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Italian-inspired alternative to fast food court dining Reviews

With one or two honourable exceptions, mall dining is an un-enticing proposition: do you go for a doughy panini at a coffee shop or a greasy burger in the neon-lit food court? Biella, at Marina Mall, offers instead a secluded restaurant setting away from the echoing halls of the shopping centre, for those who like to eat with proper cutlery and china, linen tablecloths and attentive apron-clad staff.

The Italian menu is unexceptional – a series of hefty-sized salads, pastas and pizzas – but as an alternative to fast food it looks more appealing. Venturing away from the Italian staples, the dishes are ambitious for the setting but poorly executed, often overcooked or limp. The red snapper, in particular, can be sadly manhandled and dry. It’s not all bad, though – if you stick to the classics, such as a caprese (if you don’t mind a slightly rubbery mozzarella) or a pasta dish, you’ll leave fairly happy and replete with reasonably fresh, well put-together ingredients. Even better, the pizzas are exceptionally good; a generous size with a light, crisp dough and plentiful flavoursome toppings. A couple of healthy juices (remember to ask for syrup on the side rather than in the juice) bump up the vitamin quota.

Skip the desserts, though, if you’re planning to continue shopping: a heavy and dry tiramisu is the last thing you need sitting in your belly when you’re going to try on jeans. Still, as a mid-shopping-spree alternative to the noisy, child-infested food courts, this is a pretty good option.

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.


  • Location: Marina Mall, Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 681 8114
  • Travel: Corniche Road

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User reviews

  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Craig on 08 Nov ' 11 at 18:18
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Okay food, okay atmosphere (except if you sit on the kitchen side when they're "over toasting" bread or something of that nature - yech...), not necessarily the price you'd expect (more than one would assume) and overall "okay" but nothing to write home about... Then again, at least they don't oversalt, overseason, over-flavor, like a lot of culinary attempts around Abu Dhabi/Dubai - best that they allow you to add seasoning to your taste in lieu of the former.

Overall, it's all "okay" and yes, I'll go back many more times most likely, until something better comes around, but if one were to compare to similarly priced US-fare, Olive Garden and Macaroni Grill would put it out of business for all the starred categories above - and those are only pseudo fast-food American joints that I can only assume will be here sooner than later...

Posted by: Suzy on 26 Aug ' 10 at 14:21
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by

The lasagna is the best I have been able to find in AD! Definitely worth a visit. Sooo, yummy.

Posted by: Saba on 22 Feb ' 10 at 08:56
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Love it, love it, love it. They do this chicken fungi something or the other. Basically pan fried chicken breast sitting atop perfectly roasted potato chunks, and mushrooms, with a cream sauce infused with rosemary. Quite filling, but oh so divine.

And yes, for mall food, this is really great Italian fare. I agree that prices could certainly be lower, but well worth a visit, or more!

Posted by: ali on 20 Aug ' 09 at 08:07
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

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Close X The Holy Month of Ramadan started on Thursday, June 18 and will last for one month. During this time live music and DJ sets will stop and opening hours may change at all venues. Please call ahead to confirm details with the outlet.