Located at: 5 Skelton Road, Colombo 05, Sri Lanka
Visited on: 21 Sep, 2017
This was our third visit to the recently relocated Dolce Italia and, I have to say, the place is growing on me. From the relaxed ambiance to the friendly management and the tempting selection of goodies on display, I predict this is going to be a frequent stop whenever we’re in the area.
We went for the Toscana Bruschette (LKR 650) to begin with. The portion comprised two substantially sized halves of bread that were grilled to perfection – deliciously crunchy at the edges. The centre was doused in olive oil and water from the diced tomato that had been generously piled on it, but was held together by the crunchy crust that continued along the bottom. And ofcourse the chopped basil gave it good flavour. As a whole, it was visually appetising, and tasted very fresh too. (Edit: On a personal note, I like to add a bit of Balsamic vinegar when making bruschette at home – adds a bit of character to the flavour, I feel.)
Pizza was what we wanted for lunch for we know that Dolce Italia’s pizza dough is truly Italian-pizza-thin. We opted for their namesake – Dolce Italia Pizza (LKR 1,500), which was adorned with two sunny-sides-up and three broad strips of chicken bacon. Needless to say, with their first-hand Italian influence in the kitchen, Dolce Italia’s pizzas look and taste authentically Italian. My plate turned into a gooey mess as I broke into my sunny-side-up, which is an interesting experience for a pizza meal. I felt like something was missing though, and requested for some oregano flakes. That seemed to do the job. A little more tomato purée and/or basil would do no harm, in my opinion, as it would enhance the flavour of the topping.
What I realised while having this pizza was that with the commercialised and convenient availability of fast-food pizzas, it’s quite easy to get lost in our expectation of what a pizza should essentially be. Sauces and elements of all sorts are used in plenty on thick dough to appeal to the consumers’ taste buds. Whereas, in a true Italian context, the ingredients used are much simpler, fresher and healthier. Olive oil and basil, mozzarella and fresh tomato purée/sauce form the basis of your pizza. And this is what places like Dolce Italia will give you. It’s not going to be a burst of flavour in your mouth, but it’s going to feel good going down.
For dessert, we tried their Sacher torte (LKR 400). Although more like a variation of the original Viennese sacher torte, the slightly bitter chocolate sauce in the cake combined with the sweet, caramel-like icing made for a delectable combination. Good balance. Neither taste overwhelmed the other. Rich, but only nearly on the verge of sinful – particularly if you’re willing to share the portion! And perhaps wash it down with a cuppa green tea. The choice of caramel for the decoration on top was a good one, albeit in very slight quantity.
What drove me to find this authentic Italian restaurant (while it was at its old Havelock Town location) in the first place was my craving for cannoli. Ever since I tasted my first cannolo (singular) at a bustling restaurant/café on a little pedestrian street in Assisi, I’ve been wondering when and where I would come across it again. My minimal research suggests that what I had over there is probably the more popular or common version, with a fried dough wrap-crust. (Google provides plenty of images for “cannoli” – unfortunately I have no copyrighted images to post here.) To this day, I remember savouring the lip-smacking hazelnut filling that had been piped into it – yum!
What Dolce Italia does is the pastry puff version – perhaps the lesser of the two evils as the filling is piped into a baked pastry tube instead. They have a choice of Cream and Chocolate Cannoli (LKR 350). The chocolate filling is slightly bitter but of a nice consistency that doesn’t get too messy and isn’t overly buttery. Cream is the winner for me though – cool and custard-y are the words that come to mind to describe it. To say that these cannoli are filling would be an understatement. They are a happy treat to stuff yourself with, which is why they were our take-away order! Not exactly what I was looking for, but not a bad find at all. This will definitely make-do for the cannoli I so craved – at least until we meet again. Go ahead and give it a try when you’re passing by some time. Until then – ciao!
Yummy Rating: 4.0 / 5.0