Review: Ciao Napoli, Aberdeen

Aberdeen isn’t short of a good Italian or three – and Ciao Napoli is one of them it turns out.

Turning up on a week night to the cosy restaurant we were given a great welcome at the door by the staff. Our coats were quickly taken from us and we were shown to our table in the middle of the restaurant.

The restaurant, which is independent family-run, is a nice place to be. It is mainly clad in wooden panelling with a few three-quarter enclosed booths against the wall.

Soon our drinks order was taken and our waitress gave us even more to ponder than was on the menu with the specials list.

I had quite a high level of anticipation to try the food as the restaurant boasts online the “Neapolitan cuisine (is) all served up with a generous helping of flavour, finesse and passion”.

Thankfully it transpires this is one restaurant that can live up to its own hype.

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Ultimately one of the specials made its way to our table – the Napolitan Potato Gateau.

The dish featured potatoes, as the name might give away, and chorizo.

Bizarrely it looked more like a dessert on arrival but I am told it was absolutely delicious by my reviewing counterpart across the table… and in all honesty I was a bit jealous I hadn’t punted for it myself.

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I went for the carpaccio di manzo (£9.50) – wafer thin cut marinated beef with lemon dressing and truffle oil sprinkled with wild rocket and parmesan shaving. It was lovely and I cannot fault the dish at all, but I still wish I’d had the gateau.

The low point of the starters undoubtedly came from my dining companion across the table who was confused by having more than one set of cutlery and managed to use all the silverware on offer by the end of the first course – apparently one set is there to help deal with the bread on offer…

For my main course I went for the lasagne allo stile Napoletano (£10.95) – lasagne always seems a good place to judge an Italian restaurant from.

It is billed as a traditional Neapolitan lasagne with a meaty tomato ragu, mozzarella, parmesan cheese and it’s absolutely delicious.

In fact it’s probably the best lasagna I’ve had – the lovely rich tomato ragu being the highlight of the dish.

Across the table my dining companion went for the Saltimbocca Di Maiale (£17.50), which looked absolutely delicious.

The dish featured a pan fried pork escalope topped with parma ham cooked in a white wine and sage sauce served with slow roast vegetables and potatoes.

The portions did not disappoint either and once again I was left with a side of fries I should never really have ordered in the first place, sat next to me going cold as I couldn’t eat any more.

Sadly the big portions had defeated us and we had to turn away the dessert menu.

Overall there was nothing to complain about in our experience at Ciao Napoli.

On the food side everything was perfectly cooked with excellent flavour.

Given the quality on offer the total bill, including drinks, of just over £50 is no point for complaint either.

The restaurant is lovely and relaxing too.

I’ll definitely be heading back here in the near future.

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