Ciao Italia: Italian delights in Abuja

ciao italia abuja

Hey there, fellow foodies! I recently had the pleasure of dining at the new Italian gem in Central Park, Abuja! Ciao Italia Abuja is a haven for traditional Italian flavours. The restaurant had a modern yet inviting ambiance. There was a seamless blend of sleek design and warm hues that set the perfect tone for a culinary adventure in a serene environment.

I was really excited that a new Italian restaurant opened in Abuja with an Italian head chef and only Italian dishes on the menu. My palate was ready to be transported to the streets of Italy. Let’s get to the review, shall we?


THE FOOD

Braised beef Ravioli: N 13,000

Pasta pockets filled with mushrooms and braised beef—this was different. This was a dish with complex flavours: Beef, nuts, herbs, ginger, and cheese—a lot was going on. Each delicate parcel of handmade pasta was a burst of flavour, The first thing we tasted was ginger, it was pretty prominent.

This pasta dish was very tasty, but I was surprised that it contained nuts, (so maybe they should write it boldly next time). I liked the herbs in it as well. The crumbs were spicy and kind of different. The pasta was cooked Al dente; however, I thought it was a bit thick. My friend didn’t like this dish, but I thought it was quite good.


Pizza: N 12,000

I had a lot of expectations for this pizza because Ciao Italia has this air of authenticity about it. The pizza was my main reason for visiting Ciao Italia, and I just have to say that this is the most expensive pizza I’ve ever had.

I would say the flavors were great. The turkey ham was nice and salty, and that tomato sauce, I think, was the star. It had cheese, but it wasn’t exactly cheesy.

For me, the crust was kind of disappointing because the dough was too crusty and crunchy, maybe even crispy. It was way too crunchy for me. I don’t know, but I feel like the crust was overcooked (I might be wrong, though). Flavor-wise, it was good, but the dough was not my cup of tea. Is it authentic? I don’t know. Part of the crust felt like a biscuit, and It just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t burned or dry, but it was crispy and not what I expected at all. 


Tiramisu: N8,000

A velvety symphony of mascarpone, espresso-soaked ladyfingers, and a dusting of cocoa whispered sweet promises of Italy’s sweetest indulgence. This dessert was bittersweet—more bitter than sweet. The bitter and sweet flavours kind of balanced each other out.

I’m a fan of bitter flavours so it was something I enjoyed. The layer of cream was sweet, and the base was coffee-soaked and bitter. The coffee and cocoa/chocolate flavours were quite prominent, and I appreciated the strong smell of coffee and chocolate that hits you just as you are about to take a bite. Texture-wise, I would say it’s kind of soggy or mushy; Not in a bad way, though.

Each spoonful was a journey through layers of texture and taste, leaving me longing for just one more bite.


Ambiance at Ciao Italia

Step into a world of modern Italian charm at Ciao Italia Abuja. The restaurant seamlessly blends contemporary design with an air of serenity. The outdoor seating area is a true masterpiece, adorned with carefully curated greenery that feels like living art. And that vase-shaped metal art piece that is the outdoor sitting area is the most attractive feature of Ciao Italia.

Sitting beneath the open sky, surrounded by lush plants and tranquil features, the ambiance transports you to a realm where nature and artistry intertwine. It’s an experience that tantalizes both the taste buds and the soul, making this restaurant a must-visit for those seeking a touch of sophisticated tranquillity.

The indoor sitting area is aesthetic in a simple way. I loved the wooden furniture and the glass walls, but the most Italian feature here was the pictures on the walls. It is elevated, and it’s my kind of scene.


Ciao Italia Abuja Menu, budget & Charges

I’m a sucker for this menu because it’s an all-Italian menu. It’s a traditional Italian menu, omitting proteins and paying homage to the most popular traditional Italian dishes. The only issue is that it’s pricey. But they say better food, na money kill am. I think this menu at Ciao Italia is not for the average Nigerian, because we love protein, spice, and rice. If you are looking for rice, look elsewhere 😂. 

Ciao Italia also charges 7.5% VAT and 10% service charges separately from the prices stated on their menu. That’s 17.5% added to your total bill 😪. Sometimes, when I think of the added charges, I just want to stay at home and eat rice jeje. I always appreciate it when those charges are included in the prices, so I know what my budget is before I leave my house.

All in all, I would say the budget per person is between N20,000 – N30,000, depending on what you order


Service

The experience wasn’t just about the food; it was also about the impeccable service that elevated the entire meal. The waiter who served us was attentive, though not very knowledgeable about the menu. The food came out in good time, within 20 minutes.

But what surprised me most was that when I asked to speak to the chef about my concerns with the pizza, the restaurant provided a staff member to talk me through the dishes we ate because the chef was not very fluent in English. And that’s a plus in my book. They were attentive to my needs, and something about that felt comforting.


GENERAL THOUGHTS ON CIAO ITALIA ABUJA

In the end, my visit to this Italian oasis was an adventure for the senses. From the inviting ambiance to the tantalizing dishes and exceptional service, I left with a heart full of appreciation and a satisfied palate. If you’re seeking a modern twist on authentic Italian cuisine, this restaurant is an absolute must-visit. Buon appetito! 🇮🇹🍷

This place is a solid 7.5/10 in my book. Would I visit again? Yes, definitely, so I can give the pizza a second chance! Don’t forget to visit the restaurant review page for more exciting reviews like this. ❤️

Love H.

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