Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 details - Timeoutdubai.com

Nais Italian Kitchen

Nominated for Best Newcomer 15 Comments

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Nais’s décor is clean, crisp and simple: predominantly white, with flourishes of grass green. A pop-up boutique exists entirely on one wall. There’s no stuffy fine-dining formality or distance here. Staff are chatty with an easy manner, explaining the day’s specials. The piatto Piemontese starter, a sample of three of the northern signatures: filetto di peperone arrosto con crema di acciughe (strips of roasted pepper with cream of anchovies), insalata russa (vegetables, tuna and boiled eggs in mayonnaise) and vitel tonnato (chilled veal, dressed with a tuna, anchovy and caper sauce), arrives elegantly presented, yet without being fussy or pretentious. Staff inform us that Nais’s fresh pesto is prepared with basil grown by the restaurant’s owners in their garden, but sadly, it was off the menu on our last visit. The concept at Nais Italian Kitchen is new and exciting for Dubai. Beyond that, these are warm and welcoming people, with a passion for and knowledge of what they’re selling: a good, accessible, and affordable menu, of what the Italians call ‘honest food’.
Open Sun-Thu 10am-10pm. HDS Tower, Cluster F, JLT (04 452 9991).

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: EMILIO DARIO on 27 Oct ' 14 at 20:24
  • Best for: Romantic

Dear travelers (Italians and not Italians),
you are in Dubai and you are walking around under minimum 27 degree (humidity is about 85%) and no wind.
You have been walking in JLT surrounded by any sort of fast food and ethnical cuisine restaurant but you are looking for a really good lunch / dinner and you do not want to end up in one of the famous restaurant Italian chains you can find everywhere on a seaside (Dubai Marina).
The best option (actually the only one) is to go to NAIS, in Jumeirah Lake Towers take a seat and wait for the best: believe me your expectations will be more than fulfilled.
NAIS is a quite hidden place (unfortunately) on the lake promenade first floor (yes, you need to take stairs to go there but a bit of exercise is even good before eating don’t you believe?)
Food is a matter of tastes, like paintings, sculpture, women and I am going to give you my personal point of view from Italian perspective of course, ranking an Italian restaurant.
I tried chains, I go to normal places but when I travel abroad I also like to experience Michelin Top rated restaurants and I actually tried those that are in Italy.
Moreover being from Italian region called Piemonte, I believe I can judge such type of kitchen and food.
NAIS is one of the best restaurant I have ever been in my life.
NAIS is a very cozy restaurant, minimalistic, one of those places where you will never think to enter even what you see shows some potential it looks super clean and it has kitchen on display (that is always a good beginning): NAIS looks precisely what it is shown from their website.
It is definitely not the place for a romantic dinner (owners and managers should think about it….) and this is due to the fact that JLT is an office area that becomes empty in the evening.
Apart of that the quality of food is OUTSTANDING.
I come from the Italian area of Monferrato (and I was amazed when I knew that is the same place where the manager and the chef come from) and I could not believe that you can find similar restaurant outside of Piemonte.
For sure you hardly find anything like this outside in the north of Italy and I thought it was impossible to find a place like this abroad and especially in Dubai.
There is no one dish which is NOT EXCELLENT by presentation, taste and way of cooking. The cuisine is simple exactly like real piedmontese kitchen is: I still can’t understand where raw materials are taken from, especially if you consider that prices are cheap.
Russian salad Piemontese way, bagna cauda (the real bagna cauda), tuna veal are unbelievable: the quality of food is AMAZING BUT SUCH WORD IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT.
Truffle pasta is compelling and I hardly remember something similar unless I dig into my far memories, Sunday afternoon spent looking for mushrooms and truffles in Monferrato and Langhe hills.
The crew is super attentive, efficient and always cheerful, the manager too and she is extremely careful to listen to all guests suggestions and recommendation: there are people who go there to see her actually but this is called piedmontese charm….
My biggest, total, unconditional admiration and respect is for the chef Stefano Bertero whose kitchen, dishes selection, technique and presentation are A MANIFEST OF PIEMONTE IN THE WORLD.
This young chef is an extraordinary talented person who is already a star.
Couple of times only I had such touching experience in tasting such a food.
What makes everything even greater is that the atmosphere was closer to a office canteen rather than to a posh restaurant in Langhe area: what changes everything is the food quality that is MARVELLOUS.
Take into account that this place during lunch is kind of pilgrimage point for Italians in Dubai.
I wish more than best to Stefano, all kitchen staff, the restaurant crew and the restaurant manager.
You are all one of the few real example of Italian excellence in terms of dedication, quality and hospitality.
I really hope you will be more successful since you are simply the best Italian restaurant in Dubai.
I have no doubts that people like you are, with talent and great organization, will have a great success, not only in Dubai but wherever you will decide to move.
Thank you very much for giving always a smile to people after very heavy working morning.
Especially thank you very much for reviving what’s really priceless, like tasting excellence and bring only good memory of Italy back to our hearts.

Posted by: Katerina on 27 Mar ' 13 at 11:06
  • Best for: Romantic

Fantastic Italian food

Posted by: Rafiq Al Gailani on 17 Mar ' 13 at 10:13
  • Best for: Family friendly

One of the best real authentic Italian restaurants in Dubai! Italian family owned and managed, with family respires and true / real Italian chefs and team.

Posted by: Tareq Khalafawi on 13 Mar ' 13 at 13:20
  • Best for: Business lunch

Great Taste, fresh Food , Lovely Team.
I Encourage everyone to visit and try .

Posted by: Lorna on 11 Mar ' 13 at 16:12
  • Best for: Family friendly

The food is as promised, true to the taste of Piedmont. Flavoursome, and sufficient servings. The service is quick, friendly and efficient. A restaurant that I go to time and again as I enjoy consistency which seems to be difficult to find in this part of the world.

Posted by: Nadia Inayeh on 11 Mar ' 13 at 16:10
  • Best for: Business lunch

This is a wonderful venue where you can eat amazing food and enjoy a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. At night the patio seating affords a romantic setting and the food contributes to the warmth and elegance of the ambiance. An excellent eatery in the heart of JLT. What could be better?

Posted by: Rafic Hasbini on 11 Mar ' 13 at 12:38
  • Best for: Business lunch

Very nice atmosphere
Very Friendly Staff
And the owner is amazing always visiting the tables to check on the customers to check if they are satisfied and to recommend some items on the menu,
Food is always beyond expectations with innovative ideas and monthly menus

Posted by: John Oldfield on 11 Mar ' 13 at 12:13
  • Best for: Family friendly

Crisp and tasteful decor. Original and very tasty dishes with interesting variety. Very friendly and natural staff that value your presence.

Posted by: Michela on 11 Mar ' 13 at 09:17
  • Best for: Business lunch

Great place for a true italian experience. The food is delicious and the staff is friendly, worth a visit.

Posted by: Gianfranco Criniti on 11 Mar ' 13 at 09:01

True high quality Italian food , not easy to find outside Italy , pleasant site ,quite and relaxing , godo Service

Posted by: Moannalyn Roca on 11 Mar ' 13 at 08:02


Posted by: Roberto Azucenas on 11 Mar ' 13 at 08:01

The best

Posted by: M on 10 Mar ' 13 at 18:51
  • Best for: Business lunch

Great spot, kind, polite and efficient people. Food selection, presentation, explanantion and the great taste are all elements of the orchestra playing there!
Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Benedetta on 10 Mar ' 13 at 18:00
  • Best for: Business lunch

Great original Italian food!!! :)

Posted by: Roberto on 10 Mar ' 13 at 13:33
  • Best for: Romantic

Nais is an hiddent gem in JLT. It features authentic food from Northern Italy, focusing on the quality of ingredients and on a minimal decor. Great place to have a break from the excesses of Dubai and to enjoy a friendly atmosphere and good value for money.


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