Again, a review from the UAE Food Explorer blog that sticks in mind, perhaps because of the travails involved in finding the place.

The original link is up www.uaefoodexplorer.com, and the direct url is here.

Marzano, Dubai, Cuisine: Italian

Posted on June 16th, 2010 by Hisham Wyne

Al Manzil Souk must feel hard done by. It was the new kid on the block for a couple of years, before the behemoth Dubai Mall opened in the vicinity. If that weren’t sufficient, the neck-craning, gravity-defying Burj Du…er…Khalifa set up shop next door and drew all the attention.

Now, in the current maze of road signs screaming out instructions, the Manzil Hotel and Souk have been given nary a one. I know, for I looked. While it seems universal knowledge that Al Manzil is fairly adjacent to the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, no one – self, security crews, passing drivers- seemed to know its position with exactitude. As for the confounded GPS, I should just name it Virgil and be done with it. For it keeps touring me around Hell and Purgatory, much as Virgil did for Dante in the Divine Comedy.

Al Manzil Souk is five short steps short of desolate, but the flip side was that Marzano was found with ease. In the interests of a light, short, late lunch, I dispensed with the starters and made a beeline for the Seafood Risotto.

While waiting for it to come off the stove, I meandered the Souk. It’s seemingly superfluous when confronted with the utter magnitude of the Dubai Mall. A Spinney’s, a flower shop and a nail bar. Even a small café of some sort. I have it on good authority however that the outdoor Boulevard Café does brisk business at night, with copious amounts of sheesha smoke rising and well-dressed people beating back the heat next to fountains.

Unsurprisingly, Marzano’s staff pinpoint the Dubai Mall’s opening as the turning point in the fortunes of the Souk and its businesses. But don’t let the silence detract from Marzano’s offerings. It is a well-priced eatery offering decent Italian food at less than bank-breaking prices: that it is not licensed probably helps keep costs down.

The Seafood Risotto, when it finally appeared, was steaming hot, and well endowed with bits and bobs of seafood. Calamari rings and miniscule clams were generously doled out. I ate, and conversed with the nearby waiting staff, and ate some more. All told, it was a good meal.

I doubt someone would traverse the city merely to eat at Marzano. But don’t hesitate to check it out should you be in the vicinity of the Old Town. It’s well worth a look and probably a fairly regular haunt for office folk in the nearby Emaar Square. It’s just that you are utterly spoilt for choice when in the area.

Posted via email from Sfumato