Giannino, one of Italy’s most established restaurants, has recently opened at the luxurious Meydan Beach Club in Dubai. As the club’s signature restaurant, it confidently claims to serve ‘the most authentic Italian cuisine in Dubai’. Great lover of Italian food that I am, I was eager to affirm this assertion.
We commenced with a selection of three antipasti dishes. Luscious Carpaccio di Scampi con limone Candito e Basilico (lemon langoustine carpaccio with delicate basil). Each piece melted on my palate with a perfect mix of subtle citrus flavors. Terrina di pomodoro San Marzano, Melanzane e pesto al basilico (Terrine of Marzano with tomatoes and aubergine anda crushed basil sauce) followed. When the restaurant’s manager, Davide Barbero explained that the chef carefully selects many of the vegetables from Italy, I thought it somewhat unnecessary, what is so special about Marzano tomatoes? After my first mouthful, I realized the plump red sweetness found in these tomatoes is hard to beat. The third antipasti was Stracciatella di Andria, al Basilico e Pomodori Secchi (Andria’s torn creamy mozzarella with sundried tomato)– a very creamy mozzarella, which is dangerously addictive.
For i primi piatti, otherwise known as the main course, we chose Pansotti Fagiolini, Patate e Prescinsêua Pesto alla Ligure (homemade ravioli filled with potatoes and string beans, Genoese curd and a basil pesto sauce). The ravioli was utterly delicious due to the fresh taste of pesto which filled each piece. I could have gone for another dish had it not been for the second piatto, or second course.
We moved on to seafood, selecting a Piovra alla Brace, Corno di Carmagnola Giallo in Bagnetto (coal grilled octopus with a yellow pepper sauce). The octopus was delightfully tender and delicately spiced. It came with a sweet yellow pepper puree and crumbled pistachio. From the ‘carne’ or meat section, we selected Costolette di Agnello con Carciofo Fritto alla Giudea (lamb cutlets with artichkokes). The aromatic lamb was cooked to perfection and easily melted in my mouth and so delicious was the sauce that I wanted to sweep it up with bread instantly and devour it.
Sweet lovers are in for a treat. After much deliberation, I selected the Cannoncini alla crema. Served were warm, crispy, pastry rolls filled with a sweet custard cream. So delightful were they that my mouth waters even as I write about them now.
Giannino’s Italian born Executive Chef, Marcello Mereu, has worked across the UK, Switzerland and Japan as well as in his native Italy. Mereu and his Italian team will genuinely give you an Italian dining experience that is hard to beat.
For further information, visit: www.meydanbeach.com