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“You’ve never been to Roberto’s?” The hostess asks our dining companion as she seats us. “Ah, so you don’t live here?” Her reasoning that everybody who’s anybody in Dubai has obviously been to Roberto’s is something we have to agree with. It’s a bit of an institution.

It’s little wonder that the restaurant is so popular. Italian food, an ambient dining area, a large outdoor terrace, a busy bar and a prime location in DIFC – it all makes for a dream recipe. Although Roberto’s cream furnishings and large windows are ideal for a daytime feast, we arrive in the evening, when the lights and the mood have been taken down a notch.

The menu is a fine example of Italian cuisine, with speciality risottos, pastas and plenty of seafood. One of the recommended starters is the burrata served with balsamic vinegar. The white cheese made from mozzarella and cream is often the mark of a good Italian restaurant, and Roberto’s passes with flying colours.

We recommend making the most of the Mediterranean menu and ordering shellfish. The mixed seafood spaghetti, or ‘frutti di mare’, comes with shrimps, langoustine, black mussles and clams. The whole thing is finished off with a simple garlic sauce and tomatoes, letting the seafood flavours shine through. The Mediterranean theme continues with the desserts, with a classic tiramisu and a trio of Sicilian sweets. One word: delizioso!

Three dishes to try:

It’s quite a small portion, but the starter of sliced cured beef with rocket, artichoke, button mushrooms and parmesan shavings is a big hit.

One of the highlights of the fish selection is the baked sea bass with artichoke, baked potato, semi-dry tomatoes and taggiasche olives.

We were advised to order the chocolate fondant with raspberry lemon thyme sorbet and yuzu jelly. It didn’t disappoint, and the thick chocolaty pudding was given a kick with the sharp fruit .



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