Pizza Pino in Downtown Dubai is an official branch of the original on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. A French pizzeria? In fact, I am told the one in Paris is very good; something I wouldn’t have believed based on my experience at their Dubai branch. And although I know I am going to ruffle some feathers, starting with my food buddy’s who recommended it, let me go on the record and say that I didn’t think very much of Pizza Pino.
The interior is well appointed, spacious, clean and cool with nice little touches of colour and novelty here and there – like the small brochure sized menu.
The pizzas were so…um, fast food and not dissimilar to what you can get in almost every high street pizzeria these days. We were a group of seven and therefore ordered a decent cross-section from their menu. Of the three pizzas we ordered, Palermo, Mari-E-Monti and Campino, it was my food buddy’s Palermo which was…better (I won’t even say best) and that’s because of the novel fried egg it has on top.
The pastas were simply pasta and the salads were simply salad – nothing special. But in all fairness, nothing bad either.
The kids (including my food buddy) tried – and loved – the Tiramisu for dessert.
Service, though smiley and friendly, was disappointing as well. It always felt as if they were understaffed. But seeing how hard the staff tried, I am going to leave it at disappointing.
Pizza Pino has a good name in France, especially (it seems) among tourists. Yeah, but this is Dubai and there are far too many good pizzerias out here for Pizza Pino to rest on its laurels. Bring price into the equation and their case weakens even further. To charge an average of Dhs50+ for the kind of pizza we were served is…um, too much. They really need to up the ante if they want to compete with the big boys. I say this yet their restaurant was near full capacity the night we visited; like in Paris, they’re in a good location here too. So, who am I comparing them with? 800 degrees, Red Tomato, Pfire, to name but a few (my list is long). Compared to these pizzerias, Pizza Pino doesn’t quite cut it.