Ciao Ristorante

Once upon a time, Ciao used to be Grill Room, but has undergone a change of name (obviously), menu (though steaks still feature) and a mild refurbishment (a new carpet and some new pictures on the wall – or so I was told by the lady over the phone). I’d never visited the Grill Room, so I couldn’t tell you how different Ciao is to its previous incarnation, but in its favour it’s a cosy venue that only needs a few tables-worth of guests to create a lively atmosphere. It was clear from looking at the menu that Ciao was by no means attempting to push culinary boundaries – its antipasti, pasta, pizza and pesce dishes are served in Italian restaurants the world over. But as simple as the menu is, it’s relatively varied, and in order to sample a cross section of dishes, my date and I agreed to share a calamari starter with tomato salsa and aioli, and a pizza, before tackling the main course. Ciao only offers margarita pizza, but diners can also order from a selection of toppings – Dhs5 each, plus real pepperoni, which costs a handsome Dhs25. We instead opted for the beef pepperoni, only to be told that there was no beef pepperoni, just dried beef. Dried beef? Well, why not? By the time our starters arrived, we’d managed to get through two baskets of bread. It was good bread, but this doesn’t excuse the fact that we had time to eat so much of the stuff while we waited. Not only was I annoyed, but I was full, and had the starters been any good I would have been more annoyed. I wasn’t missing out – the calamari was poorly presented and dry (the tomato salsa and aioli never materialised), while the pizza appeared, then disappeared when the waitress realised it hadn’t been cut into slices. Granted, traditional Italian pizza isn’t cut into slices, but then traditional Italian pizza isn’t often served with dried beef topping. On the strength of the starters we were in no hurry for the mains, which is just as well because they took an age to arrive. When they did, it transpired that only 150g of my date’s 300g sirloin was edible – the other half consisted of gristle and fat. He did, however, say the fries were excellent, though no Italian restaurant should be commended on the strength of its French fries. My scaloppini di manzo was far better – the meat was soft, well seasoned and very tasty. I dare say I’d have really enjoyed it if I hadn’t already eaten my bodyweight in bread. Besides, I was too busy writing this review in my head – trying to work out a clever way to say ‘ciao’ to Ciao once and for all. The bill (for two) 1x Calamari fritti Dhs45 1x Pizza with six toppings Dhs90 1x Sirloin steak Dhs140 1x Scaloppini di manzo Dhs145 Total (including 10 per cent service) Dhs420

Places Near Ciao Ristorante

Bliss Lounge
Bliss Lounge

This is indeed a welcome addition to JBR. We’ve always been surprised (and ever so slightly frustrat...

Moods Bar
Moods Bar

It’s downright baffling to us that Moods isn’t busier — what with the fact it gives drinks away, f...

Black Canyon
Black Canyon

Black Canyon was founded in Thailand in 1993, initially operating as a Coffee Shop serving the highe...

P/25
P/25

P/25, or Penthouse 25, sits on the 25th floor of Ocean View Hotel in JBR — those afraid of heights...

Tribeca Kitchen+Bar
Tribeca Kitchen+Bar

New York’s Tribeca neighbourhood is known to be stylish and trendy and attracts a young, hip and wea...

Caffè Via
Caffè Via

Caffé Via apparently means ‘street-side café’ in Italian. So as you might expect, this new ven...

Girders
Girders

This sports orientated bar will feature a 103 inch screen television, as well as 5 42 inch televisio...

The Sultan of Lancaster
The Sultan of Lancaster

To British curry fiends, a restaurant called The Sultan of Lancaster would bring to mind a dimly lit...

Chocolat Chic
Chocolat Chic

If, like me, the lure of a sweet treat is enough to entice you off your sun lounger come midday, you...

SpaDunya
SpaDunya

With a focus on colour therapy, the treatments at SpaDunya are all based on ‘holistic vibrational...

Piazza Italia
Piazza Italia

Some reviews are harder to compose than others. The reviews I loathe to write concern achingly likea...

The Beach - JBR
The Beach - JBR

THE BEACH is the only place in Dubai where you can feel the sand between your toes moments before di...

Rosso
Rosso

For an unpretentious midweek drink with pals, we’re not sure there’s anywhere more universally welco...

Bazerkan
Bazerkan

If you ever find yourself wondering what you’re doing in Dubai, head over to Bazerkan at JBR for a r...

Pushkin
Pushkin

Burrowed into the end of the Amwaj section of JBR, Pushkin announces itself to passersby regal banne...