Dining at the Four Seasons in Garden City is as extravagant as it sounds. Bella is situated on the third floor of the posh hotel and walking in the hotel you immediately notice the huge window panes giving you a premium view of the Nile. The walls are covered with honey-coloured wood and are decorated with paintings and dim wall lights.
After warmly greeting us, the waiters were quick to bring us small wooden tables to put our bags on. Thirsty, we ordered a long time favourite, the lemon mint. The drink tasted mediocre, not the best, not the worst we have had. It came with sweet syrup that is added to taste. The waiter explained that this is instead of adding sugar to the drink and it gives people a chance to make the drink as sweet as they like. The drink and other fruit juices are not on the menu but make sure to ask about them. The waiter is quick to list them once you do.
Before our food arrived, we were served with schiacciata bread topped with melted cheese. In reality it both looked and tasted like a pizza, but a tasty one. It was covered with black olives which fused with the taste of herbs and garlic.
Bella dedicates an entire section in their menu to risotto; a respectable gesture from an Italian restaurant. The appetiser dishes were mostly dedicated to vegetables and seafood. We went for the marinated prawns with orange juice; served cold, the prawns were served with a tinge of orange juice, on a bed of arugula and with soft bread serving as the base. We liked the dish altogether, but it would have done with a little less arugula.
They also have a second-dishes menu, which includes gnocchi, a dish we were happy to see a restaurant in Egypt serve, and ravioli. Slightly disappointed that Bella offers only one ravioli dish, we decided to give it a try. The ravioli with shrimps and lobster dish came a bit oily. Served al dente, the shell itself was in the right texture. The filling was very tasty, with the shrimps and lobster perfectly blended.
The main dishes ranged mainly between meat and seafood, with only one chicken main dish. The main course came with a choice of bread from a basket filled with an appetising selection.
For seafood fans, the seafood mixed grill option with lemon risotto is a rather good idea. If you like lemon or sour food, you will really enjoy the risotto, cooked to perfection and placed in the centre of the dish surrounded by mouth-watering jumbo shrimp, calamari and salmon. We also tried the grilled lamb chops; one of our favourite dishes from Bella. Served medium on demand, the chops were cooked to perfection; absolutely juicy and mouth watering. They came with a side dish of mashed potatoes topped with chives and mushrooms; though well cooked, they faded in comparison to the chops.
For the desserts, we were told Bella is known for their specialty tiramisu, so we of course went for it. To our disappointment, Bella used too much mascarpone cheese that the only-cheese bites were too sour to the extent of being almost inedible. It was a shame since a bite through the three layers of soaked ladyfingers, cream cheese and coffee tasted really good. The cherry compote served with a bar of white chocolate saved the day or the dessert. The taste of the sour cherry melted perfectly with the white chocolate and this dessert definitely made up for the tiramisu.
Though definitely overpriced, especially when putting into account the rather small portions, Bella serves certain Italian dishes that you can rarely find in Egypt. And to a great extent, the taste of the dishes will not fail you.