Torno Subito Dubai (by Massimo Bottura) review
“Hey, did you hear about that new celebrity chef restaurant that just opened up in Dubai? I hear he has a Michelin star back in…” *YAWN*
What you see above is 90 percent of discussions revolving new restaurants opening up here in the city, especially ones involving famous chefs.
The reason why what would normally be a big deal - especially considering the caliber of chefs that do open new restaurants here - has become an utter bore is because each new eatery ultimately devolves into a name slapped on a door, with an entirely different chef in the kitchen.
In many ways, Torno Subito, a concept by Massimo Bottura (who is the chef behind the current #1 best restaurant in the world Osteria Francescana), is no different. Okay, so his name isn’t in the title of the restaurant, but there’s a great big picture of him the moment you walk through the restaurant's double doors.
But in other ways this restaurant does break from the celebrity restaurant mold. For starters, it was never meant to ape Bottura’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Instead, Torno Subito is his fun, eclectic bistro concept. But does that make it worth a visit?
Torno Subito Dubai: what’s the vibe?
Torno Subito looks like a nine-year-old girl’s Instagram feed, complete with bright colours, faux Polaroids hanging from the ceiling and beach ball lighting fixtures.
An ‘Italians by the seaside’ theme seems to run through the restaurant, complete with retro-pictures of Italians on the beach as well as paper menus. There’s even a photo booth near the back, complete with fun ‘props’.
In truth, that makes it look about as far away from a stuffy three-Michelin-starred restaurant dining room as you can get (which is no bad thing).
Torno Subito Dubai: how’s the food?
While the restaurant is keen to push the seaside theme, the kitchen seems to ignore it completely.
That’s not to say the food is disjointed in any way, but it does seem odd given the lengths at which someone went to incorporate the theme into the restaurant. Fortunately, the food more than makes up for that.
Dishes are grounded in tradition but pepped-up with the same contemporary twists that Massimo Bottura is known for. The egg starter, for example, is not your average poached egg. Neither is the Caesar Salad.
The staff are very well versed in which dishes are better than others (“the tagliatelle is one of Massimo’s favourites” we’re told) but to be honest, there’s little on the menu that you’d send back to the kitchen. Dishes are interesting, inventive and delicious.
Torno Subito Dubai: the verdict?
Torno Subito does attempt to do things differently than some other restaurants we could name, mainly in that it doesn’t try to present a diet version of what the chef is known for.
Yes, all the Massimo Bottura hallmarks are there, but presented in a different enough way as to make Torno Subito a place all foodies – especially those who are fans of the Italian chef – should probably visit.
Torno Subito Dubai: where is it?
Torno Subito is Massimo Bottura’s third restaurant (and the only one outside of Italy). It’s located at the W Dubai – the Palm.For more information, go here or call +971 4 245 5555