I happen to be a huge fan of Italian cuisine and over the years, I’ve become something of a resident commentator of penne pasta arabiata for family and friends. Having never even been to Italy, I can say I’ve actually managed to sample almost all Italian regional cuisines in Dubai, being a foodie haven that it’s known to be; I’ve had quite a few fantastic options to choose from.
I remember someone saying that traditional Italian cuisine is il cibo povero, which translates to ‘poor man’s food’ because Italian cuisine uses the simplest, freshest and easily found ingredients to create that world famous, delicious Italian taste. So when I visited the highly acclaimed and oft recommended Urbano (Souk Al Bahar), I couldn’t help but sample one of Italy’s most famous exports- the Caprese salad or quite simply- the scrumptious tomato mozzarella. After various trials and errors in Dubai I can say I’ve finally found a place that does tomato mozzarella like the good lord intended it.
We ordered some Formaggio (cheese topped bread) to accompany the salad which turned out to be heavier than expected, but delectable all the same. For the entrée we opted for the Funghi (vegetarian pizza with roasted Portobello mushrooms, red onion marmalade and Gorgonzola cheese). Succulent and fresh, my companion’s pizza was as a delight but the pasta – the Cozze e gambherti ( fresh mussels and prawns tossed with olive oil and linguine pasta was a notch above the rest- quite simply one of the best pasta experiences among Italian restaurants in Dubai.
The service was attentive and very efficient, despite it being a busy Thursday night- I never had to summon the waiter twice. The ambience is definitely a crowd puller for Urbano, with a ringside view of the fabulous Dubai Fountain show at Souk Al Bahar. Moreover, Urbano is also opening a branch at Media city- ofcourse sans the view of the fountains but some great authentic Milanese food, nevertheless.
Dessert was another highlight but, after the heavy main course, I was skeptical about finishing my Torta di Formaggio – baked mascarpone cheesecake finished with a generous topping of raspberry and orange coulis. However, by the time I started digging into it, watching the entertaining fountain show, I had polished it off- it was really that delicious; highly recommended.
I’d rate the restaurant’s overall ambiance as 4.5 on 5, thanks to the waterside and the gorgeous fountains. The food would come a close 4 on 5 and the service would be another 4. Authentic and unforgettable, Urbano is your quintessential Thursday night dinner do in Dubai.