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Iftar Italiano at Al Grissino in DIFC

Iftar Italiano at Al Grissino in DIFC

Fancy something other than ouzi and hummus for your evening meal? Head to Al Grissino in DIFC.

By David Light - Senior Reporter

Published: Wed 24 Jun 2015, 9:57 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:52 PM

Unspoilt Mediterranean coastlines, ancient Roman ruins…Ferraris – Italy is comprised of many beautiful elements, but none quite so important as its food. Known throughout the globe for its tantalisingly fragrant cuisine, (it may be personal rose-tinted glasses, but) I feel there is not one Italian region that does not produce a dish that is not exciting or delicious.  

 Fresh ingredients are what are key and recipes served in actual homegrown restaurants are vastly different from the more homogenised incarnations available abroad. Whereas Anglo-US based menus may be very meat heavy, head to an establishment in Bologna and they will baulk at the suggestion of British classic spaghetti Bolognese - preferring instead a lighter dab of tomato sauce on homemade tagliatelle.    

 There is a movement, as with Indian cooking, to bring Italian eateries around the world more in line with their indigenous counterparts. This is the mission upon which newly opened Al Grissino at the Emirates Financial Towers in DIFC is embarking. Primarily focusing on seafood, the 190-cover restaurant complete with three Italian head chefs will aim to educate Dubai in the ways of authentic cooking. It’s going to be an uphill struggle given most people’s preconceptions of what to expect from a “traditional” carte, but one they seem up to.

 At the moment Al Grissino is offering one of the most unique Iftars in the city. Whilst it is a set menu and thus room for experimentation (an essential facet of the restaurant’s ultimate goal) is limited, the Iftar offerings remain comprehensive. After many hours of fasting this is going to fill you up.

 The courses consist of minestrone soup – a hearty, tasty affair choc full of vegetables – then a mixture of hot and cold starters including salmon marinated with citrus fruit, Yellowfin tuna with turmeric, grilled squid skewers, beef carpaccio with shaved Parmesan and octopus with potatoes.

The entres were more than sufficient to be honest and the grilled squid skewers won, but still more arrived at the table.

 Up next came mains of saffron risotto with Burrata, mixed fried fish and steak with a Gorgonzola sauce.

The meat was well cooked and the sauce gave the plate a lovely tang. The risotto was also a decent affair - creamy and solid.

 Finally came the desserts – tiramisu, panna cotta and a fruit platter. This course probably took the title even if we were fit to burst.

The tiramisu was wonderful, complemented by coffee ice cream and the panna cotta a treat.

All this for Dhs205 including drinks is well worth a look.

Call: 04 352 4000

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