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La Delusiones Italiana

Dubai has a wide range of fine dining restaurants to choose from and my friends and I make it a point to try out a new place every weekend. Occasionally we re-visit places that deserve a second visit but generally and by unanimous agreement we try new places. The restaurants here are such a treat and the food is simply superb. Eating out in Dubai is like a gastronomic adventure!

However.

Lately, I have noticed that the few restaurants I have visited seem to be pulling wool over our eyes. No matter what cuisine they claim to serve, the chef and kitchen staff are from the Philippines or India. This afternoon I sampled some very exotic sounding fare at La Moda – an ‘Italian’ restaurant in Deira. The menu has Italian dishes but the flavour was anything but Italian.

I had two of my personal Italian favourites. A Pizza Margherita (picture above) and some fancy sounding dish which was basically Spaghetti in one of the tastiest sauces I’ve ever eaten, It was full of chilly, tomatoes and even had curry leaves!

Incredibly, they’d managed to make both dishes taste like a meal I would have eaten in Calcutta or Bombay…don’t ask me how to explain that….that’s just how it was.  The subtle tastes that Italian food is famous for such as the hint of wine, the sweetness of cherry tomatoes, the basil, the stringy cheese…I couldn’t taste any of those today!

What a shame, it would be a great place to take visitors but I really wouldn’t offer them food like that which promises to be authentic but really isn’t!

At the end of it all there was a surprise waiting for the six of us! When the bill arrived there was a 15% service fee! 15% ???? and a long questionnaire that the waiter insisted we fill out! ‘Was your experience a satisfactory one?’  Jeez! And oh, this one was better… ‘Will you recommend La Moda to your friends and family?’ Yeah right…. Next week we’re just going to have to order Chinese take away and watch old Friends re-runs.

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