After nearly nine years on Dubai’s dining scene, Ronda Locatelli (the concept by celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli), is a family favourite on the city’s dining circuit, and we’re curious to take our tribe over and see if it still lives up to expectations.
If you’re four-feet-tall, the imposing entrance, with its flickering flame-adorned name-plate, is jaw-dropping.
Once (finally) inside the restaurant we’re handed a colourful menu and served a selection of bread and oils.
It’s a mid-week evening but the restaurant’s stylishly dark, lofty interior still has a quiet buzz about it.
We kick off with some starters, which are the stand-out of the meal. Delicately battered salt and pepper prawns with lemon mayonnaise are melt-in-the-mouth, and we could easily eat more of the carpaccio di manzo with peppery rocket leaves.
The mains are good enough, but don’t wow. A duck ragu with spinach linguine is rich and full of a flavour, but becomes a little monotonous around halfway through. The pizza dough is plump, fresh and tasty, though.
There is no set kids’ menu, making for a more expensive than average children’s meal but the quality is good and the food is served swiftly.
Simple mains such as tomato penne pasta and a classic margherita pizza (more of that delicious dough) are gone within minutes.
To finish, the little ones love their trio of fruity sorbet, while the affogato provides an icy-cold and satisfying end to the meal.
This may not be the newest Italian in town, but it’s still very much holding its own.
Open Sat-Wed noon-5pm, 6pm-10.30pm, Thu-Frinoon-3pm-5pm, 6pm-11.30pm. Licensed. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
The bill (for four)
1x carpaccio di manzo Dhs86
1x battered prawns Dhs90
1x spinach and duck linguine Dhs115
1x pistachio pizza Dhs90
1x pomodoro penne Dhs55
1x margherita pizza Dhs45
1x affogato Dhs35
2x sorbet Dhs90
Total (inc service) Dhs606
The bottom line
A mix of very good and unusual in a vibrant, five-star setting.