Located in the glam and sophistication of the Oberoi, Matto is a home-grown Italian eatery that makes you feel like you are sitting at a small restaurant in the heart of Venice or Rome. With the Chef using his Grandmama’s recipes and the waiters speaking Italian, Matto will immediately transport you to Italy with its soulful food and zesty ambiance.
Matto, means “crazy” in Italian, and that is clearly shown in their industrial and dynamic interiors. Its rustic details include low-hanging Edison bulbs, unfinished tiles, exposed ceilings and an open wine cellar. Not to forget, the quirky scooter table for a DJ station, the peculiar bathtub with growing plants and finally the contemporary mural painting on the wall.
I was invited to a bloggers meet during lunch hours and I was so glad I went! When we entered Matto, we were graciously greeted by the waiters who led us to our table right in the center of the restaurant. There was a special menu prepared for us bloggers with their best selling items. Knowing that their recipes are inspired by old Italian methods, I was super excited to try these conventional Italian dishes with Matto’s modern twist.
To start off the lunch, I ordered a Fresco Mocktail, which was a refreshing watermelon and basil drink. Its taste complemented all the food that we served here after. We were also served the traditional Italian bread basket with butter and oils to munch on while the food was prepared (this basket is the reason half of us go to Italian restaurants in the first place! =P).
Spearheading the lunch, we were served three dishes from their wide variety of Antipasti. The first one was Calamari; crispy squid rings with lemon mayonnaise. This was a batch of fried yumminess that was perfect to start off with.
No Italian meal is complete without Bruschetta, and that is what we got served next. This classic dish was served on grilled bread with cherry tomatoes, melted caciocavallo cheese, garlic and basil pesto. It was flawlessly prepared and definitely is one of the best I have had.
The next starter, Tortino Di Carciofi, came across as intriguing, but then Matto had to have some dishes that were startling. Wrapped in filo pastry, this artichoke and asparagus mix looked just like a tiny cake , with creamy pecorino cheese and a hint of balsamic on top. This was a truly an exquisitely executed dish, both in terms of presentation and taste.
The last started is another classic Italian favorite, Parmigiana. This simple eggplant dish, was layered with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, basil and parmesan cheese. Honestly, I am not at all a fan of eggplant, so I was a little apprehensive when I tried it. To my surprise, I really enjoyed this dish, since the taste of eggplant is totally masked by the other ingredients! It was served in a baked dish, and looked like a smaller version of lasagna. You must order this when you go to Matto!
For the mains, we were served Ravioli Ricotta & Spinach, which I could not stop eating! This was made in fresh cherry tomato sauce, basil and olive oil, and was absolutely sinful!
We were also served two pizzas, a Margherita and a Diavola (mozzarella, tomato & spicy beef). The easiest way to judge any Italian restaurant is to taste their pizza. Both the pizzas were perfectly made; that right amount of cheesy goodness with a crunchy crust in their pizza was what made me fall in love with Matto.
To end our perfect Italian meal, we were given an array of desserts to feast on. One of them had to be the classic Tiramisu and it definitely was one of the best I have had in Dubai! Another surprisingly yummy, sweet & sour dessert we ate was the Sicilian Cannolis that were stuffed with ricotta cheese and pistachios. This is an excellent light choice for those who don’t like heavy desserts.
Finally, we were graced with Matto’s exclusive dessert, The Matto Rock! From the presentation to cracking that hazelnut shell open to tasting the yummy chocolate flavor inside; every single bit of this dessert was exquisite! This was definitely the highlight of the lunch and a must-order dish when you visit!
What I loved about Matto is that it is a restaurant ideal for a work lunch, sun-downer drinks or even a family dinner; perfect for every occasion any day of the week. Combining traditional Italian cooking with an upbeat vibe and amazing service, Matto is definitely a place I would recommend to all of you!
Matto is located at the Lobby level of the Oberoi Hotel (Business Bay, Dubai).
Opening hours are from 12pm to 12am.
Valet Parking is available.
You can reach them at 04-4441335 (table bookings are recommended).