Buca di Beppo is an American-Italian restaurant franchising deserving of its high Zomato rating. Located on the ground floor of Festival Bay, its interior looks like a set out of a 50’s Hollywood movie…about Italy (and that may be because the chain is owned by Planet Hollywood). The full-sized Venetian gondola at the entrance of the restaurant is a brilliant touch.
Before anything, recalibrate your size expectations when ordering. Buca’s large is US large, which means it’s humungous (good for two, three, even four people). Even if you’re hungry just order a regular – it’s generous.
The food at Buca di Beppo is good but not flawless. The penne pasta of my Shrimp Fra Diavolo was perfectly al dente but the sauce was overpoweringly garlicky, and uncomfortably (and inexcusably) too chilli-hot to boot (and I can take my chilli). My daughter’s Chicken Carbonara turned out to be the other extreme – tasteless. I say this, but we both gobbled up our food as if there was no tomorrow. It could be because we were being egged on by my wife, who was thoroughly enjoying her Chicken Limone.
My family and I agreed that service is Buca di Beppo’s strongest point. As with most of the larger American chains, the staff are well trained, genuinely friendly, and super accommodating. I must admit being a little miffed at having to pay for our garlic bread basket. I feel these little things should be complementary.
But that aside, if you’re looking for something with a little more pizazz than your corner Carluccio’s, then this is the place for you.