We’re a bit spoilt for choice when it comes to Italian cuisine in Dubai, but La Veranda offers something unique. Let’s face it, al-fresco dining is a more favourable option for kids than frosty, air-conditioned indoor restaurants.
This cosy trattoria, situated directly on the beach, affords a casual and unpretentious atmosphere – not to mention breathtaking views and space enough to run around – that makes it a great choice for families. While we waited for the food, we enjoyed warm, freshly baked bread which was devoured in minutes by the kids who loved dipping it into a selection of Mediterranean oils.
Our children have outgrown kids’ menus, but for tiny tots, the Sinbad selection is printed on a comic and includes healthy yet typical dishes such as burgers, individual pizzas and fish fingers served with a portion of fruit and vegetables.
The lasagne, which, along with a hefty Caesar salad, was shared by dad and daughter, was meaty and tasty, but not too heavy, and certainly got the approval of my eight-year-old who finished more than half the dish on her own. The salami pizza – baked before us in the centrepiece wood fi re oven – was devoured by my eldest before we could study it in detail, but appeared to be equally generous with its toppings.
The seafood pizza had a generous helping of prawns – once they were located under a mountain of rocket leaves – and was cooked to perfection with the edges a little crispy and the toppings succulent and tender.
For adults, the relaxing marina views and sound of water lapping not only make this restaurant enjoyable but also lend a luxurious and vibrant feel, made even more enjoyable by the fact the kids can potter along the beachfront in full view. Well-priced pizza, pastas and seafood, with good-sized portions served by amicable staff, there’s a rustic feel to this beach side which, rightly so, makes it a favourite among local residents and foreign visitors alike.
La Veranda, Jumeirah Beach Hotel (04 406 8999). Open daily noon- 11pm. All major credit cards accepted. Average price of a family