10 to try: Pizzas

<em>Time Out</em> has a hankering for good pizza. Here is our pick of some of Dubai’s best

Frankie Dettorie
Frankie Dettorie
Eating In

Cheap and cheerful

Ordering Process: Time Out lives in the middle of blimmin’ nowhere (you have to drive up a dirt road to get there), so when we try to explain this to the lady on the other end of the phone, she panics and passes us over to someone else. She’s brave enough to take the food order a few minutes later, though, and it’s fairly straightforward. The delivery guy finds us just fine. Result.

Delivery Time: 50 minutes

Temperature on arrival: Warm enough. Lacking roof-of-mouth-blisteringly molten hot cheese is a bonus, actually.

The taste: The Tres Amigos meat feast is acceptable – it’s the kind of average, functional pizza that would work well at the end of a night out. The calzone con carne is a winner: soft dough and surprisingly bacon-y tasting beef bacon are highlights.
Dhs25-33 for regular, Dhs 35-43 for large. Emaar (04 360 7700). Open 11am-12 midnight daily, Mirdif (04 288 3420). Open 12 noon-12 midnight daily,

Pane Caldo
Classy pizzas at classy prices

Ordering Process: Hassle-free, with minimal repetition and a promise that the driver will call when he’s on his way (which he does).

Delivery Time: 45 minutes

Temperature on arrival: Warmer than lukewarm, but not quite hot.

The taste: The Genovese pizza is a find. Boasting massive, meaty prawns, red hot chillies and an artistic drizzle of pesto, it’s pretty special, and the ultra-thin, non-greasy base feels authentically Italian (they even import their flour from Italy, don’t you know). The Capri calzone is a bit odd, though. Stuffed chock full of egg, it’s difficult to taste much else.
Dhs32-47 for regular, Dhs40-55 for large. Uptown Mirdiff mall, 04 288 8319. Open 12 noon-12 midnight daily, www.pane-caldo.ae

Pizza Express
Medium price, small pie

Ordering process: Ordering was a fairly straightforward affair, but receiving our booty took longer than we would have liked. They promised half an hour – but they lied.

Delivery time: 45 minutes

Temperature on arrival: Moderate

The taste: This is the type of place that could only be popular in a country not familiar with good Italian pizza. While it’s not mind blowing fare – the dough’s a bit thick, the portions a bit small – it suits well for lunch or a lazy evening after work. There’s also a good array of options, from chicken tikka to spicy meat.
Dhs30-40 depending on toppings. Al Safa Centre, Al Wasl Road (04 394 5616), Ibn Battuta (04 368 5134), Bin Sougat Centre (04 285 2393), Uptown Mirdif, opposite Emirates Bank (04 288 8040), Jumeirah Beach Residence Walk (04 437 0171). Open 12 noon- 11.30pm daily


Value: Cheap and cheesy

Ordering process: Polite, strong accents

Deliver time: 30 minutes

Temperature on arrival: Very hot.

The taste: While we approve of the good range of toppings, the crust is too doughy, and the pizzas as a whole really aren’t all that. If you’re not too picky, they’ll probably satisfy, but aficionados should avoid.
Dhs32 for small, Dhs42 for medium, Dhs54 for large and Dhs68 for family size. Satwa (04 398 6684), Garhoud (04 282 0666), Karama (04 396 6999), DMC (04 361 6776), Jebel Ali (04 881 0808), World Trade Centre (04 331 5777). Open 11am-12midnight daily

Value: Small and pricey

Ordering process: The woman who took our order spoke clearly and was efficient, if a bit chilly. But at least we knew she understood what we wanted.

Deliver time: 30 minutes

Temperature on arrival: Hot

The taste: It was a nice little pizza, though for Dhs48, we expected it to be bigger. Still, the dough was medium bodied and pliant – just the way we like it – and the toppings (an array of fresh veggies) satisfied. Not straight from Italy, but good for Dubai.
Dhs44-63 depending on toppings. Dubai Marina, Marina Walk (04 422 2632). Open 11am-2am daily. Other locations: Al Barsha (04 340 3015)

Eating Out

Après: Service can be a bit on the too-attentive side, with three waiters per table at times. But the pizzas, though a bit pricey, are very good, and very large. The huge pollo picante pizza (sweet peppers, chicken and chilli oil) is fresh and appealingly non-greasy. The base is deliciously thin and not too doughy, making room for the toppings. While at Dhs65, we’re paying more than we’d like to for pizza, it is one of the best value options on the Après menu. If money is no object, Après rates pretty highly on taste, but the price makes it more of a sometimes treat than somewhere to regularly pop in to for a bite.
Dhs65-75. Mall of the Emirates (04 341 2575). Open 12 noon-11pm daily

Soto Soto: For an Italian restaurant, there is a limited selection of pizzas on offer at Soto Soto. but, with half the pizza menu offering (rather oddly, we think) various fish toppings, what little there is doesn’t really excite too much. The classic pies, however, are a good enough bet. The pepperoni we ordered had a good classic flavour, but the ruspante pizza – loaded with chicken pieces and green pepper slices – came out oily and bland. No wonder each table carries shakers of parmesan, oregano and ground chilli. While the service is friendly and prompt, Soto Soto isn’t ideal if you’re craving an authentic pizza.
Dhs49-79. Dhow Palace Hotel (04 359 9992). Open 12.30pm-3.30 pm, 7.30pm-12 midnight daily

Medzo: We think this may just be the best pizza we’ve had in Dubai. Yes, we mean it. Flaky, thin crust meets a superb set of ingredients, from gooey buffalo mozzarella to sharp, ripe tomatoes. There may not be a massive selection, but the few options they have make delectable savouries. We adore the goat’s cheese version, which comes topped with plump sun dried tomatoes and bright green rocket. The wood oven adds an authentic touch, too.
Dhs77-99. Wafi (04 324 0000). Open 12.30pm-3p, 7.30pm-11.30pm daily

Frankie’s Italian Bar & Grill: Frankie’s pizzas are mostly reliable. They’re gourmet, which means they incorporate fine ingredients, such as buffalo mozzarella and anchovies, but there still isn’t as much variety as one would like, and the prices are on the high side for what you get. Still, we’d rate them higher than Locatelli’s, but certainly below Medzo.
Dhs55-89. Al Fattan Marine Towers, Dubai Marina (04 399 4311; www.frankiesitalianbarandgrill.com). Open 6pm-11.45pm, Thu-Sat also 12.30pm-3.30 pm daily

Certo: Certo does classical Italian pizza with utter panache. Thin crust, hearth-baked and incorporating some of the finest Italian ingredients, it’s difficult not to love this pizza. There is also a wide range of the types of pies these guys deliver. You can get yours made as a classic margarita, or with speck (cured beef) and scamorza (Italian cheese).
Dhs47-58. Radisson SAS Hotel, Media City (04 366 9111). Open 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-11pm daily

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