Rosso – Amwaj Rotana – more comsi comsa than “oh sole mio”
Thursday night at Rosso, Amwaj Rotana, Dubai.
Less Italian feeling, more of an all inclusive dinner experience.
We arrived at around 21:00 and the restaurant, as well as the huge terrace were packed. After looking for our reservation the friendly hostess lead us to our table outside. But we changed location and asked for another table. Why? Because the DJ’s sound (a mix of mojo 80/90s music, “Oldy but Goldy” hits) made it impossible to have a conversation. The entree overall was a bit bizarre, so was the rest of the night. Mr.Kareem, our waiter for the night, welcomed us and handed over the menu. He asked if we wanted an aperitif , and we ordered a classic Gin&Tonic and an Amaretto Sour. He took our order and left. Minutes later Mr.Kareem returned to tell me that my Amaretto will be served with ice on the side. I think he did not know what we ordered so we explained him what Amaretto Sour was and he left again. Aperitif was served and the food order taken. Again while placing our order we had to discover that Mr.Kareem did not seem to know the menu too well, but he managed to get it right in the end. The point where he repeated our order made us smirk a bit. “You have ordered one Burrata with grilled vegetables, one tuna tartare, one time tortellini with spinach and mushrooms and a portion of ravioli with cheese and duck ragout, on orange sauce.” Reading it here on my post, you might wonder why we had to smirk, well you have to imagine Mr.Kareem, a young, good looking Syrian with a very strong, but fake Italian accent, then read it again!
Our starters were served within 16 minutes and we were offered another drink. Having oil and balsamic vinegar on the table, we had to ask for bread as they forgot to bring some in the beginning. However they did not forget the Parmesan. It was served on a bread and butter plate, in big junks, to bite off cheese, not to spread it over a meal. We were not overwhelmed by our starters to be honest, the Burrata was super good and creamy but the grilled vegetables lacked in salt and pepper, or any other seasonings. The tuna tartare was good but again the grilled white bread, it was served on was not to be eaten at all. We ordered a bottle of white Villa Antinori which was served a bit too warm, but Mr.Kareem gave his best to cover the bottle with a lot of ice.
Our mains were served but out starter plates have not been cleared yet. Giving his colleague a sign, another came to assist and made some space for our pasta. Mr.Kareem pored more wine and wished us “Bonne apetito!” Again it made us smile, as the mix of a Syrian Italian accent was just as a bizarre mix like having Italian cuisine on a terrace in Dubai while listening to “Men in Black” soundtracks and Michael Jackson, followed by “Celebrate good times come on!”. The mains just as the starters where very rich and filling but did not exceed our expectations. Mr.Kareem came to clear our plates and asked if we enjoyed our pasta, he offered us deserts and left. Feeling slightly disturbed and irritated by the bad choice of music and other guests, wearing flip-flops and shorts, singing and shouting around, we decided to leave. Overall it was an average experience, far away from fine dining, far away from authentic Italian cuisine, and far away from authentic Italian accents.
The Good: Mr.Kareem had a positive attitude and was very friendly, he just need to work on his Italian as well as on the product knowledge a bit.
The Bad: Rosso has a lot of potential, not only to keep the place packed but keep it packed with a bit more classy guests. The mix of fake, plastic gras on the terrace, the bad choice of music and the non existent dress code for dinner gave the location a little bit of a bad taste.
I do not think that we will be back, maybe for brunch to give it a try and see how the atmosphere will be on a Friday afternoon. But not for dinner again.
Have a great weekend,