Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I last posted and when I get a chance to update everyone about what’s been going on lately, I will! It’s all good news and some of you who follow me on social media or have me on Facebook will already know the news. However, in this post I’d like to focus on a rather delicious Italian meal I had.
I’m a sucker for Italian food. Being (mostly) vegetarian and also quite picky with food, I find that you can’t go too wrong with pizza, pasta or carbs of any sort, if I’m being honest! While there are several Italian restaurants I love in the city, I have had many recommendations about Rosso in Amwaj Rotana, JBR. I was recently invited to review the restaurant and, unsurprisingly, couldn’t resist.
My dining partner and I were welcomed by the friendly staff and, a little later, the chef came and had a chat with us as we desperately tried to decide on a dish each – I was starving and the thought of carbs slightly clouded my thoughts. If you’re struggling with choosing something from the menu offering up authentic Italian plates, I’d highly recommend you calling on the help of the friendly chef, too.
Rosso, Amwaj Rotana – The food
My friend was looking for something ‘meaty’ or ‘fishy’. Handy, right? She was swayed into ordering the branzino scottato con patate e porri; pan-seared sea bass with sage butter, potatoes and baby leeks. Something she seemed quite pleased with, given the generous portion was eaten in its entirety and mentioned several times since the meal. I, being the super-daring diner that I am, went for gnocchi sorrentina bufala e basilico, which roughly translates as ‘really unadventurous dish for people who just want some good old, well-made comfort food’. No, in all seriousness this was the best gnocchi I think I’ve tasted – I’ve tried to make my own, I’ve been to a few restaurants here and the textures were all wrong. I won’t mention the name of the restaurant, but I recently went to an Italian joint on JBR that served the worst gnocchi I’ve ever tasted, which was a form of mush. So, I’ve now learnt my lesson and will only be returning to Rosso for this scrumptious dish. Comprising gratin gnocchi with tomato, buffalo cheese and fresh basil, each component of this dish was a treat to eat. The gnocchi was firm, but chewy, the sauce was the perfect texture and not too watery, and the cheese was the perfect addition.
We sipped on cocktails throughout the meal that featured prosecco and fruits – we tried a variety, but my favourite was probably one containing strawberry. To start, we were also given a scrumptious bowl of breads accompanied with parmesan cheese and a basil dip, so I’m glad we avoided starters as this was more than enough to fill us up.
Though, we were encouraged to try the desserts. Clearly, we didn’t need much encouragement as we ordered one each, while one would have definitely sufficed given how much we’d just eaten! Again, I opted for the obvious choice, and ordered the chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream (tortino di cioccolato con gelato alla vaniglia), though my friend was a little more daring and tried the traditional Italian dessert of cannoli, a rich cream-filled pastry dessert with a sprinkling of pistachio. Playing it safe does pay off – how wrong can you go with chocolate lava cake?! But I admit having to eat an entire roll of my friend’s cannoli because it was just so divine. Naughty, but divine.
The atmosphere throughout the evening was lovely. Given that I went on a Sunday at 7pm, and the restaurant was packed by the time we left a few hours later, I’d have to say that is pretty impressive. Though the food selection can be a little intimidating – I want to visit again to try several other dishes from the menu such as the pizzas, a salad with mixed lettuce leaves with strawberries, walnuts, breaded goat cheese and balsamic syrup (insalata misticanzo con fragloe, noci e formaggion caprino) and also just to eat the cannoli again – everyone around us was laughing, digging into bites that instantly gave you food-envy (it’s hard not to feel a little jealous when a giant pizza arrives on the table next to you) and clearly enjoying their evening. Rosso is a little on the pricy side with dishes like my gnocchi coming to Dhs80 and the pan-seared sea bass costing Dhs160, but for a dinner with friends, a date or even if you have family over visiting, I’d recommend heading to Rosso. There is an al fresco area for the cooler weather, but given I visited when it was still rather hot, we were perfectly happy sat inside.
I hope you enjoyed this review, and as always I have been honest about my thoughts on the food and restaurant, though this was a complimentary meal.
If you have any questions about Rosso or the meal, feel free to ask away! Click here more information about the restaurant and food
Thanks for reading!
All photos in this post have been taken by me on the Olympus Pen E-PL7. Apologies for the yellow-ish hue, but this was due to the lighting.