This Adliya institution demonstrates why it is perennially packed to the rafters 2 Reviews
- Picture 1 of 2
If you’re after an authentic, rustic, dried-chillies-strung-up-on-the-wall Italian dining experience, Adliya’s Café Italia probably isn’t the place for you. Think more: ultra-modern, quasi-industrial open-plan loft sprinkled with mock-baroque décor and oversized art and sculptures. You sort of have to see it to know what I mean. And if you’re young and gorgeous, you probably have seen it, more than once. We joined the luscious lunch-time set to see what we made of their vaunted new menu.
Tucked away in the corner, overlooking their super-cute little courtyard stroke water garden, we were in the perfect position to soak up the atmosphere, such as it was. Rather austere, it felt, on a weekday lunchtime. Much better to go in the evening at the weekend, when the place really comes to life.
So what was different about this new menu, then? Not much, as it turned out, just a few seafood options added to the starter menu, the rest remained relatively unchanged. What I said earlier about not expecting traditional Italian goes for the food too. They favour the stylish, creative European dishes over the typical Italian fare. I ordered a chicken and avocado salad to start, which was very elegantly presented but not overly dressed or tasty. My friend had the tuna and bean salad, which he was happier with, though he did reckon he could make one that good at home. For our main courses, we shared a gnocchi pomodori with roasted pine nuts, raisins and sun-dried tomatoes, which was light yet filling at the same time, and very good. Although I’m glad we shared it as we both felt surprisingly fit to burst by this point. Nevertheless, we soldiered on and ordered a dessert each: two scoops of homemade ice-cream for me, a traditional tiramisu for my friend. Both exquisitely presented (mine was stacked in some kind of glass bubble) and both delicious. A pot of tea for two to round it all off, and they practically had to roll us out of there. So much for a light spot of lunch.
Yes, I like Café Italia, it’s cool, it’s good-looking, it oozes chic (I’m sure we made the place look messy) and that, rather than the food, is what you go there for.
The bill (for two)
Tonno bianco BD6.500
Chicken/avocado salad BD5.500
Gnocci pomodori BD6.200
Ice cream (two scoops) BD3.600
Lemon juice BD1.400
Large water BD2.600
Earl grey tea BD2.000
Total (incl. tax/service) BD40.560
Time Out Bahrain,
- Previous reviews
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.