Bocca

An underrated Italian that can easily match its newer competitors 13 Reviews

Meal Deal
New Year's Eve offer

A five-course Italian dinner. Dhs495 per person (Wednesday)

Bocca

Enjoy a savoury lunch of antipasti, pasta, desserts, juices and grape beverages made from 100 percent certified organic ingredients. Visit the farmers market offering a variety of organic products for sale. Dhs299 per person, Dhs149 for children from six-12, children under six eat for free Timings: Noon-4pm (Friday)

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Ask any of Abu Dhabi’s gastronomes which is the best Italian in town, and chances are Bice won’t be the first name that rolls off their highly attuned tongues.

The place comes some way down the pecking order, lagging behind such illustrious Mediterranean eateries as Frankie’s at the Fairmont, or Pregos at the Beach Rotana. We’re not sure why this is, maybe because it’s one of the older establishments in town and so has lost some of its sparkle when compared with its glitzier siblings. But, despite its age, we don’t think it’s time to put Bice out to pasture yet, as it can easily hold its own against any other Italian in the city.

While it is not the most modern restaurant in town, it is by no means shabby. The spacious dining room is decked out in dark wood, and, in the evening, candles flicker on each table, adding an air of romance and mystery.

The food is also superb, adhering to the mantra that keeping it simple is the key factor when cooking Italian cuisine. We started with the bresola, which the menu described as dried beef. Thankfully, the word ‘dried’ was something of a misnomer, because, although the meat may have been cured, it was moist and chewy – a million miles away from your supermarket beef jerky.

Moving on, we opted for chicken breast stuffed with a basil and ricotta, which was again competently cooked and bursting with the flavours of the fresh ingredients. If we have one complaint, and it is a minor one, it is that the chef needs to curb his use of olive oil. We’re big fans of the aromatic ingredient, but when your chicken oozes grease with every slice, we’re not impressed.

Thankfully, desserts rescued the slight slip in standards, with a decadent slice of strawberry cheesecake and one of the gooiest chocolate fondues we’ve ever had the pleasure of attacking with a spoon, and both were both demolished in seconds.

So ignore your ageist sentiments, Bice’s still going strong and, like a fine parmesan, it keeps getting better with age.

The bill (for two)
Burrata mozzarella
Dhs59
Bresola Dhs81
Tortelli ricotta Dhs89
Chicken breast Dhs99
Chocolate fondue Dhs37
Strawberry cheesecake Dhs37
Bottle of sparkling water Dhs26
Total (excluding service) Dhs428

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Hilton Abu Dhabi, Al Khubeirah, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 681 1900
  • Travel: Corniche Road
  • Website | Send mail

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Bocca On The Map

User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Romantic

User reviews:

Posted by: Hani Bakr on 30 May ' 12 at 09:06
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

It is a great place.

It is not a traditional Italian restaurant, you know the one with shelves and antiques or wine bottles put on it but still wonderful.

I believe the selection of table size, design of chair and indirect light were excellent - 100% no flaw.

When it comes to the food, it was great. No flaw.

What I did not like are two things. The electric piano was loud that with the crowd around us I had to raise my voice. The other thing is that smoking is allowed every where.

Posted by: Giorgia D'Andreta on 23 Oct ' 11 at 14:26
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Valentina on 20 Oct ' 11 at 10:16
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Valentina on 20 Oct ' 11 at 10:16
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Jan Moenkedieck on 05 Jun ' 11 at 08:11
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Jan Moenkedieck on 05 Jun ' 11 at 08:02
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

From: Jan Moenkedieck (General Manager - Hilton Abu Dhabi)

In reponse to Mr McNeill's review, my team and I regret that we were unable to satisfy the McNeill's during their recent visit and will strive to improve on the feedback provided to us.

It is a concern to us to learn that Mr McNeill is a chef of a competitor Italian restaurant but are delighted that his restaurant has decided to recruit our BiCE chef for their operations on Yas Island.

We trust that some of the BiCE success will now be spread to improve the Italian dining options in Abu Dhabi.

Posted by: Shane Macneill on 23 Mar ' 11 at 15:52
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

The worst Italian food I have ever tasted. After living in Milan for three years I have come to understand the excellent quality of food that can be produced from an Italian kitchen. It is not dry Vitello Tonato, Soggy Calamari with spicy tomato sauce (it was then served with 3 sauces and the spicy tomato sauce was not spicy at all and was like a pizza sauce) Chefs veal escalope I felt was pre cooked and served warm with an msg type sauce. The pizza was then served and to be honest you could wrap it around a football in one piece. After sending it back twice it made little difference and to add insult to injury my wife tried to have a conversation with the manager only to be told about the pizza "It's like this, I know I am Italian". The sommelier then pouring the wine and spun it in the glass like a washing machine, no elegance what so ever. The bill was then 750 dirham.
Anyway we were happy to leave but after following time out religously since september we will be careful as to where we book in the future.
I have been working as a chef for 15 years and understand that sometimes the most simple of things can just be too difficult for some cooks. Food for thought!

Posted by: JW on 29 Nov ' 10 at 12:18
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This restaurant is far better than Frankies... pls think about it... ask for cheff Marco to join you in the table, je is very nice and this is a way for you to get sm free ;) like a nice panacotta from the cheff ;)

Posted by: private on 18 Nov ' 10 at 17:44
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Good Good GOOD
Best restaurant on town

Posted by: Carry on 08 Nov ' 10 at 20:55
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Every time I visit Abu Dhabi we love to eat here before flying home. Great ambience and the food is always totally delicious . Recently had the most divine chocolate souffle.Wow!

Posted by: Jose on 06 Nov ' 10 at 09:02
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Me like it lot, food maravillosa!! service like in Europe... thanks Bice, love italians

Posted by: G.William on 05 Nov ' 10 at 17:25
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This is one of my favourites Italian... love Marcho and Alessandro, always remeber my name and my preferences!!! They should have win over Prego´s... what were you thinking... prego´s NOOOOOOO!! (same filling reg. Frankis)...

Posted by: Princess on 26 Feb ' 09 at 12:19
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

The best ambiance for a romantic dinner with a loved one, be it family or your partner. Not to mention that Hilton is always the BEST!

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