Al Grissino (Italian) – Dubai
As can be seen, the interior certainly reflects a level of refinement that exudes class and sophistication.
Its intricate and all encompassing window design provides plenty of natural light, and with hanging clouds to match, this modern looking eatery is spacious and welcoming.
Al Grissino essentially comprises of three sections: a main lounge area, a bar, and a large fine dining room.
To begin with, we were presented with an assortment of bread types and accompanying sauces which, in all honesty, didn’t quite live up to the freshness of taste that we experienced at Nine 7 One.
And since the sauces did nothing to improve matters, the breads mostly remained untouched. Not the most auspicious of starts.
Not that bad a strawberry mint cocktail here, though not as refreshing as it could have been perhaps owing to the lack of mint.
As to the Mango Strawberry and Mixed Fruit drinks, then these were as good as they could get; and if you put aside the fancy fruit decoration, not much different to ones you’d pick up at a fraction of the cost from a lower end street-restaurant.
Although not explicitly stated, these fairly large french fries must have been triple fried to achieve that beautifully golden crispy exterior and soft, fluffy interior one would expect of the perfect chip.
Yes, it’s only chips; but how many manage to get something so simple so very wrong.
Alas, this was exactly that.
To make matters worse though, this and the accompanying beans were bland.
Even the much touted Taggiasca extra virgin olive oil dressing made not a jot of difference.
Despite its intense golden colour, this simply didn’t have what it takes to resuscitate this dish.
As pretty and as dainty as this might look, we were hoping for more vis-a-vis flavour.
Not much more to say really, except that the octopus didn’t die in vain since we managed to finish the whole thing.
With so few ingredients, these bite sized scampi shrimps were perfectly seasoned and, therefore, a real treat.
Shame they haven’t evolved into something monstrously bigger yet!
This prawn dish wasn’t officially on their menu, but we highly recommend you ask after it before putting in an order or three.
Not only was this far more meatier than the aforementioned shrimps, but also trumped them for flavour.
The chilli flakes were enough to offset the sweet marinade. Very well done!
This is a classic case of style over substance.
We were hoping for a soft pasta exterior that would deliver an explosion of intricate flavours.
What we got instead, we’re sad to say, was not much different to any mass produced ravioli you’d purchase from a supermarket here in Britain.
These had a rubbery type texture with the three versions of meat relatively tasteless.
Parmesan is a strong flavoured cheese that needs to be handled with care particularly when you’re dealing with the delicate flavour of scallops.
Perhaps these weren’t good quality, or perhaps the chef ended up being a little heavy handed with the cheese, but in this case, the Parmesan overpowered any of the natural sweetness that a scallop promises to deliver.
This particular dish was a bit of a disaster.
It was over salted, and over crispy as a result of the the bread crumbs being over done. It was all over after the first bite.
Nothing more to be said!
An excellent dish, and such a pity that it was only a starter! Tomato and basil is, of course, a match made in heaven, and so this tomato sardine camino was perfectly complimented by the basil making this an absolute delight.
Pasta and risotto is, it goes without saying, as Italian as it gets, and yet, once again, we were expecting more than what we got.
The chitarrine pasta was very cheesy in flavour; other than that, not much else came through. Let’s just say, we’ve had far better.
As for the risotto, then this was supposed to be mixed seafood. Unfortunately, we didn’t see much sign of any seafood. However, as with the above, this was let down by a distinct lack of flavour.
Thoroughly disappointing and definitely the worst thing we had on the night.
What we were thus presented with was a tomato flavour intensified by the cooking process that went wonderfully with the saltiness of the capers, and the rich bitter earthiness of the black olives.
A beautifully made meal which we literally fighting over with our forks.
These Canadian grass-fed Angus beef steaks were a delightful example of the relationship between the method of cooking and the texture of meat.
In this case, we ordered one that was medium (right in the above pic) and the other well done (left). What we received was not only spot on, but turned out to be one of the best steaks we’ve had since the legendary Kosher steaks of La Fiesta.
These were so succulent and so full of flavour that you wonder why we don’t find more Canadian reared beef on our own shores.
The mushroom truffle too was a wonderful accompaniment and only served to deliver an additional taste sensation.
In all, an unbelievable experience and one we’re not likely to forget. Thanks you Al Grissino.
Fine dining desserts are better than most places, so we’re always expecting the best and won’t be happy with anything less.
Don’t be put off by the posh sounding names with this Cioccolatoso. All you need to know is that this was composed of a variety of chocolate types of the highest quality.
What you also need to know is that when you present these chocolates in different texture types, including a fairly bitter crumbly soil along with the smoothest moose you’ll ever had, what you end up with is a piece of heaven on a plate. An absolutely must have dessert!
A wonderfully refreshing and creamy panna cotta that married very well with the intense fruitiness of the water-based sorbet, and the sweet and sour freshness delivered by the fruits.
We know that tiramisu isn’t everyone’s cup of coffee, and this, though a very good one, wasn’t as good as the masterpiece we had over at Nine 7 One. What was distinctly lacking here was a contrast in texture, such as the crunch of a biscuit tuile, just to break up the sameness.
Having said that though, this was a top quality dessert that’s definitely worth a try especially if you like your tiramisus.
And to help digest our 3 hour food marathon, we were given a special type of tea from Paris called Dammann along with some dainty little pastry treats.
As for the tea, then the best way for us to describe this is to simply say that it’s lighter in taste than the familiar British brand of PG Tips.
A pleasant end to an interesting evening of more highs than lows.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
There's a lot to choose from on a menu that's fairly pricey, even for a fine dining establishment, so we'd recommend taking your time and asking lots of questions before putting in your order. We found the waiters to be very knowledgeable, extremely polite, and very patient in answering our queries and dealing with our concerns.
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