Manzoni for Italian cuisine - Hotel Pullman Dubai Jumeirah Lakes and Towers

Italian food is about simplicity of ingredients and Italian dining is about intimacy and feeling relaxed, isn't it? Manzoni at Hotel Pullman Dubai Jumeirah Lakes and Towers, is nestled in the corner of the hotel, on the ground floor. It is easy to miss unless you are looking for it, but that in itself, in a city of hustling and bustling, can be a good thing. It means there ares till little places that have not been overrun by the masses. 

It is quite a stylish looking restaurant, with beige and browns creating a warm feeling. Sofa style chairs creates a casual and laid back feeling there is a small bar area that seats 3 people and this is where I start my evening, with a glass of Aperol Spritz, which oddly is not mixed at the bar; a pity as it prevents engagement and theatre. I must say I like a bar set up in a restaurant. Sometimes a guest wants to have a quick bite in a very informal setting and that is where a bar is handy. 

I have my first starter at the bar - the Carpaccio, which is what I expect from a carpaccio, except for the cipriani sauce which I find a bit overpowering for the mildly marinated beef slices. Soon after, I move to my table in the dining area. Manzoni is a family friendly restaurant, while also catering for a couple who are out to have a quiet dinner - there is a well lit part and a more romantic section of the restaurant, complete with fireplace and all; a place for everyone.

The menu at Manzoni is a succinct one - 2 pages or 4 sides. It is consequently easy to navigate. The wine list, on the other hand, has perhaps more options than I expected, with 23 by the glass wines, including a champagne and two proseccos. This is a very generous offering and they are well priced too, ranging from 40-55AED. 

For my second starter, I have the Burrata - it is a cliche that one just has to part take in. If the carpaccio was too rich for me, the burrata is a return to Italian form with simplicity of ingredients. Buratta, datterini tomatoes known for their mild sweetness are seasoned with oregano and basil - the result is a very delicately flavoured dish. 

Next, for my pasta course, I opt for the Tortellini stuffed with seafood and served with black truffles. Crab and Canadian lobster are used as filling, but are very naturally flavoured, so again I have a dish that is marked by subtlety in taste. 

The service is warm and friendly, but perhaps too eager at times - during my pasta course my waiter asks me if I am ready for main course! Nonetheless, I appreciate his respect for wine, allowing me to taste a couple and bringing appropriate glasses every time. He is bold enough to make recommendations and able to tell me about every wine I consider. 

For my main course, I have the Grilled Australian tenderloin - again, one of those dishes you must have in an Italian restaurant. The tenderloin is placed in a sea of truffle mashed potatoes - the texture of the mashed potatoes lends itself to this type of presentation. The tenderloin is about 200g and makes for a hearty meal. At 195AED, it is the most expensive dish on a menu that generally offers tremendous value for money. 

Manzoni, overall, with a convenient location especially for those living in the JLT area, offers solid and reliable Italian dishes. It is able to accommodate families and couple lookings for  an affordable but romantic evening. Affordable is a key part of the experience, especially when you consider the cost of dishes at high end Italian restaurants in Dubai. And this also in a restaurant with a very intimate setting and giving you that high end feeling in an unintimidating manner. 

The Essentials

Hotel Pullman Dubai Jumeirah Lakes and Towers
+971 4 5671100
The Pullman

Selected Menu items

Carpaccio 49AED
Burrata 59AED
Tortellini 65AED
Tenderloin 195 AED

Brandon Stoltenkamp