Drink & DineReviews

The Insider Reviews: Cucina at Marriott the Palm

Italian kitchen style dining Cucina brings a multi-experience dining option to Dubai at the newly-opened Marriott the Palm with sumptuous food and an impressive wine selection.

Many Italian restaurants have tried and failed in Dubai to bring a real taste of Italy with authentic flavour, but we were pleasantly surprised by Cucina. Literally meaning “Italian Kitchen” the style of easy, laid-back open dining manages to be perfect for romantic two-somes, families, and holiday-makers popping by for a coffee or beverage. With three venues in one, there’s something for everyone.

With an in-house Italian team and head chef, the charming and old-world style venue has a sprawling interior for their main restaurant Trattoria, (complete with large olive tree in the middle) and stunning Palm views if you exit via the terrace. We passed Sbarra, their coffee house, on the way, and reclined in a cosy leather banquette. What first caught our eye was the first-of-its-kind in the UAE self-service wine bar – yes really! – that has a variety of delicious wines on tap that you could simply help yourself to. One can only imagine the fun guests have with this on a weekend brunch.

For food we started with some truly glorious beef carpaccio, tender and flavoursome and sprinkled with fresh rocket, with a creamy Buratta and traditional Italian tomatoes on the side. Props for also baking their own fresh crusty bread which went perfectly with the olive oil and Balsamic. For mains we sampled some of their highly recommended fresh pasta, one with a minced pork and gravy that was just to die for, while we also shared a Tomahawk steak, most ostentatiously flame grilled at the table with melted butter. We washed these down with some excellent cocktails including the Amaretto Espresso Martini which proved to be lethal.

The third venue inside the kitchen was Gelateria, which boasted 18 unique and unusual homemade ice-cream flavours such as stracciatella and pistachio, but also gorgonzola with balsamic, and walnuts, and espresso flavour made with custom roasted beans. We played it safe with some vanilla and chocolate and were delighted to receive our own pouring bottles of sauce and a variety of toppings. The Gelateria is open for hotel guests for retail so it’s perfect to pop in with the kids after a day on the beach. 

There’s also a specific retail section for you to take some of the Cucina vibes home, with balsamic vinegar, tinned tomatoes, and even souvenirs, all imported from Italy. And while we didn’t spend much time in Sbarra, this was clearly a preferable spot for coffees, breakfasts, and even grab-and-go options with crusty baked bread sandwiches and other offerings in their counters.

Cucina is a spot that we predict will be universally popular with diners due to its multitude of themes and Italian cuisines all under one roof. We look forward to seeing what Head Chef Emanuele Rizzo does next with his gorgeous menu. 

For more info please visit https://www.cucinadubai.com/ or Instagram @cucinathepalm

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