DIFC is fit to bursting when it comes to high-end Italian food. From Roberto’s to Cipriani, there’s posh pasta all around. And with that in mind, it’s clear that cosy continental eatery Mercato is aware of the need to set itself apart from those big-hitters and establish itself as a go-to destination for more relaxed diners.
The intimate trattoria-style spot offers a homely welcome, with freshly baked goods available to buy lining the counter. There’s an open kitchen in easy view, which is a nice touch, enabling you to watch your meal being created.
The menu is small, but full of Italian favourites. We kick off with a pizza, albeit not the standard kind – it’s topped with three poached eggs and fresh smoked salmon. The flavours and textures complement each other perfectly, while the vibrant yolks soak into a crispy base laced with tangy tomato sauce.
There’s a small selection of desserts, too, and we opt for a traditional tiramisu. The rich, creamy pud comes with a thin dusting of chocolate and rounds the meal off nicely.
Dishes are generously sized and great value, with pizzas all coming in at under Dhs50. You might not visit here for a slap-up meal, but if you want a casual, friendly spot, try Mercato.
The bottom line A charming, good-value taste of Italy.