Situated in a sleepy corner of Silicon Oasis , Tomato & Basilico has become quite a favorite among people looking to get their fix of wholesome Italian food. I was recently invited by them to try out their revamped menu.
Ambiance: It was typical Italian fare with checkered floors, marble tables and leather chairs coupled with photos of Italian monuments and even people consuming Italian food (not sure I want to be eating next to photos of people eating, though). There was retro Italian music playing in the background to set the scene right as well which I loved – there was clearly an emphasis on making the place feel like a welcoming Italian home.
What we had: Tomato & Basilico Soup [AED 25], Bruschetta al Pomodoro [AED 26], Arancini [AED 35], Mongatola Pizza [AED 62], Rigatoni Alla’ Amatricana [AED 42], Tomato Pana Cotta [AED 25]
Starters: The cold weather was the perfect complement to the delicious Tomato & Basilico Soup that we got to start with – the texture and consistency were just perfect which made it the best tomato soup I’ve tried with the basil adding just the right amount of zing. Next up were the Bruschetta and Arancini (rice balls) – while the Arancini was not as cheesy as I’d have liked, the Bruschetta was full of crunchy goodness and the cherry tomatoes on top tasted fresh.
Mains: Topped off with creamy buratta, crispy beef bacon and truffle oil on bed of fresh mozeralla cheese and thin pizza dough, the Mongatola pizza was a culinary delight with all the flavours and textures working together so well. The quality and freshness of the Rigatoni pasta was clearly evident as well from the first bite, although the mix of beef bacon and pasta did not please my palette.
Dessert: I topped off my carb coma with the creamy Tomato Pana Cotta – a dessert that reminded me why tomatoes are fruit. The top layer was soft and watery while the bottom layer was rich and creamy – it really striked a perfect balance between savory and sweet. The dessert was an ideal choice for anyone who isn’t a fan of a sugary last course.
Service: The servers were courteous and very knowledgeable about the food on offer, the passion and enthusiasm of the restaurant manager in sharing the story of the eatery in bringing their grandmother’s recipes to the people of Dubai was very inspiring as well.
Highs: High-quality and fresh food, excellent service, convenient parking
Lows: Less than ideal location
Verdict: Tomato & Basilico is a great spot that holds a candle to the best Italian joints in the city without breaking the bank