How did Ramadan go by so quickly this year? Gone are the days of long, lazy, quiet summers. It’s been all guns blazing this year, especially at work. In my previous life working at a PR agency, we used the down time to meet clients, usually over business lunches. As we broke bread with those we only really knew over email (no alcohol during working hours in this part of the world, I’m afraid), we got to know them better, learnt more about their business and personal lives, and formed better relationships that later resulted in additional projects being signed on or contracts renewed.
Now that I’ve moved client-side, business lunches are more a way for me to sample food at restaurants I’ve been lusting over without breaking the bank. I’ve tried several restaurants this way, especially those located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) area.
Roberto Rella from the famed Italian restaurant Roberto’s in DIFC has recently opened a new Italian spot across the road. Taking over three floors of the Radisson Royal Hotel, TRE by Roberto Rella (Tre = three) offers “Italian cuisine with a Mediterranean influence”. The venue features a main dining room on the 49th floor with beautiful views of the towers lining Sheikh Zayed Road and the original icon of Dubai, the Sheikh Rashid Tower. It is truly one of my favourite buildings in Dubai, one I grew up looking at in awe, the first tall building in the UAE and it really was the ‘end of Dubai city’ as we knew it. It brings back a lot of good memories. A lounge is located on the 50th floor with a DJ spinning tunes into the wee hours. This floor also houses ‘The King’s Room’, a glassed-off private area complete with a throne – perfect for the high-rollers and bachelor parties, I’d imagine! The 51st floor features a bar with a live jazz band.
A few weeks ago, She said was invited to sample the menu of the since launched ‘Convivio’, TRE’s first business lunch offering. Convivio in Italian means a ‘social gathering’. I haven’t had such good Italian food in a long time; everything we tasted was so beautifully put together and the Italian hospitality was charming. Good Italian food to me is just a few ingredients simply prepared yet full of flavour. Namrata and I were thrilled to find some of our favourites on the menu, all of which were simple but perfectly executed (and generous portions too). TRE’s business lunch is both, reasonably priced and serves up quality Italian fare in a spectacular setting; I’d say you should check it out straight away.
Here’s some of what we tried and loved:
Burratina – Parma ham, burratina cheese, semi dried figs, balsamic paste
Calamero and gamberi – Deep fried calamari, shrimp and zucchini served with tartare sauce
Tomino – Grilled Tomino cheese, smoked eggplant, brown butter and white balsamic vinegar sauce
Other choices of antipasti include: Parmigiana – Eggplant, parmesan cheese, mozzarella and basil; Giardino – Mixed lettuce, star artichokes, beetroot, fennel; Uovo – Slow cooked egg aspargus, black summer truffle cream, macadamia; Zuppa – Green pea soup with fish ragout; and Contadina – Bean soup, basil pesto, parmesan cheese.
For mains, we devoured:
Risotto with chicken and leeks
Ravioloni – Mascarpone and green pea ravioli with hazelnut butter
Branzino – Pan fried sea bass with mixed mushroom and tomato concise
Other second course options include: Risotto – Porcini mushroom risotto with parmesan cheese; Risotto nero – Squid ink risotto, calamari julienne, sea urchin; Norcina – Tagliatelle pasta with pork sausage, porcini mushrooms, truffle oil; Arrabbiata – penne with spicy tomato and garlic sauce; Salmone – char grilled Tasmanian salmon, potatoes, zucchini, capers, cherry tomatoes; and Milanese – Pounded breaded chicken escalope, roasted carrot, salted new potatoes
The happiness dint end there. Dessert tasted as good as it looked! Some of the desserts they have to offer include:
Chocolate truffle – Aerated pistachio cake, toasted chocolate ganache, salted caramel (top right)
Cream caramel – Grapefruit sorbet, caramel sauce (bottom left)
Zuppa inglese – sponge cake soaked in syrup, vanilla and cocoa custard (not pictured)
Almond cake with strawberry compote and rhubarb (top left)
TRE’s business lunch costs AED 105 for two courses or AED 125 for three courses. A rotating menu ensures that if you go often, you’ll easily try a variety of dishes.
I for one can’t wait to go back. Lunch date anyone?
Do leave a comment and let us know which is your favourite business lunch in Dubai.
LOCATION – TRE by Roberto Rella, 49th floor, Radisson Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
DISCLOSURE: We were invited to this menu tasting by the awesome peeps at TOH PR. As always, all opinions are our own.