The visit to Andiamo made me realize, how unaware we are as foodies, because no matter how much we eat (even of a certain cuisine), there’s still something somewhere waiting to awe us. Today I was stumped after having a meal of a lifetime at Andiamo. I’m happy high because of their food, and this review is straight out of oven, I mean just written few hours after the meal. Excuse me while I lick my lips…aah that heavenly Tiramisu. Later on that.
Though I am tempted to write about the food, let me first tell you about the ambience. Because that’s what really enticed me to get inside. I have been going to Grand Hyatt for quite a while now, but never veered towards this side of their restaurant cluster. A Vespa awaits you outside, with a large 8 seater couch sitting beside. Waiting would be fun! But I doubt if there would be a waiting line ever. No, not because of the lack of popularity of the restaurant, but because it can feed an army! Yes, it’s that big. In fact big is an understatement. It’s humungous. It can easily be segregated into 4 sections, all big enough individually than regular standalone restaurants. Now you know the scale?
As you enter, there is a cute, dimly lit area with low seating of couches, and an extra large community table as well. Chandeliers made out of green bottles hang above each table, their light emitting a romantic glow. And there’s another Vespa hung on the wall! This is the quietest area they have, with French windows looking out into the hotel. On the right is the dining hall, bordered by food counters and wood fired oven. This area leads to the outer hall, which is brightly lit, natural habitat kind of section. It’s all about vine leaves, glass facades looking out into garden, rustic wooden furniture, DJ console, bar, etc. This is the section that defines Andiamo. The vibe of being in nature, in somewhat Italian countryside. In winters this is an open area, in summers it cooled by the air-conditioning. But the presence of so many plants makes it feel like as if sitting in winters in a garden.
Now the best part. Their food. It’s North Italian, as the website says. And Sicilian, as the usher said. An extra dose of cherry tomatoes do stamp the Sicilian mark. But what is interesting is that the food wasn’t too tomato-ish. Since we were hungry, we ordered more than we could eat, more so because their menu had many things we wanted to try out. The breads
The Minestrone Soup is one of the best we’ve had in Dubai. The broth carrying the true flavours of the veggies. Then came the starter – Fagottini. It’s a folded crepe filled with ricotta cheese & sundried tomato paste, sprinkled with Basil Pesto and served with salad leaves. This is yum to the core. I had my apprehensions that ricotta cheese might overpower the flavours, but it was balanced and somewhat sweet. A must try for everyone. We were two minded between Fagottini and Gnocchi. But glad we tried this.
For the mains, we ordered Taglioni Di Datterino Pasta and Rustica Pizza. Whatever extent I go to wax eloquent about the pasta would be less. It was a pasta that made us realized that there is still so much to explore in Italian cuisine! We have been having tomato or pesto based sauces throughout our lives. But this one took it one notch up. It was lemon flavoured (even though it’s a tomato sauce). The sweetness and tang of lemon had an enchanting effect on the pasta, giving the tastebuds the reason to hurray on each bite! Suddenly, I find myself having the best pasta of my life! As for the pizza, it was subtle and authentic. It couldn’t get more Italian than this.
After eating so much stuff, we were in no mood to have dessert. But the server girl suggested that we should have their Tiramisu in our next visit if we were too full today. That tempted us further and we straight away ordered one. And here comes the best Tiramisu in town. They sprinkled the dark chocolate powder in front of us in the big bowl of fresh Tiramisu. It was heavenly. The mascarpone cream was soft, velvety and flavoursome, while the sponge cake was subtle. The big bowl is actually good for 2 persons. This custard pudding dessert will be my reason to visit Andiamo for sure.
To sum up:
Value for money: 5/5