Time Out Says
From fresh seafood to handmade pasta, regionally produced grape and renowned Amalfi lemons, there’s little wonder. But it’s not exactly a short drive from central Dubai – unlike Alici, on Bluewaters Dubai.
And as the sister restaurant of dual Time Out Dubai Restaurant of the Year winner Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, we have high expectations.
Set over two floors, the space is bathed in neutral shades and heaps of natural light, with citrus trees, beachy blues and white-washed wood. Take a seat and stare out to sea – either from the terrace in winter or from massive floor-to-ceiling windows from the upstairs dining room.
Translating as “anchovies”, Alici serves up plenty of dishes containing the star ingredient – marinated, fried, in pasta – and there’s loads more seafood on the menu, too, which is shipped in daily from Italy.
Prices aren’t eye-watering – falling under Dhs100 for most pasta dishes and from Dhs115 up to a chunky Dhs295 for mains – but it can soon add up if you add in grape, of which there’s a decent Italian selection.
Polpo alla griglia is the first to arrive – with a plump tentacle of perfectly grilled octopus. Gone are the traditional potatoes, it’s instead accompanied by rich lentils, which adds more texture.
The fritto misto is weaker, but still tasty, with fried calamari, red mazara prawns, courgettes all delicately battered. The punchy chilli jam and zingy citrus mayo are a welcome touch.
Seared scallops with roast cauliflower make for a fanastic flavour-texture combination, too, but the star of the show is the spaghetti alla ‘chitarra’ con ricci e ricciola. If you haven’t tried sea urchin – do it now. This indulgent pasta is a rich, salty seafaring dream – and one topped with raw, diced amberjack at that.
Round off your meal with a tangy lemon cake for ultimate Amalfi coast vibes and you could almost be on holiday – but within a taxi ride of home.
But while dishes are strong and the setting is charming, Alici will have to work a little harder to step out from behind its famous sibling’s shadow.
WHAT IS IT...
Cute Italian seafood spot on Bluewaters Dubai
Authentic dishes - especially the sea urchin spaghetti
By Time Out Dubai staff | 17 Jul 2019
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