This 20-year old chain is the perfect spot for a mid-shop carbo-load, and while it doesn’t serve pizza, Antonio Carluccio’s brainchild serves the best in-mall pasta in the city. Decor is trendy yet cosy and the service, despite the fervent pursuit of the upsell, is slicker than most. For breakfast, try the well-cooked and buttery mushrooms on toast (funghi is celebrity chef Carluccio’s true passion – and it shows) and sip on the smooth yet strong Milano coffee; skip the bread baskets and croissants, however, which tend to be less than fresh and somewhat miserly.

For post-noon meals there’s a nice range of salads and meat dishes, but the pastas are the surest bet. The ragu in the Bolognese is rich; the clam vongole spaghetti salted to perfection and the mushroom tagliatelle bold. However, on our last visit we found the ‘signature’ penne giardiniera with deep-fried spinach balls bitter, dry and less than appetising. The Dubai Mall branch is also a great post-dinner spot: views of the largest fountain in the world, a strong espresso and a perfectly passable chocolate fondant making for the perfect nightcap.