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FACT Review: Ristorante Loren

The new Italian restaurant on Palm West Beach is a masterclass in sprezzatura style.

You know when you watch someone that should be at the top of their game, whether it’s sports superstar Roger Federer or singing sensation Adele, and you’re willing for them to do well, but they don’t quite deliver. Well, that was what it was like visiting the new Italian restaurant, Loren. It oozes sprezzatura-style and sophistication, but seemed to have an off day when we visited.

Loren has opened on Palm West Beach, Dubai and is located in The Club, which boasts Playa, SĀN Beach and Eva Beach House. The entrance is discreetly tucked away and takes you into a dimly-lit, flowery-scented lobby with a Gucci print on the wall. When the lift takes you upstairs, it opens into this enchanting space that feels like the 1960s Italian Riviera.


The restaurant oozes old-school glamour with bistro chairs, fanimation blades and even a name, which is inspired by Italian actress, Sophia Loren. It feels like you’re stepping into a black and white Italian movie à la Roman Holiday, or a party where you’d expect to rub shoulders with Federico Fellini. The only thing that gives your location away is the view – and what a view it is, spanning Dubai Marina to Ain Dubai.

Loren is polished without being pretentious – think white tablecloths, wine bottles lining the wall and green velvet bound menus. The impressive layout includes an open kitchen, a seafood counter, and a nook for private diners.


The authenticity is on point. The furniture and crockery are made in Italy. Even the toiletries – Aqua di Parma, no less – are Italian. Oh, and be sure to check out those toilets, which have a palatial quality. The shimmering chandelier and giant marble mirror wouldn’t look out of place in Doge’s Palace, Venice.  

So, with expectations as high as St. Peter’s Basilica, we were ready to be wowed. We opted for the chef’s selection, which started with Carpaccio di Rapa Rossa E Mandarino (cooked beetroot carpaccio, balsamic and fig dressing, goat’s cheese, mandarin and pecan nuts). We’re told a story about how the chef was not a fan of beetroot, so wanted to make a dish that would make him like the ingredient – we’re charmed.


The highlight came from the eggplant dishes, which we were served as a starter and main: Melanzana Affumicata (oven baked eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella, grana Padano and basil); and Cappellacci Di Parmigiana (cappellacci filled with baked eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil). The Cappellacci especially had a rich, creamy finish. With so many options on the menu, however, it was a shame to receive a similar dish twice.  

While our staff were more than friendly, the service lacked attention to detail. The staff failed to ask us about our preferences, so the Ravioli Del Plin Alla Genovese (ravioli filled with Wagyu beef cheek) and Milanese Di Vitello (pan fried breaded veal chop with rocket and cherry tomato) arrived with no consultation. When the desserts appeared on our table, we were surprised that it was already the end; we were not full and they skipped sides. An apology later, we went back one course. 


For all Loren’s food mishaps, the drinks were flawless. The drink’s menu is like a well-oiled Vespa, showcasing classics that never go out of fashion: spritzers, bellinis and grappas. The Hugo (elderflower, prosecco and mint water) and Spritz Veneziano (strawberry flavoured Aperol, prosecco and Pellegrino) make for a great aperitif – the former comes with a mint leaf encased in ice, and the latter with a strawberry encased in ice. Plus, the Peach Bellini and Rossini Bellini were floral, foamy wonders. 

We’re confident that the restaurant will improve, as it has (almost) everything going for it. And, we’d love to go back but try what we want – here’s hoping that it comes in the right order. 

GO: Follow @ristorante.loren on Instagram for more information.

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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