Piccolo Mondo Café & Restaurant

Arty enclave in International City is a charming favourite Reviews

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From Time Out Dubai Eating Out 2010

An arty enclave in the heart of Dubai’s ‘council estate’, this quirky café in the Italian cluster of International City is as charming as it is incongruous. It’s worth a visit just to check out the decor of one of the city’s few – perhaps only – genuine bohemian oases. We can heartily recommend sinking into a comfy couch, indoors or out, to admire the paintings, sculptures and lanterns which jockey for position with football on the telly and the often eclectic clientele.

We’ll definitely return to slob out with a fresh fruit juice (the ‘Four Seasons’ combo is a winner) and nibble on the extremely more-ish cheese boereg (cheese spring rolls) and a spicy, sizzling plate of kia med mamuang (fried chicken and cashew nuts), perhaps ending with an oozing chocolate fondant cake and a glass of perfectly sweetened Moroccan tea. We won’t, however, be rushing back for their stodgy, uninspiring and over-cooked main courses, paired with frozen veggies boiled to within an inch of their life. For a snack, Picollo Mondo Café is a must, but for a more substantial meal, it’s most definitely a bust.

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: International City, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 420 0788
  • Travel: International City, Italy cluster, building U02

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User reviews

  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Dayana on 26 Feb ' 11 at 13:43
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: SB on 29 Jun ' 10 at 11:17
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I have been there twice and eaten there twice. The food is mediocre and over priced. The first time I had pasta with a marinara sauce and had a dodgy stomach afterwards. I ate there about 2 weeks later and decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and ordered the Arabiata with pasta. Again it gave me a dodgy stomach.

Posted by: Rhiannon Downie on 22 Jun ' 09 at 10:24

I am a regular to the Piccolo Mondo in International City (Italy), and am the woman whom the writer mentions as her friend, the one who bugged her to check our the 'Little Bohemian Oasis' :) - I agree, the food could improve, as could the service. Some of the dishes are fine, filling and reasonably priced, yet other dishes are not up to the standard I would expect and are over priced in my opinion
The juices are fantastic, smooth and yummy, as are the tea's and coffee's - I would rather visit Mondo's for a milkshake, shisha and to take in the ambience and chilled atmosphere, then go there for a full on evening meal - I consider the place to be a perfect haven to mull over your emails, relax and enjoy a fruit shake or two. The decor is unique and warm, the music playing in the background provides the perfect balance, drawing all the goodness of the cafe together - Creating a wonderfully warm feeling.

Zaki the owner, is incredibly charismatic, charming and welcoming - Always takes the time to personally meet his clients and welcome them into his Dubai creation - His staff, really should take a note out of his book.

I will continue to visit Mondo's and if the menu and food improve, I would consider the place to be my favourite cafe/restaurant in Dubai :)

Posted by: Ken on 11 Jun ' 09 at 11:05
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Its a funky, quirky place and a lovely escape from the Dubai "council estate" in which it is located. Its certainly worth popping in for a coffee and a cake or shisha if your are in the area.

The menu should probably be trimmed back to basics as the food is not that great. The yshould focus on cafe style snacks rather than full meals.

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