Flipping through menus on-line and in the restaurant often at length is one of my favourite hobbies. The menu not only lists the food and drink available, but often gives you a clue about the history or heritage of the restaurant and perhaps some information on the passion behind the food or the dishes. The most interesting one yet has to be that of Serafina which is situated in Souq Al Bahar.  With a lovely outdoor terrace overlooking the Dubai fountains, a side terrace offering a tranquil space to hangout with a nice drink and an interesting interior with plenty of interesting art work on the walls who would have thought that the story behind the restaurant could be so interesting and inspirational.

So here it is :

Serafina Restaurant Group was conceived while Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato were traumatically lost at sea in a small sailboat. Wearing only bathing suits, suffering from bitter cold, violent weather and severe hunger pains, the two stranded friends fantasized about creating the perfect pizza. Using Fabio’s architectural genius to construct a revolutionary oven and Vittorio’s artistry in Neapolitan cuisine, the Serafina idea and brilliant partnership was born. With an uncertain immediate future, they swore to open a restaurant serving the best pizza and pasta in the world if they were to survive the terrifying ordeal. In 1995, they fulfilled their promise by launching the highly acclaimed Serafina Fabulous Pizza. 

Today, Serafina is a popular spot with multiple locations in New York, a restaurant in Philadelphia and with international restaurants in Brazil, Moscow, Tokyo, Mumbai and more recently Dubai. In New York Serafina is a popular spot with celebrities including The Kardashians, Bono, Prince & Lady Gaga.  Not anywhere near as famous as any of these celebs, I was pleased to be invited along to lunch as a plus one (a great way to dine – a chance to enjoy lunch but with no obligation to write or share the experience) but the foodie in me couldn’t resist taking some snaps of lunch and sharing my experience of a lovely winter lunch enjoyed al fresco.

Antipasta – I choose Bresaola – Italian cured beef, arugula, lemon, pepper, EVOO and Parmigiano Reggianno  whilst my companion had Spinaci e Caprino Baby Leaf Spinach, candied walnuts, Goats Cheese and Pine Nuts.  Both dishes were good and not too filling, as you would expect the ingredients were imported in from Italy and the rich fat plump olives were particularly good.

Paste Secche : Spaghetti All’ Aragosta – my companion chose spaghetti with half a lobster in spicy tomato sauce with fresh herbs which was a visual treat and resulted in us spending far too long clicking pictures than was probably required, but that’s what we foodies do. I ordered Pizza Di SerafinaPhilly Cheesesteak  – Philadelphia steak with Italian cheeses and truffle sauce.  I don’t normally choose pizza but I really enjoyed this one, the steak was cooked perfectly, the sauce was rich with cheese which didn’t overpower the dish meaning that the truffle sauce was the hero, a pizza which was indulgent, extremely moreish and frankly lip smackingly good.

Desserts or Nostri Dolci as the Italians call it and it sounds so much more sensual : Who can resist Tiramisu? Not my dining companion it seemed tucking in enthusiastically whilst I tucked into Trio de Profiteroles which were filled with pistachio ice-cream, chocolate cream and whipped cream and topped with melted Nutella –  light and airy yet indulgent with the nutella topping they were a nice end to the meal.

Location : Serafina is in Souq Al Bahar next to Baker and Spice. Whilst I loved the outdoor terrace and outdoor space, there’s plenty to look at inside with some lovely funky artwork on the walls. Serafina also host popular live Jazz nights every Wednesday from 8pm and it it licensed to serve alcohol and I plan to checkout the Dancing Fountain Fizz a prosecco and strawberry cocktail on my next trip.

PS the Serafina Pinacolado was quite deliscious, a mixture of pineapple, coconut and dates made it an indulgent mocktail.

Visit Serafina at Souq al Bahar  www.facebook.com/SerafinaDubai and  http://www.ginzaretail.com/restaurants/serafina-dubai/ 

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