Affordable Italian fare at Parmigiana - Sofitel on the Corniche, Abu Dhabi

Italian. It has to be everyone's 'go to' meal. Who does not like pizza or pasta. Abu Dhabi has many Italian restaurants and that list has just gone a bit longer with the addition of Parmigiana at Sofitel on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi. So, the question is, how does it stand out from the competition that is already here? 

The restaurant

It is good see another restaurant added to the food and Beverage options at Sofitel. Having seen a  couple restaurants in the same space in the last few years, an  Italian restaurant seems like a good option to bring back guests. While the previous Italian restaurant that was outsourced closed soon after opening, its market was different; it was more upmarket. Parmigiana is more relaxed and laid back. 

Parmigiana has a simplicity about it, with typical Italian table cloths (thankfully not in red) adorning tables. Black and white prints of Italian American movie stars are all around the restaurant; a nice touch. Views of the corniche and in the day time, the sea, adds to the appeal of Parmigiana. Finally, lighting varies in the restaurant, meaning you can have everything from a romantic dinner in a  corner to  big table dinner with a bunch of friends out for pizza. By design.


Easily the best priced licenced Italian restaurant in the city. It means it is possible to have a glass of wine and  a pizza for under a 100AED. You will find no dish more expensive than 75AED. Fantastic. It serves a niche and that is of affordable Italian dishes while one is  able to have a glass of wine. Lately, I have written often about the need for nights out that are affordable. Parmigiana brings exactly that. 


A simple menu makes it a very guest friendly experience. The restaurant has all the classics you would want at an Italian restaurant in Abu Dhabi. I started off with the Buratta which was a faithful interpretation  of this classic dish. The Linguini alle vongole is a big portion with generous clams. Hearty. 

Finally, and this capped off an evening of pocket friendly dishes - how many times have I had a Tagliata di Filetto for 75AED Answer? Never. The Angus beef fillet at around 160g impressed me because it comes at a  ridiculous price. Who needs a full size fillet of 250g anyway? This is very clever. When you consider the bread served a s a standard on the table and an appetiser, this fillet at 160g is perfect. Well, for me anyway. And taste? My dish of the night, cooked medium rare as requested! Kudos to Chef here. Finally, the tiramisu did not quite reach my expectations - I like mine with a bit more intensity. Infuse it with more espresso and take it to the next level. 

The way ahead...

I would like to see some tweaking done to the wine list. It would be great to see more Italian offerings on the wine list. Also, when I go to an Italian restaurant, I never drink champagne because I want an Italian experience. It would also be great to see some fine Italian sparkling options added and also see the Italian options move to the front of the wine list. I believe that the  Franciacorta Ca del Bosco is one of the best non champagne sparkling I have ever had. It will hold its own against the champagne on the list. Other than the wine list, I like the menu. It has what you would want and matched by the best prices in Abu Dhabi. Who needs two for one offers when you have prices like these? 

The Essentials

Sofitel on the Corniche, 
Abu Dhabi
+971 2 8137777

My meal
Burrata 55AED 
Linguini 60AED
Frutti di mare pizza 68AED (my guest had this)
Beef fillet 75AED

Brandon Stoltenkamp
Disclaimer: I was invited by the hotel to try Parmigiana