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Address: Lobby Level, Armani Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai
Telephone: +971 4 888 3666
Armani/Ristorante has slowly been gaining a reputation as a bastion of innovative Italian food in Dubai. One of three restaurants in the Armani Hotel Dubai, it promises modern interpretations of classic dishes and traditional flavours, served with the best ingredients and by some of Dubai’s best chefs.
A bit of background
With Armani in the title, this hotel restaurant has plenty to live up to, with many expecting the same ideas of glamour and luxury as the high-end fashion house. It doesn’t disappoint. We’re in awe before even walking through the door – located within the Burj Khalifa, the restaurant boasts amazing views of the iconic Dubai Fountain, providing the perfect backdrop for the spectacular that’s about to come. When we eventually make it to the restaurant, the staff are very welcoming and attentive, with the hostess chatting to our party as we’re shown to our table and a cold towel provided upon sitting down. We open the culinary adventure with an bottle of Laurent-Perrier Rose, as recommended by the sommelier. Head Chef Alessandro Salvatico then came over to chat with our table, providing an overview of the evening’s offerings. We decided to trust his judgement on the five-course menu.
As with most traditional Italian eateries, we start with a selection of bread rolls (some stuffed with artichokes, others rolled in herbs and oil) and beautifully fragrant olive oils.
However, the real fun starts with an amuse bouche – a raviolo filled with Italian cheese, basil puree, tomatoes, breadcrumbs and an anchovy butter foam. The pasta was cooked to perfection and the flavours complemented each other perfectly, causing more than one member of our party to claim it was one of the best things they’d eaten that year!
The first course was a sashimi of sorts; finely cut raw salmon topped with various baby vegetables and deliciously sweet shrimps, accompanied by a small pastry filled with sour cream and topped with caviar. This dish was a sight to behold, beautifully crafted by Chef Alessandro and his team, and paired expertly with a pinot grigio. We then moved onto a pasta dish of spinach tagliatelle with shrimps and a brown butter sauce. Once again, the pasta was perfectly al dente and although simple in its flavours, they worked together in perfect harmony. This was paired with an Italian white expertly chosen by the sommelier, who was happy to answer any questions we had.
For our third course, we had turbot, with green bean puree, herbs, radishes and very sweet orange tomatoes. The fish was cooked faultlessly, allowing the flavour of the turbot to really shine. This was paired with two half glasses of wine, an extremely fragrant chardonnay and a very light red wine. Steak soon followed, with a meltingly tender cut served with seared foie gras. Not ones to fix something that’s not broken, this course was accompanied by a full bodied red wine. To finish off, we enjoyed the signature dessert course, a delectable combination of mango, papaya, vanilla chantilly, passion cremeaux, coconut crumble and exotic sorbet.
The décor is classically Armani minimalist, which is a nice change from the typical Dubai extravagance. Bright and contemporary, it’s a clean-lined space dominated by oversized white leather banquettes and circular tables.
All in all, it was a great evening. Though we would love to be selfish and keep Armani/Ristorante all to ourselves, the work of Chef Alessandro and his team is too good to stay hidden for long. With a private dining room perfect for secluded and intimate gatherings, it’s the ideal spot for business lunches, celebratory dinners and entertaining clients.