Tag Archives: Traditional Italian Food

Ronda Locatelli – One of the best Italian Restaurant in Dubai

I’ve been several times to Ronda Locatelli, an Italian restaurant chain founded the 14th February 2002 in Seymour Street in London by Giorgio Locatelli and soon after awarded with one Michelin Star which has been retained every year since. After the success obtained in the UK, luckily enough for us living in Dubai, Mr. Locatelli decided to open a similar restaurant in the luxurious Atlantis the Palm hotel.

The restaurant ambiance is great, with a big pizza oven at the center of the restaurant and dimmed lights to create the perfect dining atmosphere.

Ronda Locatelli Dubai

A view of Ronda Locatelli taken from TimeOut Duba

At Ronda Locatelli the staff is very well trained and from the moment to step into the restaurant until you leave satisfied with the delicacies provided by the chef, it is a continuous flow of smiles and politeness that increase the enjoyment of the dinner.

I usually visit Ronda Locatelli for the excellent pizza, my favorite is the speck, Gorgonzola and porcini mushrooms one but this time the chef caught my attention with a very particular set menu exploring the culinary traditions of the Italian Region Veneto.

Our waiter was very nice and able to satisfy our requests. The special menu consisted in a 4 courses: 1 of two starter options (polenta with stracchino cheese or sardines Venetian style); 1 of two pasta/soup options (beetroot ravioli or spelt soup); 1 of two main course options (baccala’ that is cod fish the Vicenza’s way or rabbit) and 1 desert. We asked for two set menus and told the waiter to bring us both options where available so to taste the entire menu. He was so proactive that he managed to serve the dishes already split in two for maximum comfort.

The starters very really good even though simple as the Italian cuisine dictates. The sardines with onions and the crunchy fried polenta with stracchino cheese were delicate and yummi.

Starters at Ronda Locatelli

On the left the cold sardines with onions; on the right the grilled polenta with stracchino cheese and onions.

The spelt soup was enriched by some pumpkin made gnocchi that well combined with the delicate taste of the spelt. The beetroot ravioli were delicious. I wish I could have an additional portion or may be two.

Soup and Ravioli at Ronda Locatelli

Left: beetroot ravioli; Right: spelt soup with pumpkin gnocchi and crunchy Parmesan

The main course was superlative. Cod fish with tomato sauce and rabbit are two of the main traditional dishes in Liguria, the region where I come from. It was really enjoyable to try them in this different fashion.

Main Course at Ronda Locatelli

The cod fish in tomato sauce and olives was really yummy

The dessert is very particular. As admitted by the chef himself, not everybody likes it but it is the traditional recipe as every grandma in Veneto would do.

Dessert at Ronda Locatelli

At the end of the meal, chef Salvo visited our table and with a bright smile he genuinely asked an opinion on the menu and the food provided. He informed us that he is going to explore the traditional delicacies of each and every Italian region in an attempt to make the menu more interesting and challenging also for the team in the kitchen.

At the moment of the bill we didn’t have any bad surprise since the prices are in line with the competitors and met our expectations considering the quality and quantity of the food.

To be honest, 195 AED for the amazing menu offered is a really convenient bargain. 

Recipe Corner: Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino (Garlic Olive Oil and Chilly)

You might believe it or not, but in Italy we have a quite common tradition to have a midnight Spaghettata (Spaghetti festival) with friends during summer time, to celebrate a successful event organized or simply after a party. Since it is late in the night and there is not much time to prepare a complicated condiment, the most commonly prepared dish is Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino (Spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chilly).

This dish is super easy to prepare and gives you a blast of taste and energy. The presence of chilly, moreover, makes this plate suitable to fight against flue and other similar infections.

We can make it in 10 minutes, just the time to cook the spaghetti. Just put extra virgin olive oil in a pan and heat it. Once it is hot put in the pan some garlic cloves and let them brown. I usually use 2 cloves per person but you are free to follow your taste buds.

Once the cloves are golden color, remove them from the oil and add the chilly, preferably the fresh small red chilly peppers from southern Italy that you have sliced in advance. If you do not have fresh chilly peppers, you can use the dry flakes or powder. Just remember that the powder will burn quickly and its flavor will be stronger in the oil.

Pay attention to two things: wash thoughtfully your hands after having cut the peppers and keep the heat on low/medium to avoid the chilly, rich in water, to violently react in the oil. You shall just let the peppers release their flavor in the oil. No need to cook or burn them. How much chilly to add? It is entirely upon you and your taste as well as the choice to leave the peppers inside the oil (as I do) or remove them (this option is not possible if you use the powder).

If you we have planned the cooking session at the perfection, at this time we should have the spaghetti cooked and ready to be drained. Once you have done so, put them in the pan with the oil and let them “fry” a bit with moderate to high heat, continuously tossing them.

At my place, we add at the “frying” spaghetti an handful of bread crumbs that will make your pasta even crunchier.

Serve hot with a handful of grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Speghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio are the easiest one to be prepared by also the tastiest. I have used chilly flakes this time.