Life is full of pleasant little surprises. This includes rushing out for lunch to a restaurant you’re not expecting a great deal from, and finding a light, airy venue, a traditional wood-fired pizza oven, French windows, and friendly staff. Indeed, Pizzame, tucked underneath Spinneys in JLT (next to McGettigan’s), is a quaint little place that doesn’t try anything too flash, and feels no need to over-compensate for its snug size with a bloated, overly ambitious menu.

The focus, as the restaurant name suggests, is pizza, and it was pizza we ordered. Well, I ordered it at any rate – my colleague whom I’d dragged along for this little sojourn insisted on ordering lasagne. Nonetheless, our order was taken quickly and efficiently and we were left to enjoy the view outside (JLT’s murky lake, which, admittedly, was looking rather less murky than usual) and inside (the chef preparing my pizza from scratch in the open kitchen). And if we’d wanted to take a working lunch, we could have done – Pizzame has free Wi-Fi. A nice touch.

A bresaola pizza camouflaged in a thick heap of fresh rocket leaves arrived at our table, accompanied by a handsomely portioned lasagne served in an oval dish, plus a side of chilli oil and two fizzing glasses of San Pellegrino. I had no qualms about my pizza – its crust was fresh, warm and the right side of crispy, the rich tomato paste was generously spread and the cherry tomatoes added tang, while the parmesan and bresaola were served in abundance. No complaints there.

My colleague would have done well to follow my lead and order pizza. While the lasagne was competently prepared, it was a tad bland. The tomato could have been richer, while an extra handful of herbs and a pinch of seasoning would not have gone amiss. Yet in spite of these observations, he still managed to clean his plate, which speaks volumes. We had no time for dessert, though those with a sweet tooth might do well to order one of the eight glasses of tiramisu that stood expectantly behind the display counter.

The bill soon arrived and we were out the door in 40 minutes. Life is full of nice little surprises; Pizzame is one.

The bill (for two)
2x Sparkling water
1x Bresaola Dhs49
1x Lasagne Dhs56
Total (excluding service) Dhs135