Tel: +971 4 3329575
Sahara Tower, Sh. Zayed Road
Behind Tony Roma's and Starbucks Coffee
I discovered this tucked away Italian Bistro in Sheikh Zayed Road just by mere accident. There was no available parking close to the lighting company where I was going to.
It could be luck or the mere fact that I'm famished that I even noticed the writings on the wall... "Vice Versa right this way"... Vice Versa didn't really hit me as a restaurant. Vice Versa is a clothing brand where I came from so I just thought it was an odd photo right next to Starbucks, it can't be a new menu from Starbucks.
I and my 2 kids followed the photos that wrapped the side of the building which also houses Tony Romas. Then the entrance came in sight, it is indeed a restuarant!
Curiously and hungrily, we entered. There's no customer. We happily climbed the stairs to the floor above and sat anxiously, we want the food we saw on the the photos but at the same time, we're worried. No customer equates to either bad service or bad food.
Then came the menu... "wow". For such an empty resto, they have a lot to offer! I got soooo confused; that's not an ordinary occurence. Still doubtful we ordered.
Obviously the boys gravitated towards Carbonara Spaghetti while I greedily ordered, Eggplant Parmigiana and Caprese for Starters and Trio Pasta.
The Carbonara Spaghetti came with beef bacon in a cream sauce that very much made my two boys shrieked with happiness. While mine came in batches.
First the Caprese, a salad made of slices of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, basil and pesto dressing. I have never tried a caprese that I didn't like so at that point, I wasn't yet impressed. It's hard to wrong a Caprese.
Then came the eggplant parmigiana which I'll be tasting for the first time. Let's just say, I devoured that dish in seconds. I loved it! Two appetizers, both lovely. I can't wait for my main course. Will it make me fall head over heels or will it fail?
I told myself, it's an empty Italian Bistro hidden from the busy street, I shouldn't expect so much.
The trio pasta came and my tastebuds gloriously celebrated. It's one plate hosting three classic pastas. Pesto. Procini. Bolognese. Yum. Super Yum. Mega Yum! I couldn't believe it. I ate them all. Yes it was a definite gluttony, especially in the seaon of lent but the temptation was too much. I really felt bad but my tummy couldn't be bothered!
This happened on a Saturday "lunner". The term we use for meals in between lunch and dinner.
Just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating, I brought my hubby and my sis to the resto, of course with my two boys who were salivating just by the thought of going back to Vice Versa.
This time around, I also ordered Beef Carpaccio, hubby ordered Lasagna and sis ordered Capricciosa. For dessert, we ordered Gelato Fritto.
Hubby said Lasagna was alright, nothing special. I guess it's like Caprese, hard to get that wrong, he did finish his whole plate; So that must be a good "alright". Sis however was over the moon about her dish. Capricciosa is a pizza made of turkey ham, artichoke, olives and mushrooms. I had a slice and it was indeed delish!
I on the other hand had my Beef Carpaccio as my appetizer which is my benchmark for any Italian joint, do it well and I'll be over the moon. It comes with rucola and parmegiano slice. So far I only have La Moda of Radisson SAS and Splendido of Ritz Carlton to go for when it comes to Carpaccio. Everyone else is a let-down. With Vice Versa, I was skeptical because it's so below the market price and when it was served, it wasn't paper thin, it was a little thick and my experience with quite thicker cuts were
disappointing. Vice Versa however made it as if the slice's thinness is irrelevant. I loved it! Makes me think, maybe all the rest just didn't bother to buy the good quality cuts.
Though we're full to the brim, we couldn't let the chance to taste Gelato Fritto pass us by. Again, we've tried this dessert in other restaurants, Asians, fusions and what not, so, we had little faith. For me, it's okay, I've been fed well and I'm a happy camper even if the dessert fails me.
It came just how it was promised and so much more! It is vanilla ice cream with a crumb coating, lightly fried. Just heavenly! The crumb coating tastes like donut but the texture is lightier, crumblier, I really don't know how best to describe it. The vanilla ice cream is still perfect when you cut through the donut-like coating. I haven't really tried gelato but if that ice cream is indeed how gelato is, then I'm forever converted! You basically don't lick it and sort of melts it in your mouth, that ice cream is a little chewable, if that's even possible. I don't know if it's because of the coating or it's the ice cream, Gelato Fritto is up in the pedestal with my all time favourite, Molten Chocolate Cake from Chilis.
Vice Versa? The intensity of the flavour, made your name (I'd prefer Bistro Italiano), your location and your view minutely important. I'll come back over and over again to enjoy your delectable food!
I ate at Vice Versa within the same week, just a day apart, that means aaaaa lot!