When the chef behind a restaurant that boasts 3 Michelin stars and topped the list of the World's Fifty Best Restaurants in 2018 opens in Dubai, expectation levels will be high. Earlier this year, the charismatic chef of world renowned Osteria Francescana and celebrity chef featured in season one of Netflix's Chef's Table, Massimo Bottura, opened his first restaurant outside of Italy at the W Dubai Palm Jumeirah.
Walking through the hotel towards the restaurant is impressive, as you pass the lobby and its amazing chandelier, then the long corridor with bright zig-zag floor lights before you reach Torno Subito. The interior is also not what you would expect from an Italian restaurant and like Massimo Bottura, is bold, bright and colourful. For our starter we shared the Modern Salad, 14 different ingredients that can be found on the journey from Moderna in Italy to Dubai. The colourful salad was bursting with flavours that made each mouthful taste different. For the pasta, there really was no other choice than Tagliatelle al Ragu. Apparently the only dish that is served in Bottura’s Modena restaurant as well as Dubai and, in typical Italian style, his grandmother’s recipe. The hand chopped wagyu beef was tasty and dominated all the great flavours in the whole dish. Our advice would be don’t share as every mouthful of this dish makes you wanting more.
For mains we opted for Polpo, a generous portion of meaty chunks of octopus. Perfectly cooked throughout and accompanied well with a green pea sauce and pickled vegetables. The other main was the Guancia, a tender wagyu cheek, cooked for 18 hours and served with sautéed spinach and a carrot and ginger puree. A combination of the quality of the wagyu and the 18 hours of gentle cooking, ensured this dish fell apart at the touch and was close to melting in the mouth.
Every meal should end with a great dessert. To finish we had the Tiramisubito and Fragole e Panna. As far as tiramisu goes, this one was up there with the best, full of the flavours you would expect and a great texture, made it an absolute pleasure on the palate. It is not very often that a tiramisu can be beaten, but on this occasion it would be fair to say that the flavour combination of strawberry and vanilla with a sweet and tasty cookie just pipped it in the best dessert stakes.
Torno Subito is Italian for "I will be right back", and after this experience, we most certainly will.
Expect to pay Dhs 350 per person for a three course meal not including any drinks.