It is no uncommon feat that a new restaurant opens its doors in Dubai every now and then. But what happens to those already prevailing, you may ask. They get sidetracked by the new, trendy ventures which almost have no authenticity of the cuisine served at all. It is when hidden gems that deserve so much more are lost and never heard of. This is a story similar to that of Cucina, located at JW Marriott Hotel Dubai.
Situated on the Lobby Floor of the hotel, the trattoria has simple interiors with dim light and a comfortable ambiance. Settling in and chatting with the servers is easy and we find ourselves becoming friendly with the Chef too. Chef Mauro believes in traditional Italian food and teaches us how to use buckwheat to pull together a pasta, and chestnut for dessert. Cucina hosts monthly masterclasses included with a tasting dinner for those interested in broadening their culinary knowledge.
We start the Cucina Ambassador set menu with some Polenta Crouton Gratin with Mushrooms and Fontina Cheese. Aged Balsamic Vinegar is drizzled for a sharp taste that went well with the subtle flavors of the dish. Our masterclass is about flour, so the second dish is a buckwheat pasta with carrot, cabbage, and potato. In terms of taste, we aren’t fans of the dish probably because of the use of buckwheat flour which makes the pasta rather sticky and hard. From the a la carte, we get Insalata Caprese [AED 60] and Slow cooked Ossobuco with pan-fried Saffron Rice [AED 130]
While the former is not the best we’ve had, the Ossobuco makes up for it. Tender meat that slices right through with a little crunch provided by the rice is fantastic and a winner that evening.
The tasting menu ends with chestnut flour crepe filled with chocolate and garnished with nuts. The flavor of the flour is subtle and earthy unlike the usual strong taste that Italians are accustomed too. The Chef explains that it is toned down due to the diversity of the guests. The Tiramisu [AED 42] is simple and helps with our much-needed coffee fix, while our next dessert looks like cheese but turns out as Vanilla ice cream [AED 42]! (Look at the picture to see what I mean!)
If I’m going back: The Ossobuco is a must try for meat lovers. The servers are friendly and have good knowledge of the menu so suggestions by them are certainly going to be the best. We’d also recommend signing up for the free masterclass, this month is Mushrooms. November is for Truffles if you’re interested 😉
What are your favorite Italian joints in Dubai?
Get in touch through 04 6077009 or www.marriottdiningatjw.ae
Until then, happy eating! xx