Until the 15th October 2020 Mare Mare will be participating in Abu Dhabi’s citywide campaign, Chef’s Table Dining Series – From Dunes to Oceans, which highlights Abu Dhabi’s best restaurants and most talented chefs.
Commenting on the inspiration behind his unique Chef’s Table menu, this is what Chef Simone had to say, ‘Emirati cuisine often heavily features fresh fish and seafood, the same as Italian cuisine. I have incorporated locally sourced Seabass and Oysters on to my Chef’s Table menu, cooked traditionally and served with classic Italian elements.”
Having grown up in Abruzzo, Italy, since the young age of 13, Chef Simone knew he was going to be a chef. At the age of 17 he was recognised as one of the top three young chefs in Italy by the National Federation of Chefs and became a qualified sommelier the following year. An international career followed, cooking in the Caribbean, Miami and the Middle East. Chef Simone has a philosophy of customer-centric adaptiveness – taking inspiration purely from what his diners want to see on their plates.
Onto our dining experience. We enter Mare Mare and are warmly welcomed by the team, the restaurant is (safely) bustling with guests and it is refreshing to see. We select one of the cosy booths perched to the side of the restaurant. Not that we ever need a reason to visit Mare Mare (the food is some of the best Italian food you will find in Abu Dhabi) but today we are here to try Mare Mare’s Chef’s Table menu.
Before any of the food is served Chef Simone comes to the table to welcome us and explain the menu structure for the evening. This is one of the main highlights of a Chef’s Table experience, interacting with the chef. We begin our 5 course culinary journey. From the crudi bar, we both select the Gambero di Mazara, a Mazara Prawn elegantly plated and presented with fine Truffle shavings, a delightful start.
Next, for our second course, the carpaccio section. I order the Carpaccio di Polipo, Octopus Carpaccio, whilst my dining companion selects the Carpaccio di Barbabietola, a Beetroot Carpaccio. Worth noting is that the Chef’s Table menu does feature a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Getting back to our dining experience, the finely cut Octopus is delectable, you can taste the freshness. The Beetroot Carpaccio arrives with an element of theatre, as it is revealed from underneath a cloud of smoke, which infuses the dish and works in harmony with the velvety cheese.
By our third course we start to pace ourselves, not an easy task given the food is so good. The Zuppa di Pomodoro, Roasted Tomato Soup has a chunky tangy base, dispersed by a creamy cheese that melts into the soup.
We take a small break to ensure we have ample space to enjoy our coming dishes. The service so far has been very attentive but not intrusive, a fine balance but one the team at Mare Mare have nicely mastered. Chef Simone has been visiting our table throughout our Chef’s Table experience, introducing dishes and explaining the creativity behind them.
The fourth course offers three types of pasta. I opt for the Risotto alle Melanzane, a Smoked Eggplant Risotto, the thick Risotto offers a rich velvety sauce with soft but slightly al dente grains. My dining companion selects the Chitarrina al Ragu di Agnello, a Homemade Spaghetti with a Lamb Ragu. The Lamb Ragu is a blend of fine succulent meaty cuts mixed in a dense sauce, the portion is very generous.
We opt to share dessert, and each enjoy a sample of Tiramisu and Baba au Rhum, a superb end to a marvellous Chef’s Table dining experience.
If you are looking for the most picturesque dining experience in the UAE, Mare Mare should be at the top of your list. Nestled a stone’s throw away from the shores of Saadiyat beach, Mare Mare is one of Abu Dhabi’s most popular Italian restaurants. Mare Mare promises home-cooked coastal flavors of Italy set in a relaxing beach side location, with an indoor setting during the summer and an open-air terrace, perfect for the coming cooler days and evenings.
Chef Simone and his team have done extremely well to create a unique Chef’s Table dining experience. The menu features 5 delicious courses, each offering an average of three options per course, catering to vegetarian and non-vegetarian diners.
Chef’s Table ‘From Dunes To Oceans’ menu is available until the 15th October 2020 and is priced at AED 350 per person for a unique 5 course menu dining experience.
Mare Mare, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, +971 2 811 4444