Just a mere few months ago, the Metro Centre opened up a number of new restaurants as part of its Qube development, and Bella Italia was one of the few lucky ones. An Italian chain serving pizza and pasta, the expectation is that this will be a great place to visit. So, we thought we would find out for ourselves.

Of course, a visit to any restaurant will be different on each occasion, depending on how busy they are, and which staff are on, but this is how our visit to Bella Italia went.

On arrival, you may be left waiting for a table for at least 5-10 minutes, if not longer. It seems that there isn’t a specific member of staff to man the front entrance, which means that when it’s busy inside, nobody is checking for new customers arriving. This can leave you feeling a little bit frustrated, and that’s the last thing you want when you’ve only just arrived at a restaurant.

Once you’ve eventually been seated, you’ll be given a chance to look at the menu and order your food. If you decide to visit at lunch time, there are some good deals on which could mean that you will only be paying £6.95 for one course or £9.45 for two – good prices for a sit-down meal. However, otherwise the prices are pretty average for a chain restaurant so if you’re visiting when there isn’t an offer on and you’re looking for a cheap meal then you may want to try elsewhere.

So, then it comes to the food itself. Known for being an Italian restaurant, you would expect only the finest quality of food, but unfortunately the chain failed to impress. We opted for a chicken and spinach cannelloni, but the filling was disappointing and there wasn’t anything special about the taste. Likewise, other mains looked equally as disappointing, and this was worsened by the fact that most customers had to wait at least half an hour for their meal to arrive, despite the restaurant not actually being that busy.

However, there is an upside. While some of the desserts seemed quite small and lacklustre, the ice cream cart made up for it. With a choice of many different flavours of homemade ice cream, along with a multitude of toppings, you can create the perfect sundae. You don’t have to worry about a set dessert having something in it that you don’t like as you can simply choose everything for yourself. It’s delicious too.

Alongside this, the decor is also very sweet, and does give off the Italian vibe.

So, what’s our rating? Well, while the dessert may be tasty and the lunch menu cheap, nothing else is just quite to scratch. So, unfortunately, we can only rate it a 2.5 – unless you’re popping in for an ice cream, then don’t bother.