A review of Matto Dubai
When it comes to Italian food in Dubai, there’s no dearth of them. Contenders are many, winners are clearly few.
While I’ve tried Italian food in a variety of restaurants, here’s one place that I’d never tried before. M A T T O. After a recent visit to this vibrant hotspot at Oberoi Hotel, I can tell that this ristorante is undoubtedly one of the BEST Italian restaurants in the Bay side of town.
In a world of copycats, here’s one restaurant that dares to be different. One of the first things you’ll notice as you enter is the yellow Vespa. And no ordinary vespa this! It has a DJ console built over it. Gyrating near it is the restaurant’s in-house DJ, whipping out progressive party beats to sets spirits on fire.
When you see a restaurant using a prop of one of most powerful symbols of Italian lifestyle, it tells you something! So, when the wall sign shouts out – “Feel Italian”, don’t be surprised. Matto is all about living the Italian way of life. The very name of the restaurant itself is from the Italian word for crazy ; MATTO (with the letter T turned upside down)
At Matto, the buzz is as important as the food and service, so you’ll see that the environment inside is quite like what you would experience, off a busy street in Milan or Tuscany. Don’t blame them if it gets too noisy, for they clearly warn you
“It might get a bit louder than usual, Welcome to Italy!”
Matto resonates with life, day in and day out, all year through. Walk in on Thursday nights or weekends without pre-booking a table and you’ll be disappointed. This place is always full house. Thanks to the great food, service and ambiance, this restaurant is quite popular among connoisseurs of authentic Italian food in Dubai.
The menu features everything from roasted octopus to artichoke cakes to baked seabass to traditional favourites like Risotto Gamberi. The food tastes really good because Matto takes care to ensure that only fresh, carefully sourced and seasonal ingredients are used to make all their delectable dishes. For the love of their ‘nonnas’ (Italian word for grandmother), their chefs don’t change their recipes, so you can expect to taste some authentic and rustic Italian fare.
Light up your evening with some sparkling red and whites from their bar menu. Matto has an impressive collection of fine wine and spirits, and their expert mixologists do whip up some really good Mocktails too.
We tried Mediterranean fever, Moscovita and Mattojito. Moscovita was bitter and had a strong ginger taste to it. It was a concoction of vodka with ginger syrup, fresh lime juice and aromatic bitters. Mediterranean fever wasn’t that impressive, so we went on to try Mattojito.
In mocktails we ordered Bellucci and it soon became our favourite. Bellucci was a delightful infusion of fresh blueberries, blackberries, violet, basil, lime juice and sparkling water.
For starters we ordered Polipo and Panzanella. Polipo was a delectable delicacy dish made with roasted octopus, shallot favoured potatoes and Taggiaska olive dressing. Polipo was addictive, to say the least.
The Panzanella salad was fresh and nice. With an interesting mix of bread, tomatoes, celery, red onion, basil and stracciatella cheese – it served as the perfect appetizer.
For main course we went for Burrata, Spigola in Guazetto and Risotto Gamberi with stracciattella cheese. Whenever I visit any italian restaurant, Risotto is a must. That’s because I come from the Italian part of India where rice and fish are staple food. And, needless to say, I threw in some seabass too, to the mix by ordering Spigola in Guazzetto, another favourite dish of mine.
The Burrata tasted extremely fresh and distinct. It had roasted cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, Apulian burrata and extra virgin olive oil. For a vegetarian lover, this is a perfect choice.
The risotto certainly impressed beyond words. Rich in stracciatella cheese, toasted pistachios and creamy to the very core, it was exactly how I fancied having my risotto. The Spigola didn’t disappoint either. It was cooked to perfection and scrumptious.
In desserts we had Pizza Nutella and ice cream. A Nutella lovers ultimate treat, Pizza Nutella consists of lightly fried strips of dough dusted with icing sugar and of course, lots of Nutella.
While I certainly loved the food and the ambiance, what I super loved, however was their friendly attentive and impeccable service. Despite being full capacity, there was NEVER a single moment where we got disappointed because of the pace of service. They were there all the time, buzzing around our tables, to ask if we needed something, or to simply find out if we are enjoying our meal.
Every single person we interacted with – right from the lovely ladies at the lobby to the Restaurant general manager – attended us with a smile and made sure we had one of the best of dining experiences.
I spoke to Michele Pudda – the restaurant general manager who strongly believed in the ideals of impeccable service and treating guests like family more than as customers.
Here’s the video clip of his interview
Matto is arguably one of the craziest (read best) Italian restaurants in Business Bay, serving a delectable array of scrumptious fare in a vibrant and urbane Italian milieu, with service, that’s sure to bowl you over.
The picture gallery
Table booking recommended