From Chelsea, London to Jumeirah, Dubai, it’s hard to believe Scalini’s has finally opened a branch here. Located beside the swanky Four Seasons Resort Hotel in Jumeirah-2, Scalini’s brings a breath of fresh air to Dubai’s fine dining Italian scene. The interior of Scalini Dubai is fresher than the old school original in London, interestingly it manages to be casual and elegant at the same time. Yet there’s no mistaking it for anything but a fine dining establishment. That said, the interior designers could have spaced things out a little more; perhaps cramped is the style they were going for.
The food at Scalini has always been delightful. Executive Chef Monserrato Marini has done a superb job of recreating Scalini classics, especially my favourite, Lobster Spaghetti.
Whilst I have little doubt that everything on the (ridiculous plastic) menu is similarly amazing, their Bolognese recipe probably got left behind in London – I’ve had better sauce out of a bottle.
At AED450, the Grilled Dover Sole deserves mention too, as the most obnoxiously priced item on the menu. Yet somehow, our table ended up ordering it. Delicious as it was, I still can’t justify it in my mind.
These two gripes aside, the rest was pure gastronomic bliss.
A single phone line has made frustratingly touch-and-go to get through to the restaurant to make a reservation. It was my daughter’s luck (and perseverance) which got us through. Once through though, the reservation process is friendly and courteous. I strongly recommend you book a couple of days in advance, especially during these early days. 04-349-0068 is the number you need to call. And if you still can’t get through, email Maria on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service, in general, is fantastic. Although agonizing theatrical at times, the servers are charming and friendly (in an almost Hollywood, stereotypical-Italian way). We noticed much bumping into one another amidst peak time hustle and bustle. It’ll take some time for this new team to learn to work with one another in the seamless manner the Londoners do. These little things can be forgiven and soon forgotten. What’s important is that Scalini’s is here in Dubai and that it has brought with it the essence of the Chelsea original, and for that alone it’s well worth a detour.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.