January 14, 2013

BICE at Ettihad Towers

Last night we had dinner at the popular Italian chain, BICE, at Ettihad Towers. I had never been to the previous branch at the Hilton Hotel and was actually quite disappointed with the restaurant. It is too big and while the decor is funky, the restaurant is very cold, uninviting and lacks ambiance. As is true of most new restaurants in Abu Dhabi, it was also very empty.There is an outdoor dinner area around the hotel swimming pool which is nice but is just as uninviting.

(Source: bottom photo from tripadvisor.com

The bar is set aside from the dining area and is also quite cold

The outside seating area next to the pool. To the right of this area are tables and chairs for dining

While the menu is impressive and contains all of the dishes you would expect of an Italian Restaurant,  the food is displayed very plainly on big white plates. Chicken Milanese arrives with no garnish, no sides, zilch. Just a huge piece of breaded chicken on a plate with a tiny lemon wedge. The spaghetti comes in this big jumbled mess, doesn't even fill the hole in the plate, and looks like it has been over tossed. Again, no garnish and not appealing to the eyes.

If the reason for the poor displays is for customers to focus on only the taste of the food, then they have succeeded. The food actually speaks for itself. However, if like me you judge a restaurant dish by how it looks, then the food looked terrible at first glance. I was surprised that it tasted so good!

The appetizers are displayed better and more appetizingly (is that a word?) than the main courses. Despite the poor display, the food tasted very good
Clockwise from top: Penne Arrabiata, Burrata, Eggplant Parmigiana, Bresaola 

The main courses - no comment!
Clockwise from top: Grilled Chicken with boiled potatoes, Pasta, Chicken Milanese, Grilled Sea Bass with boiled potatoes

The only nice aspects of this restaurant were the live singer on the piano who sang catchy Italian tunes with a nice voice, and the servers who were very accommodating and friendly.

My overall review: If you are looking for yummy Italian food and a quiet night with no fuss and no ambiance, go to BICE. If you prefer somewhere more lively and just as good food, try Frankies at the Fairmont :)


  1. Hi hon, I absolutely LOVED the old Bice, was one of my fave places. Amazing food, presentation & staff and even though the decor there was simple too.
    Haven't tried the new Bice yet, but was worried it would be a disappointment :(
    I've heard that the old Bice management staff are managing the new Italian place (Boca?) at the Hilton so maybe that's worth a try soon?

    1. will DEF give it a try and let you know! Thanks for the feedback :)

  2. Tala...those main courses! Very Disappointing....thos potatoes remind me of bad school dinners!

    1. hahaha yes I felt like it looked like food for people who are ill!

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