A few days after I got my first invite for a restaurant review, I received an email for another one. And because I already confirmed for the weekend with the first invite, I decided to confirm my presence for the second invite for the following weekend.
And so last Friday, January 9, Mark and I got to have a taste of Italy at Eataly in Dubai! :)
After confirming with the staff at the reception near the entrance, we were welcomed by Mr. Louay Moursel, the F&B Manager, who also ushered us to our seats. We were seated at the far end of the restaurant which gave us an ample view of the place.
We were served with bread plus extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This is served complimentary for every diners.
Mark and I enjoyed this one. I for one loved how the bread had a chewy crust yet soft core. Dipped in EVOO and balsamic vinegar, this sure was a perfect way to jumpstart our meal.
Our drinks were served shortly after. We were served with a bottled water, Rossini, and Milano.
The Rossini, a blend of strawberry puree and ginger ale, was what Mark took when the drinks were served. He didn't mind that he was having a sore throat and was raving about how fresh this drink is. I took a couple of sips and agreed that this one's good. It had the right amount of sweetness and tang.
Milano was what's left for me and this one didn't disappoint. It's blacberry syrup mixed with cranberry juice and ginger ale with mint leaves. I loved the combination of sweet, sour, tangy, and minty taste. Very refreshing!
The appetizers were served next. We had Mozzarella in Carrozza and Carpaccio Di Pomodori E Burrata.
The deep-fried toasted bread is stuffed with Mozzarella Fior Di Latte (mozzarella made fresh pasteurized or unpasteurized from cow's milk), sun-dried tomatoes, and basil.
I loved how this one is not oily, although Mark and I agreed that the bread is to thick which somehow overpowered the taste of the filling. It is best eaten with the spicy "Antonella" tomato sauce.
I loved how simple yet enticing this next dish looked. With Burrata cheese over a bed of tomato slices and EVOO topped with fresh basil, the Carpaccio Di Pomodori E Burrata is such an eye candy.
Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The cheese has an outer shell of solid mozzarella and a combination of mozzarella and cream inside which gives it an unusual soft texture.
I loved eating the cheese as is, but I must admit that it's made more delectable when eaten with the tomatoes. There's a combination of sweetness from the cream, saltiness from the mozzarella, and tang from the tomatoes. There's also a play of texture with the chewiness from the outer shell, soft cream and mozzarella filling, and crunch from the tomatoes.
Mark had a couple of spoonfuls but didn't actually love it as much as I did. I really didn't insist when he stopped eating this because it just means that I'll have it all to myself. Hahaha! :p
The main course was served a little after we finished the appetizers. Mark's now allowed to eat but he still chose to eat clean that time, so he had Salmon alla Piastra while I had Risotto all'astice.
I loved how vibrant the dish looked. The grilled salmon topped with Salmoriglio sauce (a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, chopped oregano and parsley, salt and pepper) and mixed green salad was good but didn't make Mark go "gaga" over it.
I think it's because he's used to having grilled salmon with salmoriglio which I usually prepare for him for his diet aside from chicken breast dishes. He even claimed that it tasted just like the ones I made. He enjoyed the salad though, so I must include that in my list. :D
A side-story: Mark ordered mashed potato as side dish and it was not served. Not sure though if it was changed to the salad. We also called the attention of Santosh about it and he was apologetic and offered to serve the mashed potato or have it for take away, but we declined because we're already full. Thank you for that sweet gesture, Santosh. :)
I wanted to try something which I haven't tried before so I immediately obliged when Santosh suggested another specialty, Risotto all'astice. It's Gallo risotto cooked with fresh lobster. I wasn't awed when this dish was served as it looked plain and bland. And just when I thought that my first risotto experience would be a disaster, my first spoonful proved me wrong.
I can taste the savory seafood broth which had a right combination of saltiness and spiciness. There's also a hint of sweetness from the soft lobster meat and a distinct flavor from the chopped parsley. It's like an orchestra of flavors were playing inside my mouth in every spoonful. One downer though would be the rice. I'm not sure if that's really how risotto is cooked, but the rice is a little undercooked as I can still feel some hard grains when I chew.
Desserts came next after our main course. We were served with Crepe con Nutella and a chocolate mousse which I forgot the name of. :p
Another simple looking dish, this one is surely a hit for Nutella lovers like me. The soft thin pancakes and generous Nutella filling were a heaven on my palates. It was so good!
I hate that I can't remember the name of this dessert. But this chocolate mousse with apricot jelly and pistachio jelly was another hit. The hint of sourness from the apricot jelly was a perfect combination with the mousse. The pistachio bits also added texture to this dessert. Mark can't stop digging into this slice of goodness.
After a gastronomic treat, we roamed around the whole place to check what makes Eataly stand out from all other restaurants. I must admit that I was impressed with the idea behind Eataly's setup. Their main goal is plain and simple: "to gather all high-quality Italian foods under one roof, where you can eat, shop and learn".
Aside from a selection of authentic Italian dishes, Eataly also has a market which offers:
Fresh Products - pasta, mozzarella, and bread
Venchi -founded in Turin in 1878 when the Maitre Chocolatier Silvano Venchi opened his first laboratory of confectionery: thus begin our history, whereby Piedmontese chocolate is the absolute protagonist.
Mark and I got to try their chocolates and it's so good! :D
Illy - offers Italian gourmet espresso, cappuccino and brewed coffee.
Lait Gelateria Alpina - Italian ice cream freshly made with milk from the Italian mountains, produced by white cows. All-natural with no hydrogenated vegetable fats, colouring, flavouring or preservatives.
Nutella® - a haven for Nutella® lovers! This corner allows guests to discover and experience Nutella® in creative ways they have never tried before.
Gifts - this section lets you create your own gifts for any occasions. You can also create your own chocolate gift tray here as well.
Retail - pasta, olive oil, vinegar, sauces, spices, and condiments section
There's also a section for panini and desserts.
Overall, Mark and I enjoyed our experience at Eataly. Special thanks to Ms. Anne Schlader, Senior Account Executive, for the invite. Thank you very much to Mr. Louay Moursel, Food and Beverage Manager, for the warm welcome and for having us, and to Santosh, who attended to us and made sure that we have a good dining experience.
For updates about Eataly in Dubai, you can visit and like them on Facebook: facebook.com/EatalyArabia or follow them on Instagram: @eatalyarabia. You can also visit their website: www.eataly.ae.
Lower Ground Level, The Dubai Mall
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Nearest Metro Station: Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa (Red Line)
We were guests at Eataly and our meal was complimentary, but as always, this post is sincerely written and all views and opinions are my own.