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“Not like it used to be”

Bella Italia Southend
Ranked #120 of 676 Restaurants in Southend-on-Sea
Price range: US$10 - US$22
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Description: Bella Italia hits the Essex coast with its Southend on Sea restaurant, found in the very centre of the town just opposite the Southend Victoria train station. Locals and visitors to this popular British seaside resort are invited to enjoy classic Italian food at good value prices at Bella Italia. There are a wide range of pizzas to choose from such as the Quattro Stagioni with pepperoni, ham, roasted mushrooms and artichokes and the pasta dishes features options like the spaghetti carbonara with pancetta, egg and pecorino cheese or the beef and pork meatballs in a rich tomato sauce served on a bed of spaghetti. Don't forget to save room for dessert; chocolate lovers will adore The Godfather (nutty chocolate fudge brownies, vanilla and toffee ice cream, chocolate sauce and fresh cream).
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Haven't been here for a while but went to celebrate a friends birthday. Staff were friendly but the food was quite disappointing. We had the baked cheese & bread to start but although the cheese was melted it was almost cold by the time it got to the table and was lacking flavour, some herbs or garlic would have helped. We both had the sausage ragu al forno but although the sauce was very tasty I doubt we had more than half a sausage between us. We decided to go the whole hog and have the godfather fragola between us for dessert it came in a massive dish but again I doubt there were more than 2 chopped up strawberries, they must have forgotten the meringue as there was none and no chocolate topping, very disappointing considering the price, certainly nothing like the photo on the website.

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Thank Kodismum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (381)
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288 - 292 of 381 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2014

I have passed this place many times but never been drawn into it. No special reason for that but on Saturday night, we were looking for somewhere local and were thinking about perhaps ASK but stopped to check out the menu here on the way.

I am a committed Vegetarian and would have had the pizza in ASK (I don't like Pasta!) but noted an alternative in Bella Italia, so in we went.

The place was very busy but we were shown a table straight away. Service was reasonably quick, which was good.

On the downside, the place was quite noisy and I could here more from the table opposite (party of three couples all trying to speak at aonce) than from my companion. In the end, I was pleased to be out of there. Also on the downside, my companion's sauteed potatoes were described by her as tasting old - perhaps cooked yesterday and warmed up.

I like the way the place is decorated to look like an old Italian building although they should think about taking some of the dust off the pictures - unless they intentionally leave it there for effect.

Overall, I would not dismiss going back on a quieter day and give the food another chance.

1  Thank therosy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014 via mobile

We tried this restaurant before going to Southend Cinema. The staff are not very friendly and do not make you feel very welcome. We had a (limited) amount of various bread for starters which came with a ridiculously large amount of cheese for minimal serving of bread.
The main course and desert was quite nice. The cappacino we finished with was piping hot and the milk had clearly been boiled. When we raised this issue it was explained "that's how the machine makes it".
All in all a cold and lifeless restaurant. Only giving it a second star as 2 courses were ok. The staff are extremely poor though.

2  Thank peleamsterdam2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2014

After a couple of iffy meals at Pizza Express recently, we decided to venture into Southend and spend our Tesco vouchers at Bella Italia, part of the Tragus Group stable which also includes Café Rouge and Strada. These corporate places can be OK, but if they get it wrong - they really get it wrong.
Yes, we dared to move our precious vouchers to Bella Italia from P Ex after many years, but only purchased disappointment.
The online site and menu is well produced and easy to use and the variety was, on paper, interesting.
On entering, the need for a good makeover was apparent with décor in poor condition all round.
It all started so well with a good welcome and initial service including ice bucket, and a fairly prompt delivery of our shared starter, which was pleasant enough.
It all went downhill from there and nearly an hour later, our mains had not arrived. We had ordered the Pizza Vitas and when they did arrive, they were not at their best - clearly forgotten - and we were in no mood for an argument as we were hungry. They were cold and lacking in ingredients of any noticeable quantity, but we persevered.
This was only our second time in here for a meal and to receive such all round poor quality was disappointing to put it mildly.
Only trouble is that we still have a voucher! It remains to be seen as to whether we risk using it.

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1  Thank PedroMacon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

I went to Bella Italia to have something a little nicer to eat with my partner. At first we entered the restaurant and were told we had to of booked which i was upset about. However waited around for a couple of minutes and were seated and given our menus. But then we felt invisible nobody served us for ages!!! No eye contact was visible either, it was as though we weren't sitting there. My partner put he's hand in the air for around 10 minutes until we finally got a waitresses attention, who admitted to us she wasn't told we were sitting there.

After this though we were served our food quickly and it was really good quality food which went down a treat and made a lovely meal in a beautiful restaurant.

Thank nataliewoodsx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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