Eager to sample the offerings at Fairmont Nile City’s new Italian fine dining establishment, we visited for a midweek dinner and were escorted on a gastronomic journey, with a contemporary twist, into the roots of Italy’s regional dishes.
Signatures Dishes & Dishes Sampled
Every item on the menu stood out, but we were recommended to try the Carpaccio Di Manzo, The Calamari and the Zuppa di Mare al Cartoccio. The sous-vide method of cooking at precise temperatures in a water bath is used extensively by Chef Vincenzo Guglielmi to ensure dishes retain flavor and right level of cooking.
When you have an expert on hand, it pays to sit back and follow his lead. L’Uliveto Assistant Manager Francesco Pelliccia presided over our evening from the minute we entered, so we thankfully allowed him to select dishes sure he thought we would enjoy. Our fresh and fizzy strawberry-based welcome drinks set the mood perfectly as we waited for our starters.
Arriving together, our Carpaccio di Manzo and Calamari Fritti were both exquisitely presented. The generous platter of wafer thin slices of herb crusted beef fillet came with ruccola, sprouts, taro chips, Parmigiano cold sauce, a sous-vide egg yolk sauce and cheese crisps. Sounds daunting? It was actually delicious, and went down quickly. The tiny rings of fried calamari came nestled on a bed of baby greens, accompanied by a fresh tomato relish, shrimp oil and homemade sweet garlic mayo. The batter was crunchy and light, and the textures counterbalanced each other well. The slate serving platter was a great choice, it was as a pretty as a picture.
We followed this with a richly flavored Zuppa di Mare al Cartoccio. Cooked in its own plastic bag, the seafood soup is ceremoniously cut open at the table, allowing diners to appreciate the release of the aromas given off by the steaming hot contents. Don’t we all love a touch of theatre?
The tomato and fish based broth was packed with squid, grouper, shrimp, mussels, roast onion and baby potatoes. It felt traditional to the core; we were transported to some tiny Italian fishing village on a rocky Adriatic coastline from the first sip.
When dining Italian, we always love a bite of pasta, so we went with the Ravioli Caprese. The spinach flavored pasta pockets came stuffed with mozzarella and tomato, with a fresh tomato crudaiola, basil pesto, basil sprouts, Parmigiano mousse and roasted baby tomatoes to elevate it to something special.
Much as we love pasta, we are also big pizza fans, so couldn’t resist the Gourmet La Princepessa, chunks of buffalo mozzarella, smoked salmon and ruccola sprouts on freshly baked focaccia. The dough is rested for 48 hours to ensure it has the correct light and chewy consistency when baked. Perfection!
Thankfully, portions were not overly huge, so when dessert time rolled around we had no hesitation in opting for Il Tiramisu di Nina, probably the best version we have ever had the fortune to dig our spoons into. Creamy homemade mascarpone mousse, home baked savoiardi biscuit, intense espresso, cocoa and dark chocolate chips – a winning combination. What a great way to wind up an evening to remember.
We would love to try the Ossobucco Milanese, along with nearly everything else on the menu!
Soft beverages are available, along with a full bar and great wine list.
Décor & Ambience
Contemporary, with earth and sea tones predominating. Tables are arranged to benefit from the great Nile view and low-key nostalgic music plays in the background.
Fellow diners seemed to be a mix of nationalities. Groups and business diners, all 25 +. The dress code for guests may be casual, but the service in the restaurant is impeccable and definitely reflective of its’ 5-star hotel status.
Price range: High end, but worth the splurge.
Opening hours: Daily from breakfast service at 6 am, through to lunch and dinner. Closes at 11 pm.
Address: Fairmont Nile City, Nile City Towers
Tel: 02 2461 9494
Facebook / Instagram: Fairmont Nile City