Bricco Pizza & Pasta
Cheery Italian proves that mall meals needn’t be a misery... 6 Reviews
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The idea of going out for a meal in a mall would be anathema to most foodies, but there are occasional exceptions to the food court rule. Cantina Laredo and Asha’s (both in Khalidiya Mall) do a brand of Tex Mex and Indian respectively that garner fans and detractors in equal measure, and Marina Mall’s Zyng Asia also seems to split diners down the middle. However, we’ve heard only good things about Briccocafé. Allow us to offer a few words of praise.
There’s no escaping the fact that the Al Wadha Mall branch is, er, in a mall, but the designers have managed to bring the two seemingly incongruous locations together with a certain understated pizazz. The space has largely been left untouched, making good use of the huge plate windows that come with renting the corner of a modern shopping centre. The interior is brightly decorated, with a large cooking station at the centre demonstrating just how freshly Briccocafé works their produce.
Food-wise, the only thing that we found troublesome was the lack of alcohol. Italian food without a decent house red is like Simon without Garfunkel – quality stuff, but sorely lacking in harmony. However, that’s the only price you’ll pay for eating in a mall; everything we ordered from across the menu sang.
Starting with a beautifully prepared Araba pizza (the kids particularly enjoyed watching the chef knock it together behind his low-rise counter), with hunks of toasted chicken peppered throughout, we filled our side dishes from a large bowl of crisp, fresh Caprese salad and rounded the mains off with a wickedly flavoursome plate of gorgonzola ravioli. Having stood at the cooking station to watch it being spooned together, we can confirm that its wickedness lay in ladles of butter. The portions were mammoth-friendly, a good thing on this occasion. Three plates fed a family of four quite comfortably, and the food was many notches higher in quality than much of the junk they pump out at the neighbouring food court.
Finally, a special mention should go to the colourful and eccentric maitre d’ – an Italian gentleman straight out of the Big Book of Stereotypes. However, while there may have been something altogether cartoonish about him, his menu knowledge was excellent and he continuously gave our little party something to smile about. We’ll be doing our Friday shop at Al Wahda Mall from now on.
The bill (for four)
Caprese salad Dhs40
Ravioli gorgonzola Dhs54
Araba pizza Dhs54
Minestrone soup Dhs28
San Pellegrino (large) Dhs18
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
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