Aqua Italia, Welsh Back: May 2015 Review

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It’s always shame to revisit somewhere you’ve previously enjoyed a really good meal, only to discover that a subsequent visit is a disappointment. Aqua Italia on Welsh Back is one such place: while I’ve had fantastic meals there in the past, they also have a habit of underperforming on occasion.

That was precisely what happened on a recent visit: a Saturday evening meal with the boyfriend’s parents. We’d successfully managed to reserve a table just a few hours beforehand, and were pleased to see that we were seated by the window, overlooking the terrace and the river. The Welsh Back branch of the Italian restaurant chain is a large venue, and both indoors and out were buzzing when we arrived.

The a la carte menu has plenty of variety: while it’s an Italian restaurant, it’s not all about pizza and pasta. While these options are available, you’ll also be able to choose from dishes such as braised pork cheeks and baked cod, and with main course prices starting from £6.95, there’s something for all budgets. It’s worth also keeping an eye on the Aqua Italia website for promotions, which they run on a regular basis.

My last review of Aqua Italia on Welsh Back pegged the place as a bit hit and miss – and that was certainly the case on my most recent visit. My fritto misto starter (£6.95) was attractively presented (if a little old school), the garlic mayonnaise lovely and pungent, and the portion of calamari, whitebait and tiger prawns was generous. However, the whole thing was overcooked and a little dry, making it a bit of a let down.

Aqua Italia Welsh Back - Fritto Misto

I was excited about my main course of Pollo Farcito (£11.50) – a crumbed chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella and pesto, served on a herb buttered spaghetti with crispy onions. Sadly, the reality was not as appealing. The dish didn’t look particularly appetising, and while the spaghetti was bursting with flavour and the crispy onions provided a lovely textural contrast. the mozzarella and pesto stuffing had escaped from the chicken while cooking and had been unceremoniously plonked on top of the spaghetti. Parts of the chicken were lovely and moist – but I ended up leaving half of it, thanks to it being far too pink inside for my liking.

Aqua Italia Welsh Back - Pollo Farcito

Dessert saved the day, though, and my tiramisu (£4.95) was fantastic: plenty of contrast in textures and flavours, and with three chocolate coated coffee beans on the top that added extra crunch.

Aqua Italia Welsh Back - Tiramisu

Overall, our evening was a little disappointing – while we can’t fault our waiting staff and the atmosphere, the food left a lot to be desired. Sadly, Aqua Italia on Welsh Back has a habit of being a little hit and miss – here’s hoping they can turn things around in the future…

 

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