It’s a balmy Friday evening when we head to City Walk to try out a former Time Out Kids Awards Best Family Café winner, Sapori di Bice. It’s the sort of evening that draws crowds of hungry families to this ever-popular part of town, creating a feelgood buzz as restaurants jostle for attention.
Pitching itself as casual-chic family dining is pretty spot on, and we’re welcomed by friendly waiting staff. The décor pulls off that tricky blend of upmarket yet not overly fussy, ensuring it appeals to families and couples alike, and there’s a lofty, bustling feel to the eatery.
Spray-painted dried pasta replicas of famous Dubai buildings sit at one end of the restaurant, which is a fun touch.
Our youngest dining companion can’t believe she can hop up and make her own pizza with the chef – and pick out the shape she’d like to make it on (a heart, naturally) and it arrives to applause at the table a few minutes later, leaving her older sibling wishing she’d done the same. It tastes as good as it looks, too.
As for the lasagne, it is rustically presented in a mini cast-iron pan and is voted as delicious as home-made would be. But, although the Italian twist on paella is packed full of seafood, it lacks the real punch of flavour we both needed and expected.
After admiring the talented pastry chefs hard at work in the open kitchen, it’s ice cream studded with M&Ms for the kids, while we opt for a crumbly, warm, salted caramel pecan pie.
There’s a dedicated kids’ area with low tables and colouring, but it’s the pizza-making really that gives this one the edge. It’s done with genuine enthusiasm and encouragement from the chef and stretches to ingredients beyond just boring old cheese and tomato. Put this one on your winter dining list.
The Bill (for four)
2x sparkling water Dhs44
1x mini kids burger Dhs50
1x kids pizza Dhs55
1x fritto calamari Dhs58
1x lasagna emilia Dhs73
1x Italian Paella Dhs115
1x pecan pie Dhs29
2x kids ice cream Dhs40
The bottom line
Welcoming, homely and fun. Don’t miss it.