Can a brand famous for fast cars create a relaxed restaurant experience?
Diners, start your engines. There’s a new restaurant racing into town, courtesy of the Lamborghini family. Tonino Lamborghini Mare Nostrum Skypool Restaurant Dubai is a mouthful. While you’d be forgiven for not remembering the whole name, we’re certain you’ll remember the restaurant experience.
The name of the new restaurant is inspired by the brand and man, Tonino Lamborghini. The title combines his moniker with “our sea” in Latin. As the heir to the Lamborghini sports car dynasty, he is also in charge of the luxury lifestyle brand. Specialising in Italian design, it’s behind fashion, watches, hotels and, of course, restaurants.
Tonino Lamborghini Mare Nostrum is located on Palm West Beach, which is fast becoming one of the coolest hangouts in Dubai. Sitting on the rooftop of the recently opened Radisson Beach Resort Palm Jumeirah, it has uninterrupted views of Ain Dubai and Dubai Marina. Plus, since it is on level fourteen, you feel close to the buzz of the beach.
Tonino Lamborghini Mare Nostrum is a multi-purpose venue boasting a restaurant, bar and infinity pool. As each offering is within its own space, you can have three different experiences in one venue, which we are curious to check out. We arrived on a Friday at 8pm and were one of two diners, but by the time we left, it had filled up. Note: this was during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, so we put it down to the footie rather than foodies.
A haven for Mediterranean food, drinks and music, it draws its inspiration from the sea. Unfortunately, there’s something about the turquoise shades and harsh whites, which make it feel more kitsch than classy. Plus, the design is inspired by the coastline, from decorative starfish to lifebuoy rings.
Throughout our visit, we felt like we had a personalised service. When we waited for our guest, we sent them the following WhatsApp: “The service here is already amazing”. Whether it was the executive chef Sydney de Hart himself asking about our dietary requirements to the bar manager checking in on our cocktails, it was the best service we’ve had in a long time.
The menu draws its inspiration from the Mediterranean, and has pastas, risottos and the catch of the day. Best of all, it has a luxury touch – there’s a caviar menu; fresh truffle shavings that can be added to dishes ranging from steak tartare to roasted chicken; and a well-stocked Champagne list.
The starters offer plenty of choice for pescatarians and vegetarians, so you could easily turn this into a sharing concept. We began with the Burrata and Tomato with heirloom tomatoes, radishes and balsamic caviar pearls, which had a colourful presentation topped with creamy burrata. Plus, the Beetroot Tartare with roasted beetroot, almond aioli and sherry vinegar was a freshly prepared, veggie tartare alternative.
The main courses are all fish and meat based, and the standout dish is the Chilean Sea Bass. Served in a pan on the centre of the table, it had a bold, buttery taste. The only vegetarian alternatives are the Tortiglioni Pomodoro (awfully al dente) and Mushroom Risotto (comfortingly creamy).
It’s not often that sides get a special mention, but the Chef proved that greens can be great. The Blistered Heirloom Carrots and Grilled Asparagus tasted like they were homegrown wonders. As for desserts, the crème brulee and tiramisu are tastefully on brand; the first has the name of the restaurant drizzled on the plate, and the latter has the edible logo on the cake. Plus, the pistachio gelato was served with a sprinkle of oil, just like they do in Italy.
The cocktail menu is where Tonino Lamborghini Mare Nostrum’s personality comes alive. The Bellissimo Bellini is a great aperitif with mango wine, white peach puree and passionfruit pearls, which feels like Champagne meets bubble tea. The Grappa Grapes comes with black grapes, citrus vodka, dry wine and vanilla syrup, and a Polaroid of you with your guest. While other drinks are presented at your table with Insta-worthy tricks, from bubbles that pop to spray on artwork.
Tonino Lamborghini Mare Nostrum, we’ll be back for a pit stop.
GO: Visit https://tlamborghini-marenostrum.ae for more information.