For the style conscious, there is no better place to grab a bite than Cavalli Caffè.
One thing Dubai loves is a brand name and Roberto Cavalli, is not only recognisable the world over but synonymous with style, opulence and luxury – a perfect match for the glitzy Middle East.
Cavalli Caffè Dubai is located just off The Beach on JBR, opposite Jumeirah Beach Residence and is perfectly tucked away at the end of The Walk which gives the Caffè a fabulous sense of privacy. It can easily be missed however, over shadowed by some of the larger chain restaurants in this tourist hotspot, but that’s what makes it such a hidden gem. It isn’t full of large tourist groups and sweaty beach goers, it’s an elegant, private spot to enjoy a spot of lunch or dinner in peace, under a overisized parasol on the al fresco terrace or in the respite of air-conditioned bliss in the beautifully designed interior.
The venue is chic through-and-through. It isn’t your average caffè, serving delicious food throughout the day and night as well as upscale coffees, deserts and pastries. The menu is a modern take on Italian classics as you would expect and the offering is vast enough to cater for every palette and budget. There is even a chocolate corner for the sweet toothed amongst us!
Cavalli is a world-wide fashion brand and Cavalli Caffè Dubai stays true to its roots, not scrimping on any of the iconic Cavalli design elements. Expect animal print and lots of it, black glitter tables, mirrors and lashings of gold. It’s showy without being pretentious, if anything it’s a little tongue-in-cheek. That said it still reflects the intimate charm of a traditional Italian caffè mixed with the signature design of the international fashion icon that is Roberto Cavalli himself, the combination of fine materials and iconic prints give it an overall elegant feel.
This isn’t the first Cavalli Caffè however. It actually started back in Italy at the historical Cavalli Caffè Giacosa, an antique shop founded in 1815, which was a meeting place for Florentine nobles, which Roberto Cavalli brought back to life while preserving the elegance of the setting in later years. Since then it has achieved phenomenal success and was only a matter of time before the UAE bought into this.
The great thing about Cavalli Caffè is not it’s over-the-top design, which in fact is actually a little refined by Cavalli’s standards, it’s not even the beautiful glass cabinet taking pride of place in the caffè laden with all manner of mouth-watering cakes and treats, it’s the menu itself.
The misconception that this may be overpriced, fussy food could not be more wrong. The dishes, of course are all beautifully presented, many adorned with the Cavalli logo, even the glasses bear the famous stamp! but the food is actually very,very good and easily knocks the neighbouring competition out of the water. This is a place that is most definitely worth those few extra steps. The menu is vast and offers everything from pasta to pizza, chicken to fish, there is something for everyone here at anytime of the day.
It is quite possibly a crime in Italy not to start off your meal without Bruschetta and whilst chopped tomatoes on bread doesn’t sound ground-breaking, you haven’t tried Cavalli’s offering. Doused in garlic and basil, the Bruschetta is the perfect way to start of your meal, teasing your palette of the delights that are to come. To start, the Suppli Di Carne, breaded rice balls stuffed with beef ragu and mozzarella are delicious but you simply cannot visit this charming restaurant without trying the Hummus Di Pomodoro Secchi Con Focaccia. For hummus connoisseurs (like myself) this is up there with some of the very best you will try in the region. The sun-dried tomato hummus infused with smoked paprika oil for that added kick smoothed onto thick warm bread is amazing. In fact, it’s so good you’ll probably ask for the recipe.
If you’re feeling flash, and let’s face it ‘When in Cavalli…’ you absolutely must try the homemade Spaghetti Al Aragosta. It is a mountain of freshly caught lobster and tomato on a bed of perfectly formed Spaghetti, it looks almost too good to eat, but not quite. The burst of flavour you get from this dish is Italian perfection. If you’re not quite feeling as adventurous with your palette (or your wallet) then the Piccata Al Limon aka lemon chicken piccatas with creamy, smooth garlic mash with a side order of sautéed broccoli is fantastic.
The pizzas also looked delicious but what else would you expect from an Italian Caffè that pays such attention to detail to its heritage. The chefs will even create pizzas upon request here, a great added personal touch.
If you can still manage desert, then you simply must. Despite my protests that I wasn’t overly keen on Crème brûlée, I was told this wasn’t your average crème brûlée and that I must at least “try”. I had a feeling that saying no was not on the menu here so I of course, opted for the crème brûlée. He was right, it wasn’t your average crème brûlée. The Crème brûlée Al Fruitt Di Bosco was a light dish with a mixed berry focus and it was actually incredibly good.
The pièce de résistance of the deserts has to be the Mousse Al Ciocolato Bianco E Basillico Con Salsa Di Lanponi which the Cavalli staff refer to as “a little bit of heaven”. The white chocolate and basil mousse is topped off with a raspberry coulis and not only looks fabulous, with the Cavalli logo adorning the plate in chocolate flakes, but it tastes like a little bit of heaven.
All these fantastic dishes need to be washed down with a fresh juice or mocktail. Remember The Beach is a dry area so no alcohol is served but with an extensive drinks menu you would barely notice. House specialities include the Mint Lemondade and the Rose Fizz which a fashionable mix of lemon and rose petal soda. The attentive staff even made custom fruity cocktails for me, and I was delivered a delightful multi-coloured drink that had only been made for Prince Hamdan and myself. Well if it’s good enough for royalty…
Everything about Cavalli Caffè is fun and a little over-the-top but that’s its charm. It isn’t trying too hard to be anything other than what it is. It’s a great place to dine with friends, grab some breakfast before a hard day at the beach or enjoy good company and good food in the evening. It somehow manages to take the outlandish Cavalli brand and be something for everyone which makes this venue something special.
Would I go again? I most definitely would and I may even order the crème brûlée!
Click here to visit the website
Unit 3201, The Beach, Opposite JBR, Dubai
Tel: +971 4 551 9671