Bella Marino Ristorante e Pizzeria @ Pulau Tikus, Penang.
The alley just right next to Bibis Fashion & Bakery Cafe is a small alley named Leandros Lane in which you will find a seemingly curious Italian restaurant- Bella Marino. Those who are in the know would not be new to the name; previously located at Straits Quay Marina Mall, Bella Marino Ristorante e Pizzeria has since relocated to the present location. It is not particularly a romantic spot... the distance between tables is near and it may be a little awkward to speak loud but the quality of the food make up for it. There are plenty of heavy Italian ornaments adorning the walls but we did not find them particularly charming. The menu is slightly confusing as there are too many to choose from but expect the quintessential Pasta and Pizza dishes are available; though some do come with hefty price tags.
Pasta- Connovata (Rm 37)
Antipasto Alla Bella Marino (Rm 40)
We have fond memories of Connovata, a Tomato-Cream based Sauce served with fresh and succulent Scallops and Prawns. Choose between Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Linguine and Penne; we picked Linguine. The Seafood was so fresh and the resilient but not hard-to-the-bite texture was most thrilling. The slight tang sauce was refreshingly appetizing but creamily satisfying at the same time. Flavors were well thought out and perfectly balanced. To suit the local palate, a small amount of Bird's Eye Chilies were added to introduce a slight touch of heat. Delizioso!
For starters, we had their Antipasto that consists of Parmesan Baked Tomatoes, Plain Burrata Cheese, Truffled Burrata, Grilled Buffalo Cheese, Smoked Salmon with Capers and Sauteed Wild Mushrooms and Rocket Leaves. We love some of the elements, though not all unfortunately. Our untrained taste buds could not discern between the Burratas; in which one of them was carrying a peculiar icy texture that we were not quite fond of. The texture was dreadful and we struggled to finish. Parmesan Baked Tomatoes on the other hand, were nicely done and carefully seasoned; same goes to the Sauteed Mushrooms. We'd probably enjoy more if we savor them with a glass of Red.
No Italian meal is completed without a good serving portion of Tiramisu (Rm 17.50), Bella Marino's comes in a huge portion that seems impossible to be finished by one entirely. We expected the sweet treat to be soft and mushy but it turned out to be slightly firm, probably gelatin was added but they did not compromise on the flavor. The Espresso element was present but not as overwhelmed as we would have hoped; nevertheless, we thought they did well in terms of the texture and sweetness; both were well-balanced and right on the dot. A Coffee-infused affair worth every single calorie.
Taste: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: Yes 6%
Address: 334, Lorong Leandros, 10250, Pulau Tikus, Penang.
Business Hours: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, 6 pm to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 228 8277