Al Fresco

Routine Italian Restaurant offers few surprises from its central Sheik Zayed Road location 24 Reviews

alfrescocrowne
© ITP Images

It needs to be said straightaway that the Crowne Plaza’s Italian is misleadingly named. Although there are a few tables in a crowded outdoor courtyard, the vast majority are inside a greenhouse-like dining room. The space is remarkable in that there is nothing quite like it in Dubai. Yet the same cannot be said of the food. Spaghetti Bolognese, penne arrabbiatta and a carbonara have all been seen and tasted many times before. Pizzas, thankfully, fare a little better. Cooked in an Italian-style with thin, crispy crusts, they also tend to come with generous dollops of tomato sauce. Try the beef bresaola with rocket and parmesan. At around Dhs50, they represent decent value for money for a busy central location such as this. If you’re in the neighbourhood, Al Fresco might be a decent option as a regular, but it is not worth crossing town for.

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.

Details

  • Location: Crowne Plaza Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 331 1111
  • Travel: Sheikh Zayed Road
  • Website | Send mail

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User reviews

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DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Romantic

User reviews:

Posted by: Giovanni on 13 Apr ' 13 at 17:34
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I love the food and the service in this restaurant, always the food is nice and well presented, even the service is attentive and nice. Very well done

Posted by: Sabrina on 01 Mar ' 13 at 19:05
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

That is one of the best Italian restaurant out of Italy

Posted by: Valentina on 01 Feb ' 13 at 19:47
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Do not need to visit Italy to taste the real Italian food. After visiting many Italian restaurants, I can say that I found my favourite one in Dubai. Great food, great choice and great value. Will come back soon.

Posted by: Antony on 18 May ' 12 at 20:56
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Restaurant is old, but food and service bring up evary think

Posted by: Gianluca on 30 Mar ' 12 at 11:40
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

The dinner was just fantastic, and the staff vary friendly

Posted by: ms. Aruni Kalawila on 14 Mar ' 12 at 08:37
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We are from colombo and was at the restaurant a few weeks ago, the food is just so good that we even wanted to take pizza away, the girls who served were so friendly and warm....

Posted by: Nihal Weerasiri on 14 Mar ' 12 at 08:32
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

excellent food and the service to match for, an excellen wine list with tempting desrt too

Posted by: Samuele on 05 Jan ' 12 at 18:51
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: David on 12 Dec ' 11 at 18:03
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Giorgio on 28 Nov ' 11 at 18:18
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Samuel on 19 Nov ' 11 at 19:24
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Vary nice

Posted by: Valentina on 13 Nov ' 11 at 17:41
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Stefano Busi on 03 Nov ' 11 at 14:56
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Davide Patruno on 10 Sep ' 11 at 11:06
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: lucas on 02 Jul ' 11 at 19:23
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Good change " new menu"

Posted by: frey on 03 Jun ' 11 at 12:23
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

perfect

Posted by: Antonio on 27 May ' 11 at 13:27
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Antonio on 27 May ' 11 at 13:27
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Fay on 25 May ' 11 at 10:35
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

My friend took me to this restaurant when i first came to Dubai and at first glance i thought 'why is she bringing me here?' but then we went inside ordered our food and wine from the very hospitable waiters and i immediately liked the place....then the food came which was delicious! I recommend to everyone, dont be steered away from the exterior just give it a try. I have been back several times since and tried different dishes which have all been as good as the one before.

Posted by: Catherine on 01 Mar ' 10 at 06:02
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  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

The best pizza I have had in Dubai so far, great to have proper pork options too. The service is good but the food takes a while, so if you are in a hurry you may not have time for coffee. It feels like a small trattoria, the décor is a little hit and miss but it does the job. Nice and cosy.

Posted by: mohamed on 08 Feb ' 10 at 08:02
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  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Lucy on 21 Oct ' 09 at 08:33
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  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

If it didn't call itselt Italian, there would no way of telling that it is just from the way it looks. The decor feels like it was scrambled together from whatever the cheapest options of various fittings were available. Outdoor "terrace" with poor neon lighting and off-white marble tiles (whether originally or faded due to time) resembles nothing more than a restroom and should probably only be used as a smoking area once the effort is put into redecorating it.
The menu is rather simple with nothing unexpected, although puzzling as to why they've decided to put pork dishes on a separate page when there are only 5 of them including starters. There was no wine list and waiting staff had to list the wines verbally.
Potato gnocchi in creamy mushroom sauce were too mushy and lacked a lot of taste while the mushrooms were bitter. Tagliatelle not only tasted store bought but was also stuck together in an odd pile in the center of the plate; thankfully, prawns were not overcooked but the tomato sauce was very weak. Mains portion sizes were large enough for two but it's no help when even one does not want to finish them. Luckily, Italian pinot grigio was decent enough to be enjoyed on its own. Baked cheesecake was too dry and the ice cream on top of it tasted like there was nothing but vanilla in it along with a completely frozen centre. The assortment of Italian pastries was delicious but microscopic and thus not very satisfying.
This place might be best suited for business people staying at the hotel and even then the prices should be reduced for making anyone go through a meal there. Alternatively, they could try a complete makeover in every field except service.

Posted by: Lyndsay Iles on 06 Sep ' 09 at 14:36
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Posted by: Matteo on 04 Apr ' 09 at 07:19
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Always a good choice.

A good pasta and a bottle of Frascati - Al Fresco is value for money

Forget all other restaurants in 5 stars hotel

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