Seaside Italian restaurant with reasonable prices 38 Reviews
New Year's Eve offer
A four-course Italian set menu. Dhs950 (with house beverages), Dhs1,450 (with bubbly), Dhs450 (children aged six-11) (Wednesday)
New Year's Eve offer
A three-course set menu. Dhs650 (with house beverages), Dhs225 (children aged six-11) (Wednesday)
New Year's Eve offer
Live music from a DJ. Dhs380 (with sparkling and house beverages) (Wednesday)
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Italian in Mina Seyahi There’s nothing like being discreet when you’re reviewing a restaurant. Which is why it was perhaps inadvisable to rock up at Bussola on the Beach, the upstairs, waterside spin-off from Le Meridien Mina Seyahi’s Italian, clutching a large helium balloon emblazoned with the words ‘In God, all things are possible.’ In my defence, I happened to be attending an 11-strong birthday party there, and plain old secular ‘Congratulations’ seemed a tad pedestrian.
If you can cope with the odd escaped balloon (all things were possible, it would seem, apart from retrieval of the former, once it had sailed through the tiny gap in the restaurant’s canopy and off into the night sky), it’s easy to see why Bussola on the Beach is so popular for birthday bashes – less formal, but no less elegant than the main restaurant downstairs, it’s an al fresco pizzeria with buzz in abundance, where no-one’s going to look askance at an off-key rendition of ‘For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow’ and the cheerful staff aren’t too snooty to shove a candle in your chocolate mousse.
It’s pretty difficult to pull off authentic Italian fare without dispatching with a swine or two, and the starter platter of Antipasto di salumi misti didn’t disappoint in its porcine glory, incorporating as it did generous swathes of speck and salami, as well as the air-dried salted beef common to the equally marvellous bresaola pomodorino salad: an invigorating jumble of semi-dried tomatoes, rucola orange segments, artichokes and parmesan. The collective bouche was amused.
Ordering mains is a breeze, as long as you like pizza. And what fool doesn’t like pizza? Possessed by some heretical zeal (for any Italian worth his salt wouldn’t dream of letting a pineapple anywhere near a pizza base) I requested the Hawaiian – and loved every guilty slice. Light but loaded, it was a triumph. More dignified diners opted for the Puttanesca (tomato, mozzarella, capers, olives and anchovies – no salt required) or the Cortina, festooned with rocket and smoked mature ham. All were sampled by yours truly. All passed muster.
The dessert options were less creative than the unwieldy, porthole-inspired menu upon which they were advertised. Ice cream and sorbet, I was informed, are billed by the scoop (Dhs12 a hit) which seems a little pedantic, not to mention opportunistic. The fruits of the freezer failed to impress – my mint sorbet had the telltale granular texture of something that’s been defrosted and refrozen. The chocolate mousse, presented in an old-school martini glass and topped with a fanned, sliced strawberry, was dense and luxurious – as it should be for a wallet-straining Dhs70.
Complementary candle action notwithstanding, dessert wasn’t the sweet treat it should have been. Yet, under the stars, overlooking the Gulf, there’s little that can sour this delightful dining experience. Visit before summer strikes.
Bill (for two)
2x Coca-Cola Dhs28
1x Antipasto Dhs56
1x Bresaola salad Dhs60
1x Hawaiian pizza Dhs72
1x Chocolate mousse Dhs70
3x scoops ice cream Dhs36
Total (including service) Dhs322
By Mark Smith
- Previous reviews
- 23 April,2014- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 15 April,2013- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 22 March,2012- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 23 March,2011- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 06 April,2010- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 25 March,2010- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 24 March,2010- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 19 March,2009- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 26 March,2008- reviewed by Jeremy Lawrence
- 17 March,2008- reviewed by Jeremy Lawrence
- 12 March,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 20 December,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 30 April,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai
- 01 July,2005- reviewed by Matthew Lee
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.