When Torno Subito, Massimo Bottura’s celebrated restaurant located in W Dubai – The Palm temporarily closed its doors back in March, I instantly regretted never visiting despite it being on my wish list, and willed it to re-open as the city started to get back on its feet.
Thankfully we can take the celebrity chef at his word and the restaurant, the name of which translates as, I’ll be right back, is indeed back with a bang.
The highly stylised interior inspired by the Italian Riviera during la dolce vita is filled with playful ’60s touches but there’s nothing frivolous or retro about the menu, and Chef Bernardo Paladini who is the handpicked protégé of Bottura, has spent the last three months in Italy honing his skills alongside the culinary maestro to offer Dubai diners an unforgettable experience.
Safely sanitised and temperatures taken, we opted to sit al fresco on the beachside terrace and were invited by Paladini to sample a hand-picked tasting menu instead of ordering a la carte. While the regular menu isn’t vast (it consists of five sections featuring starters, pasta, mains, pizza and dessert), it was proving difficult to whittle down the plethora of pasta options alone so a specially curated menu was the perfect way to try as many dishes as possible.
To start, Paladini’s inventive take on “yesterday’s bread” which translated as rich, buttery breadcrumbs mixed with the tastiest tomato sauce that had me, quite literally, scraping the bowl, before we moved on to a prawn cocktail that looked and tasted nothing like the original, and baccalà – creamed cod, bread and onion sauce and crispy vegetables.
Roasted octopus served with smoked potato cream, veal juice, hazelnuts and puffed vegetables, tagliatelle al ragu for my plus one (one of Massimo’s personal faves), lemony linguine vongole for me, and a slice of pizza each finished off the savoury section of the meal before we moved on to dessert – Tiramisubito.
With Osteria Francescana, Bottura’s restaurant in Modena, being named the best restaurant in the world in 2018, we had high hopes for Torno Subito, and everything from the focaccia in the breadbasket to the deconstructed tiramisu to finish off our meal was incredible. Coronavirus willing, I’ll definitely be back.
Tagliatelle al Ragu