urbano: urban myths debunked

First look at Urbano's signboard and my thoughts trailed to Onitsuka Tiger sneakers. Uncanny similiarity in terms of branding, with a modern retro feel, but worlds apart in its dealings. one dwelling in the sweet realm of filling customers with hearty traditional Italian fare whilst the other does shoes, obviously.

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Being led thru the sepia toned restaurant dining area to our opted outdoor seatings, glances stolen while trotting at unluxurious speeds. Categorised station areas with huge designated sign boards overhead, was this a cafeteria? I didn't quite relinquish the concept.

Nonetheless, the outdoor seating was thoroughly enjoyable with a fantastic view of the Dubai Mall and its surrounding blue lagoons to boot. With the Burj towering just ahead and throwing eye-pricking glares from its sheer window panels, life was fantastic. At least up to this point it was... and then, the flies came in. If this wasn't a PG site, I would be rattling off obscenities and words so foul it would turn your grandma's toes black with rage; yep, but I'll just leave it at there. Flies, food, buzzing around, you get the picture. Part and parcel of the outdoor dining experience ain't it?

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The bread basket pail arrived with an odd number of bread sticks (one perpetually) and focaccia bread for the 3 of us. Cold bread.. that gets a serious mark down. Seriously, someone was stepping on my toes that day.

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A Indian man rowed past our dining area. What in the world was he up to rowing a dingy boat in the blue waters?

Picking up non-apparent leaves from the nearby trees that have drifted into the waters. Not that there were many trees around to begin with... but HEY, the managment thought that a single green in the waters was considered a sin. Kudos to them.

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Okay guys.. here is a question for the more discerning and knowledgable crowd. Put alcohol in halal produce during the cooking process, and as it burns out in a clean wisp of vapor, does that make the food halal again? Please do enlighten me if you know, because this has left me mind-boggled.

Back to the food, my Fettuccine con funghi e pann (Homemade fresh fettuccine with wild mushroom and cream sauce) was good, but not a dish to shout about. the creamy sauce lacked seasoning albeit for the salted sauteed mushrooms scattered across the dish. My cousin's Spaghetti alla carbonara (Homemade fresh spaghetti with veal bacon in cream and egg sauce) however was top notch, with an almost intoxicating sauce that tasted as though, the chef had knowingly dumped copious amounts of white wine into. Upon questioning the staff, apparently, the culprit, non-alcoholic wine. *scratches head* Where's the kick in that?

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The Al salamino di manz (beef pepperoni pizza) arrived. In full glory, with the traces of reddish oil staining the cheesey base. Beautiful, the pizza posed and modelled for the camera.

Sad to say, she was all an empty vessel. The beef pepperoni was utterly foul... two slices and the poor forlorn pizza was thrown out of the ball game. Well, that said, beauty can only get you that far.

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Food at Urbano was simply uninspired and a play on the common notion of Italian food for tourists which I believed was unsatisfactory for a place that exuded traditional homestyled values from its simplistic decor. Disappointing to say, continue on this path and the restaurant would probably fall on its ass pretty soon, and that would be such a waste.

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Urbano
Location: Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Burj Dubai, Dubai
Tel: 04 435 5666
Travel: Al Doha Street

9 comments:

hcpen said...

came from ladyironchef's blog..first time, love all ur photos!
also, wondering why are you in dubai for so long? from the pics dubai looks very modern, like china's many cities actually.

SiHaN said...

hcpen: hi hi! Thanks for visiting my humble abode yar!

I'll be in Dubai for a good long time as I'm setting up a cake/cafe business here with my cousin and his wife. Thus I'm sort of based here.

Dubai is really into glamor and architecture, thus all the big foundations like the Burj Dubai. Does it really look like China? Haven't been there in quite a while.

hcpen said...

Thanks for ur reply..why did u choose Dubai to open up ur business?..also, did u guys open it before the Financial Crisis or after? Can you see any differences on the streets of Dubai these days due to the GFC? Sorry for all my questions!! I've been reading in the papers recently that Dubai is having great difficulty paying its debt..and that many expats have lost their jobs n left n that the economy is in tatters..how true is all this given your experience on the ground?

SiHaN said...

hcopen: well, let's just say I didn't have any clue of the impending financial crisis before I tread foot into the realms of the middle east. Also because opportunities stood for me here as my cousin and his wife have been residing in Dubai for 3 years and are keen on opening a business.

I understand that the news have potrayed the financial crisis as a very serious matter on a global matter. But in Dubai, there have not been any changes noticable. Perhaps construction for certain larger establishment and projects have slown down quite a bit. Business wise, pple are more concerned and wary about where their money goes to I suppose. As for expats leaving their jobs, I think its more of a case whereby companies are retrenching their workers as there is truly a lot of redundant labor here, in a sense where 3 pple do the job of 2 men.

Hui said...

Hey babe!

Please don't feel that you are alone.
You always have me by your side. You can add me on skype and we can skype anytime! :)
Your courage to make such a big decision will pay off! Waiting to see you on iron chef one day! :p

Btw,
What is your address in dubai? Facebook message it to me if u are worried about privacy issues!

Take care!

Hui said...

Hey babe!

Please don't feel that you are alone.
You always have me by your side. You can add me on skype and we can skype anytime! :)
Your courage to make such a big decision will pay off! Waiting to see you on iron chef one day! :p

Btw,
What is your address in dubai? Facebook message it to me if u are worried about privacy issues!

Take care!

SiHaN said...

Hui: I know i'm not alone! I've got loads of pple behind me supporting me. Like you! woopie. hehe.

hmph.. *twiddling*. not too sure about the iron chef though. haha. don't think they will accept pastry chefs. haha.

my address here? yeh, that's another issue. We might be moving hse soon, so perhaps it isn't too good to be giving the address now or else the stuff will get no where? *hugz* thanks dear for ur kind words and encouragement anyway! Take care of yourself as well alright? talk to u soon!

Hui said...

How about the ace of cakes? Before the exams I am hooked to food network.

Not sure if I asked u but if u need anything from US, I can get it for u and ask Jon to bring it back to SG. But now that u r in Dubai, it might be harder...

Don't worry about the address, I wanted to send u a christmas card! :)

Anonymous said...

Salam! Just to answer your question regarding alcohol evaporating during the cooking process- well it does not, it is false belief that ALL of the alcohol gets evaporated as soon as the flames die down. It can take almost 3 hours at high temperature for all of the alcohol to evaporate. Please refer to the website: http://www.ochef.com/165.htm

Hope that answers your question ! :)