Sponsored: Sacci at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa has long been a firm favourite for families in the capital looking to dine on authentic Italian favourites in a warm and casual atmosphere.
Taking on the feel of a family-style Italian Trattoria, Sacci is warm and welcoming from the moment you cross the threshold. Offering a rustic and charming interior that encourages socialising over good food in the company of family and friends.
The restaurant has long been held in high regard for its flavoursome menu of pizza, pasta and Italian classics, including a sought-after tiramisu that effortlessly layers coffee and mascarpone into a sweet treat that leaves a lasting impression.
Yet if you’ve visited Sacci in recent weeks, you may have noticed some significant changes. The summer months have brought not only a new chef but some exciting new additions to Sacci’s burgeoning menu.
Chef Giovani Rinaldi hails from the Italian capital and takes on the role of Chef de Cuisine for Sacci. Starting as a commis chef at Guida Ballerino, a Michelin star restaurant in Italy, Giovani’s career has taken him from Berners Tavern at the London EDITION to Galvin at Windows nestled on the upper floors of Hilton Park Lane. Talking exclusively to FACT, chef Giovani explains his process in creating the new menu:
“I want Sacci’s new menu to embellish upon homemade traditional Italian fare. The ingredients used in each dish and their flavour and presence should represent unique earthly elements incorporating wind, fire, earth, and water into our culinary techniques, taste, and presentation. The dishes at Sacci are based on simple recipes that deliver gastronomical explosions of Italian homemade flavours.”
It’s a bold culinary ethos and one that we are sure diners in the capital will appreciate. New dishes on the Sacci menu include a fragrant house-made ravioli (AED 85) stuffed with smoked potato, truffle oil, asparagus and a fragrant creme di Piselli that helps to elevate the menu above the expected pizza and pasta combinations. Elsewhere, the popular burrata is plated with truffle and Sicilian caponata, resulting in a dish that is both rustic and moreish.
When it comes to the creation of new dishes, there are two significant inspirations in chef Giovani’s life: “For me, there are no greater chefs than those that raised me. My mother and grandmother’s love and warmth poured into each dish inspired my passion for becoming what I am today. My creative process derives from my upbringing and respecting the seasonality and freshness of the ingredients that flourish during each season. Once I have chosen the hero ingredient, I elevate the flavour of the dish by adding other seasonal elements and utilise vintage cooking techniques passed on from my family giving to instil the dish with its signature flavour.”
This passion for food and culinary techniques is evident throughout Sacci’s expansive menu. These flourishes can be seen in simple dishes such as the Frittura Mista (AED 68) that combines anchovies, prawns, calamari and vegetable, and the more audacious choices like the Pizza Alla Nutella (AED 45), which tops a white base pizza with lashings of Nutella and hazelnuts to create a decadent treat. But, according to chef Giovani, it’s these signature dishes that you’ll want to indulge in next time you visit Sacci:
“Sacci’s signature dishes are the Risotto with Ossobuco and our selection of traditional wood-fired pizzas. However, if you had to ask me what my all-time favourite dish is, then we would have to journey back to my grandmother’s kitchen in Rome. A traditional dish specially prepared for my family has recently been added to our Sacci menu. Suppli’ – a special rice croquette articulately stuffed with mozzarella cheese.”
If you can’t resist classic Italian dishes, then you should pay a visit to Sacci. It’s the place to go with a group of friends to catch up over hearty dishes. The food raises the bar as some of the best Italian we’ve tried in the city and it’s great to see a passionate team that loves coming up with new and exciting ways to present traditional Italian recipes to modern-day diners.