There are many kinds of Italian restaurant in Dubai, from smart unlicensed bistros to sparkling high-end venues in five-star hotels and homely old-school joints with chequered tablecloths and candles. With the introduction of MATTO, we seem to have something new. An industrial-chic Italian.
Set on the lobby level of The Oberoi in Business Bay, the dining room has stark décor, with neon signage and a giant mural at one end. It’s a striking look, and one that certainly makes an impression.
However, despite the cold appearance, the atmosphere inside is warm, especially when it comes to the menu, which is filled with dishes that sound like they were created by “nonnas” and passed down from generation to generation.
A new one on us is the Tagliata di Tonno, pictured above. It’s a yellowfin tuna fillet with a salty, sesame crust. The fish is incredibly fresh and the kitchen cook it perfectly – seared on the outside but pink in the middle. The seasoned crust lends a crunch, and the bed of spinach it sits on adds oily richness. Spooned over the top is a salsa of olives, tomatoes and herbs. It’s a dish that tastes as good as it looks.
Other highlights from the menu include aubergine and burrata pacherri pasta, lamb shank, and a selection of flatbreads and pizzas from the imposing wood-fired oven.
For those with a sweet tooth, there’s also a very good selection of cannoli, the creamy Sicilian treat, and the MATTO Rock, an incredible Ferrero Rocher-inspired cake.
Dhs135. MATTO, The Oberoi Dubai, Business Bay (04 444 1335).