New Foshan Restaurant: Bella Vita

By Matthew Bossons, January 5, 2020

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The Place

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s

While Foshan’s Florentia Village is by no means close to Guangzhou, a new eatery in the shopping complex recently caught our attention: Bella Vita. An Italian-owned restaurant managed by longtime South China F&B veteran Tony Avila, Bella Vita is a well-appointed space that is accommodating to a range of dining occasions, from family dinners and date nights to workplace team building. Foshan’s Bella Vita is the third branch of the restaurant in China, after Shanghai and Tianjin, although new locations are expected to open in the not-so-distant future. 

The Food

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s

While good ‘ol Canton is by no means lacking when it comes to quality Italian food, Bella Vita’s edibles are truly something special and make a visit worth the 45-minute Didi journey.

So, what to order? We dove into the signature set menu (RMB419), which includes tagliata di manzo, tonno, fusilli alla Norcia, patatine fritte and the Bella Vita tiramisu.

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s

The tonno, a tuna and boriotti beans salad with a half-boiled egg, olives and romaine lettuce is filling for a salad, helped in large part by the hearty portion of tuna included in the dish. A fantastic start to the meal. While we enjoyed the patatine fritte, aka French fries, we found them relatively standard and the least impressive of the items included in the set menu.

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s

From there, we move on to the fusilli alla Norcia, a scrumptious pasta dish that is among our topic picks at Bella Vita. Made with sauteed fusilli and a truffle and pork sausage cream, we are hooked by its bold umami flavors and gentle mouthfeel. 

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s

The tagliata di manzo, which is passionately touted by Avila, is the meal’s centerpiece and is prepared with 250 grams of Australian rib eye with rocket, Grana Padano and a sweet balsamic reduction. While we are by no means steak connoisseurs, the meat is cooked as per our medium-rare preference and has a near-melt-in-your-mouth consistency. The roasted tomatoes that accompany the finely sliced slab of meat are also noteworthy for their sweet flavor and soft texture.

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s

The tiramisu is as sweet as it is beautifully presented, with chocolate powder, berries and a piece of white chocolate on top. A perfect endpiece to the set.

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That’s

In addition to the set menu, Avila also recommends we sample one the eatery’s award-winning ‘Champion’ pizzas. We opt for the 2018 Champion (RMB119 for an 8-inch, RMB238 for a 12-inch), a dough disc topped with bresaola, rocket, mozzarella, Grana Padano, dried egg yolk and mushrooms and baked until slightly crispy. Once removed from the oven, the pizza is adorned with a giant, creamy ball of burrata – the crown jewel of the ’za. With a dynamic range of textures and a medley of flavors (umami, savory, bitter) this pizza is the highlight of our first Bella Vita experience.

The Vibe

When we visit on a Monday evening, the space is partially full, but lively. Staff are greeting customers at the door and seating them, and friendly banter between feasting friends and family fills the space. With light colors utilized in the majority of the furnishings, the space is comfortable and warm, and we feel that an evening with a glass (or five) of wine and an award-winning pizza at Bella Vita is an evening well spent.

Price: RMB250-300
Who’s going: Foshan’s F&B crowd, families, friends of Tony
Good for: decadent tiramisu, family gatherings, world-class pizzas
Nearest metro: Guangzhou South Railway Station, 10 minutes’ drive

Open daily, 10am-9pm; see listing for Bella Vita.

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