Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 details - Timeoutdubai.com


Nominated for Best Family 36 Comments

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This spacious and airy restaurant provides the perfect venue for a weekend lunch with the family. Not only is the Italian menu varied enough to suit all palates, but in keeping with the Carluccio’s brand, it’s fresh and delicious too. We opt for the risotto and Milanese di pollo, while the nippers happily tuck into their penne with tomato sauce. And the children are served first, which is always a bonus when dining out with them. While we wait, the kids tuck into the complimentary crispy bread sticks while colouring in their cartoon menus. The other plus is the fact that you have a great view of the Dubai Fountains, which can keep the children wonderfully entertained if you pop in for a bite at supper time. But be warned, for all the factors we’ve mentioned above, Carluccio’s is very popular and busy – especially on Fridays and Saturdays.
Open daily 9am-11pm. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, www.carluccios.com (04 434 1320).

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: John Clark on 22 May ' 13 at 04:24
  • Best for: Family friendly

Reliably and consistently good every time we visit. One of the best Pizzas in Dubai, great pasta and the service is very friendly. A welcomed change to the usual over priced restaurants offering average food and poor service.

Posted by: Sally on 30 Aug ' 12 at 07:33
  • Best for: Family friendly

The service was very good and freindly. The Pizza was very tasty as was the Penne. Your coffee in better than Starbucks.

Posted by: MK on 28 Apr ' 12 at 02:44
  • Best for: Family friendly

No, we went as group of 6, and although some dishes were good, others were just average!
The same can be said about the staff, some were rude and had attitude, while others polite and friendly!

Posted by: Susan on 13 Feb ' 12 at 11:24

These is our favourite place in Dubai Mall. They are really geared up for families with the kids menu, face painting and games. My sons love it there and want to go everyweekend.

The food is always good, the staff are attentive and of course the view is amazing

Posted by: lewes on 22 Jan ' 12 at 18:02
  • Best for: Family friendly

We love the new pizza in Mirdiff and the service is much more better than other "italain" restaurants in Dubai.

Posted by: Pier on 04 Dec ' 11 at 11:19

Love the new pizzas!

Posted by: RANJITH on 29 Sep ' 11 at 23:01
  • Best for: Family friendly


Posted by: Jill on 14 Sep ' 11 at 16:31
  • Best for: Family friendly

After reading all the signs in Mirdiff City Centre we tried the new Pizza, WOW!!!!! It was amazing.

Carluccios has always been off our radar because it never offered Pizza, I mean an Italian restaurant without Pizza???? It's like an Indian restaurant without curries!

It was the first time I have seen the restaurant busy, so there must be a fair few other people who feel the same. The manager told us they will be doing pizza delivery soon and that the other branches will be getting Pizza ovens installed next month - Hooray!

Posted by: James Shaw on 13 Sep ' 11 at 17:51
  • Best for: Business lunch

The best Italian in Dubai. Great authentic food and good service.

My family are loving the new Pizzas > like we have never tasted before in Dubai.

Posted by: Nader on 02 Sep ' 11 at 20:04

We went to Dubai mall branch. Our experience was by far below expectations. Our server has come twice only; once to take the order and the second upon delivering the food!

As they claim to be authentic Italian restaurant, we expected the bread, oil and balsamic vinegar to be free of charge and ready on the table as any other Italian restaurant. Instead, we have had to order it and pay for it. Not to say that the bread especially the foccacia came cold and was value-less!

The carppaccio was chewy. Rest of the orders were salty. My partner has to order extra sauce for her pasta since it was rather dry.

Different waiters came to our table and despite our comments about the food, no one from the management came to check nor ask us about it!

Posted by: ziggaza on 23 Jun ' 11 at 07:33

Awful, dont bother with this place.

Posted by: Tim Clark on 16 Mar ' 11 at 09:50
  • Best for: Family friendly

I am delighted to have found a Carluccios in Mirdiff City Centre, so I don't have to trek down to Dubai Mall or the Marina everytime I want some decent pasta.

I am a real fan of this restaurants. It is simple, uncomplicated and authentic food. It's about time that a international restaurant chain has been propoerly executed in this coutry.

Posted by: leonard molito on 01 Dec ' 10 at 00:18
  • Best for: Brunch served

I was on my way to waitrose when I saw the friendly staff and unusual food... I step inside to find a feast of Italian..

To the guys with bad opinions, its your opinion and you are welcomed to it but please no the fine line between an opinion and knowing what you actually talking about, as most restaurant offer bread in Italy on the house once you order a main course its not a gesture that greeted in every region of Italy as im from Sicily and my wife from rome, we have different costumes..

and as for food it was great except for the lasagna. the staff were more knowledge and able than most people give them credit for because most people who find this Italian delight "awful" need to stop eating american Italian spaghetti cream and chicken.. and start learning to fill your pizza hut hugging stomachs with a little more healthier options like Antonio Carluccios options.


Posted by: Anca on 05 Nov ' 10 at 14:00

The food is terrible and far far far away from the Italian Taste! In any Italian Restaurant all over the world the bread together with Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamico are from the House, and not CHARGED FOR !
Focaccia has nothing in comun with the Italian Focaccia, is just another fake like almost all the other meals, heated in the MW,and still served lukewarm!!! Antipasti doesn't mean only eggplants cut in different forms! When chicken cooked with skin- this need to be crispy not soft!!! or simply removed!!! Service far to slow and the environment very poor. We'll never go back and we'll not recommend it to anyone!

Posted by: Maryam on 26 Oct ' 10 at 10:53

We have been to this restaurant one time and won't be going back. the food was YAAAK first time i go to a restaurant and i pay the bill and still am too hungry.

Posted by: Heinrich on 16 Oct ' 10 at 06:41

This is typical. I have seen this too many times...expanding a chain and the quality from the one to the other is like day and night.

I went to the Dubai Marina Mall shop and was amazed to see the Manager/supervisor running around with so many helpers etc. The restaurant was not even full; Pilipino karaoke music in the background was also quite surprising.

No Pizza?? Pasta dishes where you know it's been heated in a microwave.. Charging customers for bread is certainly my first experience at an “Italian” establishment. I ordered the risotto and it was ok.. just ok.
It is very interesting to note the positive reviews but then again, people sometimes are awed by decorations and names. The simplest restaurants often turn out the best food, where emphasis is on the food quality and service.

I’m afraid This “Italian” restaurant is a dissapoijntement.

Posted by: Christian on 01 Oct ' 10 at 07:10

Have been to this restaurant in Dubai Marina Mall and wont come back again. Poor service, disappointing food and a lot of money for what it is... Does not deserve the title of Italian restaurant.

Posted by: nadia on 17 Jun ' 10 at 19:11

First I want to say that those people writing good reviews must be staff or linked to this awful restaurant.
I Went to Dubai Marina Mall restaurant last week: An Italian restaurant that does not provide bread with the main course (and charge 22 AED for a small basket)? Also 18 AED for a tiny cup of olives and small water AED 16, really too expensive for what it is. Food-average, service-terrible. I sat down outside , there's no ambience or even decoration really Awful service, and food!!!
Not worth it (too expensive)

Posted by: Old Town Matt on 16 May ' 10 at 14:52

Good restaurant and nice food ruined by the shouting, bellowing circus created by ill-behaved brats.

It's very inconsiderate of parents to spoil things for other people by bring noisy children.

But when one of them is running past making a noise and you trip it up, you're suddenly the bad man.

Posted by: lewes on 02 May ' 10 at 17:28
  • Best for: Family friendly

I went to carluccios at Dubai Mall,Mirdif city center several times, i find the staff and the managers doing a great job looking after the customers and doing outanding JOB trust me i dine so many places in dubai but most of them don't have this kind of serive standard, me and my family are very greatful to have a restaurant and friendly staff at all time, shame on the people who's trying to spoil the name ...

I must say carluccios is the best place for your kids and family and if i must take my family for lunch i will absloutly go over there ....

tumbs up for great service.

Posted by: Dean and Kate Biskupovich on 03 Apr ' 10 at 17:18

Went to Mirdiff City Centre Branch last week: An Italian restaurant that does not provide bread with the main course? No pizza on kids menu (mind you it is an Italian restaurant!). Food-average, service-average. The usual-empty restaurant and still slow service.
Oh yeah....you can buy the bread AND pizza at their little shop to take home. Thanks...i'll remember that when I'm eating at anther resataurant. It shows there are no Italians running this joint.

Posted by: z k on 25 Mar ' 10 at 06:15

I really can't see what is family themed about this place... kids have nothing to do there... If you are basing your criteria around food, there are many other places that have good family food.... other than that... this place should not be selected for best family restaurant.

Posted by: BGMB on 03 Mar ' 10 at 07:14

I can't believe the reviews either! - this has to be one of the best Italian restaurants in Dubai. The pasta dishes are great, sea bass tasty and the chocolate bread and butter pudding is to die for.

The staff have been busy, but they are friendly and professional.

In all honesty, I'm guessing that the people that have given this a bad review hasn't been to Italy before and appreciate good Italian food. I'm guessing that the closest they've come to is pizza hut!

Posted by: louise on 22 Feb ' 10 at 06:58

I went for lunch last week, it was very busy and the staff couldn't manage the service. I sat down outside and had to wait 15 minutes for a menu until i decided to ask for it myself. I ordered the prawns, firstly the size was very small for 85 dhs and they tasted awful. I could see the staff arguing about something which was extremely un professional. The only positive thing about this restaurant is the location over looking the burj khalifa. Awful service, and food!!!

Posted by: Peter on 17 Feb ' 10 at 07:48

I love Carluccio's in the UK and was so pleased when it moved to Dubai. The risotto is to die for, and it's lovely sitting outside with a view of the Burj Khalifa and fountains. Even better for me, it's a hit with the kids, who love the chicken and rosemary potatoes - and I'm happy because it's definitely a step up from nuggets and chips!

Posted by: Melanie on 06 Oct ' 09 at 07:08
  • Best for: Family friendly

I cannot believe the review I am reading? Did you really go in and eat or just look at a menu and assume the worst? I have lived in Italy and this food is as close to authentic as you will get in Dubai. The food here is great, the decor is great. Kids are also customers and you may be surprsied to learn that they too eat food. I am offended at your comments in regards to children. I take mine because the food is great they can try new things and broaden their taste buds. The service was ok and the service hectic but no worse than most you recieve in Dubai.

Posted by: Rauf on 13 Jun ' 09 at 18:50

Food was just OK, not tasty, to the extent that I had to take my family to nearby Nando's. Restroom is miserable and reminded me of toilets in old airbus planes.

Absolutely NOT recommended place to eat.

Posted by: Cheng on 07 Jun ' 09 at 11:12
  • Best for: Family friendly

Had a good meal there during the weekend so I have to disagree with the write-up above. The restaurant was really busy but the staff were still friendly. It's in the mall so it's not unusual for families to have a meal there besides Carluccio's doesn't advertise itself as a romantic place to have a meal in right?

The atmosphere is buzzing, very positive though they were busy with the added attraction of the fountains dancing in the background.

Posted by: Mike on 23 May ' 09 at 18:42
  • Best for: Family friendly

My wife and I took our two girls (5 and almost 3) to Carluccio’s on a Saturday evening and we all had a great time. The food was fresh and delicious, the staff friendly and the setting perfect with plenty of space around the tables.

The view towards the dancing fountains, made the setting special too, with a stunning backdrop of the Burj Dubai in all its majesty and awe-inspiring scale. We'll be back soon to taste the delicious food, drinks and atmosphere again.

Posted by: KatieP on 21 May ' 09 at 12:47

We have been to this restaurant twice now and won't be going back. The food is okay, but only just okay. For the price they charge, not acceptable. The first time we went on a Saturday for lunch the place was packed and the staff clearly overwhelmed, took forever to get served, orders got forgotten, coffees came out cold and meals were so so. The worst part was the two little boys that were digging their hands all over the chocolate cake that was sitting on a low bench. We informed the managed who simply shooed them away and smoothed over the icing, later we saw them cutting that same cake and serving it to others!
Very unhygienic.
Our second visit the service was a lot better but the food was not, the salad's in particular were a joke. The straw that broke the back for me was the juice. On the menu it is advertised as fresh juice. We ordered an orange and a pomegranate juice. When it came it was clearly not fresh and also tasted watered down. When we asked the manager about it he replied 'Yes, fresh juice, just today it comes fresh from our supplier, Barakat, the best in Dubai'. Fresh out of a bottle? Definitely not my idea of fresh juice!

Posted by: Rania on 01 May ' 09 at 07:53
  • Best for: Family friendly

Finally.. a decent place to eat in a mall (minus the screaming kids)... The food is great.. a little pricey, but worth it..

Posted by: Lindsay on 23 Apr ' 09 at 10:44

I loved the food, enjoyed the atmosphere and will most certainly be back for more.

There are very few places in Dubai where you can get a true classic pasta done properly, and I think Carluccio's has done that. I think it is inevitable that it would become a child friendly restaurant as A: it is in a mall B: it has no liquor license. So it makes sense and am surprised that the review does not take this into account.

Posted by: David McKee on 20 Apr ' 09 at 12:28

Lovely place, utterly ruined (as the review says) by the hoardes of screeching kids.

Food was great in places, average in others, but it's just become a magnet for families who seem to think people love to hear the sound of their noisy children while they are eating.

Shame, it's a great setting.

Posted by: Sam on 19 Apr ' 09 at 16:52
  • Best for: Family friendly

->> A rare rib eye will always taste greasy. You might want to try to order it medium so the fat melts.

At least as good as any Carluccios in London, nothing high end but decent and consitsent quality.

Nice view to the lake

Posted by: Swati Pant on 13 Apr ' 09 at 05:09
  • Best for: Family friendly

I am amazed @ this review !! I couldn't disagree more. In fact after ages I thoroughly enjoyed my food @ an italian cafe. The antipasti massimo ( for 2) was superb - the olives sundried tomatoes, peppers with pesto, melanzana, focaccia, green bean salad with mint & garlic, bresaola very good! the stuffed chicken was Ok ( you also have an option to eget a vegetarian one) . In fact I decided to just get calamari for my main as I was so stuffed. My companion ordered lasagna and it was just right ( probably one of the better ones in a long long time). There was no place for dessert but the tarts looked so good and the almond and honey biscotti they had on trial was fantastic. I have to go back there for coffee and dessert !

I think the one thing was that the service was not that great. They were all very sweet and when they caught your eye they attended to you straight away including the manager, but somehow they all seemed to be in a flap - everyone was literally scurrying around from the manager to the servers everyone. However, they did it with a smile which is exceptional. So may be I shall put that down to being slightly new and hence ironing the creases.

Yes there were a lot of kids and I don't have kids but this is dubai - there are kids everywhere and this was a cafe in a mall !! It may be better to perhaps go in the evening.

Overall I loved it and would go back regularly

Posted by: CCG on 06 Apr ' 09 at 11:46
  • Best for: Family friendly

Shocking!!! I have been to this restaurant 4 times since its opening last month and it is far from the playground it has been made out to be.

The food is fantastic and the restaurant boasts one of the best patios in town with stunning views of the Burj Dubai and the Dubai Fountain.

Feeling a bit sorry for girl he's taken, though. No patience for children AND took her to the mall for a date? Keeping my fingers crossed for these lovers...


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