Review: Tonino Lamborghini Mare Nostrum
A chic sky pool bringing Mediterranean flavour to the Palm Jumeirah…
While Dubai may favour soaring skyscrapers on most of its skylines, on Palm Jumeirah much of the real estate is low rise. So a rooftop restaurant atop Radisson Resort Palm Jumeirah – a recent addition to the ever-impressive landscape of Palm West Beach – is already in a league of its own.
It’s been occupied by a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, bar and pool named, somewhat extensively, Tonino Lamborghini Mare Nostrum, which is the first hospitality venture in Dubai from Tonino Lamborghini, the heir to the Lamborghini fortune.
The luxury synonymous with the Lamborghini name translates here into plush sun loungers and cabanas that line an inviting swimming pool on one side, and a chic restaurant in oceanic shades on the other. The entire space oozes Mediterranean charm with a VIP Dubai touch – stretching views of the Dubai skyline from Ain Dubai to Burj Al Arab are jaw-dropping, a DJ steals the show spinning against a shimmering blue tiled backdrop, and a duo of private jacuzzies gaze out over West Beach.
Every angle benefits from Instagram-worthy Dubai views. For a long, leisurely afternoon that includes tan-topping and grazing through the Mediterranean menu, we pick a cabana one row from the swimming pool. The poolside menu mirrors that of the restaurant, and those that book cabanas also have a table for two at the end of their bed, making for a smooth dining experience.
We order a half dozen Dibba Bay oysters (Dhs150) that arrive superbly plump on a bed of crushed ice, with two wedges of lemon and a zesty vinaigrette. A citrus tuna tartare (Dhs85) is well-presented and fresh, although the tuna is diced so finely that the consistency isn’t quite as dense as we’d like, especially when you add a squeeze of juicy grapefruit. A char-grilled lobster salad (Dhs165) arrives as a nicely grilled half Omani lobster, its meat pulling effortlessly from the shell, alongside a salad of baby gem, avocado and apple, dressed generously in herb and sour cream.
Mains are impressive and in hindsight one would have been plenty to share. A rack of lamb (Dhs265) arrives pink and tender, with an anchovy salsa and roasted vine tomatoes. And you’ll want to order a portion of crispy truffle fries (Dhs45) to go with it. For feeling like you’re dining on the Italian coast, a metal dish filled with fresh seafood and homemade al dente gemelli pasta (Dhs195) in a simple tomato and fresh parsley sauce lets the simple flavours sing.
Dessert can be as naughty or nice as you like, with seasonal exotic fruits (Dhs75) a light way to conclude. Another portion that’s plenty for two, a sweet and creamy pavlova (Dhs65) with a zesty berry coulis and airy whipped cream topping, is an indulgent final note to a tasty Mediterranean meal.
The elevated pool experience extends beyond the setting to the service, with health juice shots, ice lollies and cold towels offered in regular rotation to guests basking in the sunshine. Here guests linger the longest, many soaking up the sun and sounds of the lively DJ sets, which are only amplified when the sun sets.
Verdict: Book a pool day for the views and vibes, but this Mediterranean menu shouldn’t be missed.
Tonino Lamborghini Mare Nostrum, Level 14, Radisson Resort Palm Jumeirah, 11am to 7pm pool, 11am to 6pm pool menu, 11am to 1am restaurant and bar, kitchen closes 11pm. Tel: (058) 559 4222. tlamborghini-marenostrum.ae