Hailing from the dapper London neighbourhood of Chelsea, Scalini is renowned for fine Italian food. So, when a branch opened here in Dubai at the start of the year, it caught our attention.
Nestled beneath COYA and Nusr-et at Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Scalini completes a strong trio of restaurants. Take the lift down and on arrival you’ll walk out on the submerged terrace. Even during summer this gets packed, as, although outside, it’s fully air-conditioned.
Outside it’s prettily decked out, with fairylight-strewn trees and tables adorned with crisp white cloths. Inside, it’s brightly lit with huge colourful artwork on the walls. It’s fancy – but relaxed at the same time and the vibe is warm and upbeat.
The restaurant opened in London back in 1988, so we’ve high hopes for the food.
An extensive menu features all the usual suspects, but we kick off with the avocado Scalini – the restaurant’s signature salad – with avocado, mozzarella, artichoke and tomatoes. It’s fresh, light and tasty, but we’re not sure it justifies its Dhs90 price tag. Gnocchi with pesto is better value, and it’s a decent-size portion, smothered in rich sauce. Don’t miss the signature lobster spaghetti. It’s served artistically with a generous amount of al dente pasta. The sauce is simple and delicious and it’s a hit. As is the pollo Zarina – not entirely dissimilar to a chicken kiev – which is juicy and oozes streams of light garlic butter when sliced into. But again, at Dhs130 with no sides, it’s pretty steep – especially given that in London it comes in at around Dhs90.
Staff are friendly, the vibe is buzzing and the food is delicious but is it great value? We’re not convinced.
The bill (for two) 1x avocado scalini Dhs90 1x spaghetti all'astice Dhs160 1x gnocchi pesto Dhs70 1x pollo Zarina Dhs130 1x spinach Dhs40 1x tiramisu Dhs55 1x large water Dhs22 Total (exc taxes and service) Dhs567
The bottom line Fine food for those feeling flush.