We’ve been to Bella Italia quite a few times now and on every visit have come away feeling really pleased we went, like we got good value for money and most importantly, that the children were well occupied as well as being fed something they really enjoyed. We went to review their new breakfast menu a while back, just Jimmy and I, and found it to be brilliant and then just before Christmas Katy from ModernMummy, her brood and mine, enjoyed a fantastic meal despite Jimmy becoming poorly literally as we stepped over the threshold! It was the way the staff treated us on that visit that made me know that it is absolutely a brilliant choice for families because if they can discreetly and politely deal with a puking child while still serving food to us and making sure we had everything we wanted then they can deal with absolutely anything else a customer might throw at them!
We were invited over half term to try out their new Kid’s Menu so of course, how could I turn that offer down?! We were with my Mum for the holiday in Norwich so we decided to try out the Bella Italia right in the heart of the City Centre. Jonny and I have been before to this restaurant and had very good meals but it has been a while and it was nice to go back. The restaurant is fairly large but doesn’t feel over-crowded and the windows looking out over the main shopping street are really inviting to sit next to and just watch the people go by as you dine. Obviously we had Florence and Jimmy with us so not a tremendous amount of time for people watching happened but you get the point, it’s a lovely setting and we had my Mum with us who particularly appreciated the view.
And down to business. The children were given their menu with some bread sticks and crayons and immediately tucked in while decorating the menus. There are two menus for little ones with a piccolo selection for the younger child and a larger meal for the slightly older ones, they have everything covered for the 3-11 year old age range. Now my two are picky and even when they have something they like they very rarely finish it so it was Piccolo all the way for us although some of the other options like ribs looked fab.
For the price of £5.45 the little ones can choose from a selection of starters, mains and deserts as well as a refillable soft drink like squash which also comes with a curly straw the children can take home with them. Pretty good value eh! The new Bella Kid’s menu has been long thought out and they took on board advice that children need to eat pretty much straight away; the bread sticks are a fantastic idea and refilling drinks is an absolute must! Drinks add up in the cost of a meal for a family but cost a restaurant very little when it is just squash and water so they have just said right, you only pay once but can drink as much as you like. I like it!
The children spent a while deciding on options and eventually Jimmy went for carrots and cucumber with a dip while Florence, urged by me, opted for cheesey garlic bread. Last time we went I ordered an adult portion but didn’t really get a look in so I was arming myself by swaying her choice and therefore protecting my own portion this time. Same can’t be said for the olives I ordered for the table and which got hovered up in record time by Florence and Jimmy.
They tucked in heartily and by the time their main meals arrived (pizza with salami for Jimmy which isn’t on the menu but they will do their best to make it just as you like and they will also size down any adult meals if nothing from the children’s menu takes your fancy – although it is rather huge and cheesey past for Florence). Despite being Piccolo meals they were absolutely HUGE and Florence, although she gave it a jolly good go, only managed around half of hers. Jimmy too ate very little as he was quite full but the great thing is you can take it all home with you if it doesn’t get eaten and when we asked for boxes they were brought to us immediately.
After our own yummy starters, we, the adults, tucked into sea bass (Jonny said it’s one of the nicest meals he’s ever had), lasagne (my Mum is a seasoned lasagne fan and said it was delicious with a perfect texture) while I had a spicy tomato and prawn pasta dish which was super yummy but it beat me! It’s not often I can’t finish a meal but this portion was enormous!
So we were all pretty stuffed and could have easily done without desert but you know, it’s kind of the best bit of any meal really and I am a firm believer that you need a little something sweet to finish so on we pushed and selflessly managed to eat pudding too!
Funnily enough the children regained their appetite with the look of the desert menu and chose mini donuts with a chocolate dipping sauce (Jimmy) and chocolate brownie with ice cream (Florence). My Mum polished off a toffee sundae and I had a cookie dough lava cake and ice cream… I know, I know, a moment on the lips and all that but it was utterly yummy! Jonny, who had polished off the rest of my main, literally couldn’t manage one – wimp!
The puddings were a brilliant finale to a gorgeous meal where we also managed to slip in a couple of chocolate milk shakes… They weren’t the prettiest milkshakes I ever seen but boy were they good. We had chocolate and I highly recommend!
Looking at the options, the food itself and the fact you get breadsticks and a refillable drink for the children and I would be happy to pay quite a bit more for this new children’s menu but isn’t it fab you don’t have to! £5.95 is an absolutely stonking price and we are bigger fans of Bella Italia than we were before which seems to happen every time we visit!
We were given a complimentary meal in return for an honest review.