The first thing you’ll notice about Italian joint Molto Bello is how its posh Carter Road location contrasts drastically with its interiors. Brick walls and fuss-free wooden tables are all you’ll find in the al fresco section, which faces the semi-open kitchen.
You’ll love the idea of sitting by the sea under the open sky, until you’re plagued by the genocide of bugs flying into the insect zapper. Once you get used to that constant buzz, you’ll find that the tables are so close to each other, that you might as well make a joint order with the family sitting next to you. In fact, abandon any hope of having a private conversation — this goes for all those couples who think that sitting seaside equals whispering sweet nothings to each other all evening.
The waiters could be better trained to pronounce Italian dish names, instead of hacking through them with all the finesse of a butcher’s knife. We decided to make our own version of the Mozzarella Di Bufala Caprese entrée (Rs 275), settling on buffalo mozzarella paired with fresh tomato slices, all doused with olive oil and topped with fresh basil. The chef came by to take the order, and his interpretation didn’t leave much room for complaint. The Bruschetta Balsamic (Rs 125) lived up to its name, with balsamic vinegar being doused generously. A bit too tart for our tastes.
The restaurant has a series of ‘cointreaupolitans’, special cocktails using cointreau as a base. The Diabolic, (Rs 350) flavoured with chilli and Tabasco sauce, could set your lips on fire but was smooth enough to warrant a second order.
For the main course, we paired a Pollo Con La Salsa Di Vin (Rs 325) with a good ol’ Pizza Margherita (Rs 250). The pizza’s generous portions will please any purist, but the chicken breast was cold before it came to the table, a complete turn-off. Warm plates and hot food aren’t that much to ask for in a half-empty restaurant, are they?