Simone Gannon pays a visit to Citywalk with her brood for a traditional Italian breakfast.
Recently opened in Citywalk, Sapori Di Bice is an Italian casual dining venue that aims to offer good food and good service in a welcoming atmosphere. In my previous life this lovely little description used to appeal but now however, with a boisterous toddler in tow, it only serves to fill me with fear. Why? Well, good food is all well and good when you have time to eat it and a welcoming atmosphere is all very well until the toddler starts using bread rolls as weapons. It’s funny how quickly things go downhill when balls of dough start whizzing past your head…
Nonetheless, with declarations from the husband about how great it would be to have a proper Italian breakfast, we battened down the hatches and prepared ourselves for a five minute feast followed by a host of apologies as we shooed the toddler out the door.
Once we stepped inside however, I had a feeling that this experience might be different. Sapori Di Bice is big and bright and airy, with lots of friendly staff smiling and chatting at their various work stations. The sight of Charlie running at high speed through the restaurant only elicited more smiles and indulgent laughter and I soon realised why; the staff (who are nearly all Italian) know exactly what they are doing. Less than five minutes after we arrived a highchair was deftly produced and a freshly baked bread basket placed directly in the toddler’s line of vision. A few screeches of “up up!” and moments later he was silently ensconced in his throne surrounded by his beloved carbohydrates.
Delighted with this unexpected turn of events, the husband and I set about ordering our breakfast in a relaxed manner, while sipping on freshly brewed Italian coffee. The menu is extensive and traditional, with cute kid’s dishes and a whole host of Italian favourites crying out to be ordered. As it was breakfast time, I plumped for traditional Italian Frittata, a mouth-watering, melt-in-the-mouth creation, the husband ordered the Italian style English breakfast which he declared ‘the best he’d ever had’ and Charlie inhaled a mini portion of pancakes before we’d even had time to pick up our cutlery. While we were eating, Charlie was kept entertained by his never-ending bread basket and the hustle and bustle around us. We got chatting to the manager who explained that everything in Sapori Di Bice is freshly made on site; bread, pasta, gelato - you name it, they make it fresh. While we were blabbering, the croissant and focaccia bread making began a few feet from our table and let me tell you, it’s a smell that won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Naturally, Charlie’s little nose perked up too and before we knew it, a little piece of fresh focaccia landed on his highchair, much to everyone’s delight. A silent, happy toddler twice in one morning? Who knew such a thing existed!
When we finished eating, we wandered over to the comfy couches to finish our coffee while Charlie ran around the restaurant, only stopping intermittently to wave enthusiastically at staff members, who indulged him by waving back and even singing to him in Italian!
The whole experience was fantastic (and pocket friendly) and I really can’t fault our visit. Eating out with kids can be such a minefield but Sapori Di Bice really know what they are doing when it comes to families. The food was good, the service outstanding and the welcoming atmosphere stayed firmly in place until we walked out the door with full bellies and promises to come back very soon.
Open Mon-Sun, 8am-11pm. Sapori Di Bice, Citywalk, Jumeirah. www.saporidibice.com (04 344 2550).