Food Review: Unlock a new side to Italian cuisine at Cinque

The Italian fine dining restaurant specialises in seafood and the creations are inspired by the flavours of the Amalfi coast

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Husain Rizvi

Published: Wed 8 Jun 2022, 11:13 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jun 2022, 12:59 PM

When you hear Italian cuisine, you straight away think of pastas and pizzas (not with fruit toppings, of course). But when we visited Cinque, an Italian fine dining eatery at FIVE Palm Jumeirah, we unlocked a new side to Italian cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. That said, our visit to Cinque was all about reinvention and discovery.

First things first, Cinque (pronounced Cheen-Kweh) typically translates to the number five in Italian language. The dishes are created by Head Chef Giuseppe Pezzella, who comes from the city of Naples. Specialising in seafood, his creations are inspired by the true flavours of Italy’s Amalfi coast and classic dishes from the country’s food culture.

Before we could even discover the menu, the ambiance captured our attention. We spent our evening in a dimly lit venue that gave us cosy vibes, perfect for a date night. The chic interiors were complemented by a not-to-miss red-coloured piano, placed at the centre of the restaurant. That, and a wall showing one of the Italian coasts, make for a perfect Instagram picture. The venue also overlooks the famous social pool at FIVE Palm Jumeirah, a visual treat during daytime.

We began our gastronomic ride not knowing where we were headed. Cinque’s Giuseppe, however, did not disappoint with his seafood creations. The super-friendly staff started us off with oysters and sea urchins; the two seafood starters are highly popular among Italians. Sea urchins are best consumed in a dressing for pasta or raw, and we tried the latter. Called Ricci Di Mare on the menu, it was served super-fresh, and had a delicate flavour. Another interesting cold starter was Insalata Di Gamberi, a prawn salad filled with lettuce, salted almonds, cucumber, grana, pomelo, spinach, yoghurt dressing and the best and most distinctive element, watermelon.

The main course was the most notable part of our experience at Cinque. Chef Giuseppe brought out the big guns to prepare and serve us the Italian fan-favourite pasta, the Cacio e Pepe. While the most basic version of Cacio e Pepe is a stripped-down mac and cheese, the one we had featured Tonnarello, cacio cavallo fondue, and summer truffle. It is worth noting that the essence of truffle may come out too strong for novices.

Away from the sea (food), we ventured into land and tried the Filetto Di Manzo. The Australian Wagyu Beef Tenderloin at the venue, commendable for its tenderness and taste, is best paired with Pannocchia Arrosto, baby corn roasted with butter and pepper.

The team at Cinque does a great job with presentation, and that was visible in all the dishes we tried, especially the drinks and desserts. Since it is summer, we followed the unwritten rule of having mangoes. That was our fruit choice for the drinks and desserts. The Mango E Cioccolato is a white chocolate mousse with mango flavour, and is everything a fruit-lover can ask for.

That brought our gastronomic ride to an end on a sweet note, and we left Cinque having discovered a new side to Italian cuisine, thanks to Head Chef Giuseppe and his tasteful curations.

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