DUBAI: This Italian restaurant is located in Jumeirah, one of Dubai’s most famous areas, and offers a cozy vibe with delicious dishes.
As soon as you take the elevator down to Scalini, you will walk into an outdoor area that feels like a backyard of a high-end Italian house. A big tree is situated in the middle of the courtyard and the tables are spread all around it, while the whole area is decorated with wooden accents, warm lights and greenery. In the closed space, the white walls are adorned with frames and various images, creating a homey and expensive vibe. The venue amps the Italian vibe with music and dish names are in Italian.
Once you are seated, the waiter brings you a basket of various breads, from baguettes to breadsticks, to eat with a small side of diced tomatoes and a separate dish of olives.
I did expect to enjoy Italian dishes at Scalini, but I did not expect to have the best fried squid I ever had. The tender calamari rings, which is squid in Italian, were enveloped in a thin layer of light batter and came with a side of creamy and sour tartar sauce. The dish was not greasy or chewy at all and was perfectly complemented by the sauce.
Another interesting dish to try at the restaurant is the Tartare di Manzo, or beef tartare, which is part of their festive menu and will be served till January 7. The raw Australian beef angus comes with chives, shallots, Scalini’s mustard sauce, rockets and parmesan cheese. The waiter mixes the meat and the sauce right in front of your eyes, which makes this meal also entertaining. The fresh beef is supple with a fresh meaty, almost creamy flavor, which melts into the sourness of the tartare and the saltiness of the cheese.
For the mains, we ordered Spaghetti all’Astice, which is the restaurant’s signature dish cooked with lobster and tomato sauce. The perfectly cooked pasta is stuffed inside the lobster shell, which the waiter then moves to your dish for you to enjoy the flavorful and slightly spicy spaghetti.
However, one of our favorites was the Milanese, which is a breaded veal escalope on the bone. The tenderness and juiciness of the thinly pounded is a testimony to the cooking skills of the chefs at Scalini. You can literally cut through the meat as if you were cutting through butter. As a side, we also ordered broccoli, which were buttery garlicky goodness that was cooked but still crispy.
We concluded the meal with a delicious portion of the Semifreddo Pistachio. The creamy goodness of this dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with its balanced flavor and variety of textures. It looks like the Arabic halwa, and even has a similar flaky and creamy texture, which is complemented by the crispiness of the biscuit and the pistachio. This is exactly what you should order when you are not sure whether you want to go for a dessert or an ice cream.
Overall, the restaurant offers a cozy and warm venue with good Italian food.