Le bar à pâte

One of several new casual dining spots to have opened recently in Mercato Mall, Le bar à pâte is just exactly what the name suggests (in French), a café that specialises in pasta. Pleasingly, at this eatery the pasta is made fresh on site each day, and offers plenty of choices, including basil pasta, gnocchi and spinach and ricotta tortellini. Le bar à pâte offered plenty of seating in an open plan area within the mall, in addition to counter service and menu boards. Although there were also soups, salads and sandwiches on the menu, the pasta selection seemed the most unique, especially since dishes could be composed by choosing each element ourselves – first the variety of pasta, then the sauce, and the cheese to top the dish. Many of the sauces seemed to be exceptionally rich and heavy sounding with items such as ‘five cheese’ listed. Nevertheless, the staff were friendly and patient when faced with our indecision over what different elements to combine, offering personal suggestions. When asked, the server confirmed that the pesto was made fresh and when her team mate added that the pesto was her favourite sauce, I decided to go for this with gnocchi. My friend went for the basil pasta with cream and mushroom sauce. We also opted for a soup each to start, both opting for the pumpkin out of the choice of pumpkin or chicken. We took a seat, the server obligingly carried a tray with our drinks over for us and we waited only a short and reasonable time before the soups had arrived at the table. While the consistency and colour were excellent, the soup lacked flavour. It also came with a small ciabatta-style bread roll, which was a little tough. Not long after the soup had arrived (and before we’d finished) the pasta arrived, in each case looking like much more generous portions than the takeaway containers the waitress had shown us to indicate size. Each bowl was served with a thin bread stick jotting out of the centre and another roll of the same variety of bread, but this time noticeably fluffier and fresher. The basil pasta had a delightfully irregular and unusual pattern, but just didn’t have a particularly clear flavour and had been somewhat overcooked. The cream and mushroom sauce, however, was good. The gnocchi was exceptionally smooth and creamy, but the dull grey-green colour of the pesto sauce illustrated that it had apparently not been made fresh and it was overly sweet in flavour. Le bar à pâte is a quick, easy and affordable option, and while it does not do the best pasta in Dubai, it does present a healthy option than many of the chain food court options in Mercato Mall. The bill (for one) 2x large pasta Dhs88 2x soup Dhs44 2x soft drinks Dhs12 Total (excluding service) Dhs144

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