Italian! This word for me signifies my favorite penne pasta in white sauce – extra creamy.
Which is why our recent visit to Tomato & Basilico at Motor City would be rightly categorized as ‘breaking out of our comfort zone’. While Motor City as a location is not a place we frequently visit, the fare served during our tasting at Tomato and Basilico was also a bit unusual than what we usually order.
Tomato and Basilico is a casual dining joint that serves authentic Italian food. It is one of the few Italian restaurants in Dubai that can boast of having a dedicated Italian chef for both its Silicon Oasis and Motor City branches. Headed by the friendly and passionate Francesco Daswani, Tomato & Basilico offers what is probably the most extensive variety of pizzas and pastas that you will ever find on a menu.
Cornered and confused by the sheer spread of Italian specialties – with most of the ingredients prepared fresh in the Tomato & Basilico kitchen – we decided to place our trust in Chef Francesco’s hands. We were far from being disappointed!
The Motor City branch of Tomato & Basilico has a cozy indoor seating with authentic Italian ingredients that adorn its walls.
However, since the March weather was still pleasant and the day was spectacularly clear – we opted for their outdoor seating option.
To cool us down on the sunny afternoon, we were offered a wide variety of fresh juices and smoothies. I decided to go with a drink called estate – which is a fresh watermelon and musk melon fusion. Arwa on the other hand opted for one of Tomato and Basilico best seller smoothies – the pineapple and mint. When our refreshments arrived – we were taken by the gorgeous presentation. Don’t these look tempting?
The Estate – a fresh extract of watermelon and musk melon is an unusual but delightful combination. The large serving is good enough to last throughout the meal and works as a great accompaniment.
The Pineapple and mint smoothie is also an uncommon combination, but served as a sweet surprise! The fresh pineapple packs a punch, whereas the infused mint make the drink refreshing and delicious!
While we wait for our order to arrive, we’re served with some crunchy grilled bread along with the Tomato and Basilico signature dip, similar to arabic hummus that consists of Oilive oil and tomato and some of their secret ingredients.
The first dish to arrive was the Toretta di Caprese – which consists of buffalo cheese, fresh tomatoes, olive oil and basil pesto.
Toretto di caprese
Toretto di Caprese means a tower of grilled slices of roma tomatoes and Mozarella di Bufala. However, as a part of the new menu, this dish was served laid out in an attractive looking fan. The Bufalo cheese is extremely fresh and juicy – and its somewhat blandish taste is balanced out with tangy roma tomatoes. Fresh basil pesto and olive oil are a perfect seasoning to complete the dish.
The Tomato and Basilico Chef special pizza is a 33cm base topped with tomato basilic sauce, buffalo cheese, cherry tomatoes, balsamic reduction with white truffle, rocket salad and olive oil. The balsamic reduction gives the pizza its mildly bitter taste – however, the flavor is well balanced out with the remaining sour and savory components. The pizza dough is prepared in-house where it is made to sit for 72 hours and undergoes a levitation process to ensure softness of the bread. A special mention goes out to its crispy crust which makes each of its 8 slices a delight to relish!
Another popular dish is the Pizza Alla Pala which allows you to enjoy the taste of 3 pizzas in one. On our next visit to Tomato and Basilico, Motor City we definitely would love to try this 72 inches pizza filled with sheer goodness!
Next up was the Tagliatelle ai funghi freschi which is a freschi pasta with fresh cream, chopped parsley and mushrooms.
The Tagliatelle ai funghi freschi is served with parmesan cheese that can be sprinkled as per ones liking.
The vegetarian pasta is creamy and delicious when served hot. The freschi pasta is prepared in-house at the Tomato and Basilico Motor City branch by chef Gianni. Although stuffed after all the mentioned dishes – we had no problems in devouring this delicious delight. The portion size was just about enough for us to end our main-course on a satisfied note.
Saving the best for the last as always – is the dessert in the form of light and delicious Tiramisu.
The Tomato and Basilico Tiramisu is an elegantly presented 3 layer dish that begins with a soft home-made Italian coffee flavored cake, mascarpone and chocolate dusting.
Desserts are always the favorite part of our meal and quite frankly, this was one of the best ones ever! The Tiramisu at Tomato and Basilico was so fresh and light, we could have easily downed two and not complained! Guys on your next visit, this one is a must, must-try!
Tomato and Basilico goes with the tag line ‘a taste of Italy in Dubai’ – and it totally lives up to that. With fresh ingredients that are prepared by the Tomato and Basilico chefs from Italy – one can expect nothing but authentic concoctions. We would highly recommend you give this joint a shot the next time you’re at Motor City or Silicon Oasis – and if the weather permits, sit outdoors and relish the fresh flavors!