happy to make up any combination you ask for. I recommend the duck and red onion pizza as it is delicious and very filling. Also they have some quite original toppings eg the duck pizza which make a change from the usual Hawaiian etc.
There is also a "breadcrumbs" section of the menu. What I mean by this is dishes in sauce eg chicken in white wine with a yummy parmesan/breadcrumb topping, kind of like Italian shepherd's pie. These are a bit more
expensive, £7 - £10 but also lovely. I had had chicken with mixed peppers and a mushromo dish, both of which are lovely. Here again they will make up pretty much anything you want. There are traditional Italian dishes like Lasagne and Spaghetti Carbonara which are also good especially the spaghetti. There is a final section of the menu containing more exotic dishes one of which, called Marco Polo, is duck in a sweet plum sauce. I love duck if you hadn't realised already and this dish is really very fine.
Onto my favourite part of the menu, the DESSERTS! I heartily recommend the Godfather if you like chocolate brownies and cream. It is truly delicious for £3.65. Cioccolato Divino is also sublime, chocolate cheesecakey thing that is very rich. The Tiramisu is a bit more disappointing as the portions are quite small but it is also lovely, if a bit sickly. There is a peach ice-cream thing that is a different kind of dessert and nice if you don't want anything too rich.
Overall I think that Bella Pasta has excellent variety in its menu and there are always about 30 things I want to eat. It also isn't that expensive, at about £10-15 per meal.