Mix together two high-energy young entrepreneurs, a chef and a manager poached from one of Mayfair’s top restaurants, a great Sheikh Zayed location and you have the ingredients for something rather special and what may be considered one of the best restaurants in Sheikh Zayed.

Type of cuisine: Plenty of Italian plates with a twist, along with a range of globally inspired starters.

Signature dishes: While there are some dishes that have been singled out by the chef as signature items, we would say – just follow your instincts. All pasta is home-made, vegetables are sourced from a high quality supplier and personally selected piece by piece by the chef. Beef is either Argentinean or local, but again from a carefully chosen source, ensuring prime quality. The Chicken Ivy is one signature dish that we personally can recommend.

Dishes sampled: Not being in the mood for anything too substantial, we kicked off an early dinner with Shrimp Guacamole Bites. Large, succulent, perfectly pink prawns resting on a bed of tasty guacamole. The guacamole was the best we had tried in ages, freshly made, with just the right amount of fresh jalapeño pepper and finely chopped onion adding a zing to the smooth avocado. It tasted superb, and felt healthy and guilt-free.

The Ivy Chicken that followed was a treat for the palate; the chicken breasts had been grilled with carefully balanced seasoning, and were served with a generous amount of a creamy, spicy peanut sauce. The flavors came through in layers, the subtle kick of churrasco almost an afterthought after the smooth creaminess of the peanut base. Texture was important as well, the chicken was melt-in-the-mouth tender, and the crunch of roughly chopped peanuts in the accompanying sauce set off the complex mix of flavors. This dish is a ‘must try’.

Other menu options that appealed: The pasta dishes all look inviting, as does the Porcini Mushroom Risotto. The Beef Fillet has been highly recommended, so would definitely be on our list. For an all-out splurge, we would try the Diablo Lobster Spaghetti, with chunks of lobster served on black squid ink pasta… as devilish as it sounds.

Beverage options: For us, the amazing signature cocktails created by Maria, a barista who really knows her stuff. Apart from that, you will find a full bar, including wine and beer, along with softer options and fresh juices. Something for every taste and preference.

Décor: Marble, leather and copper, edgy and chic with a slight Art Deco feel. Seating has been arranged between indoor and outdoor sections, with both high and standard tables. The leather and wood chairs give a very sophisticated feel to the striking metal and marble finishing.

Ambience: Cool, classy, clubby, and cosmopolitan. A place to see and be seen.

Clientele mix: The toned and the buffed, the influencers, and anyone who wants to immerse themselves in a very trendy setting.

Price range:  Slightly upper-end, but manageable according to how you order.

Opening hours: Sunday/Monday/Wednesday 7:00 pm to 12:00 am, with last food orders at 11:30 pm. Tuesday/Thursday/Friday see the music amp up and the club atmosphere going on until 3:00 am.

Watch out for news of the monthly Saturday brunch, starting at 1:00 pm to catch the sleepy heads who have just rolled out of bed.

Address: Guezira Plaza – Sheikh Zayed

Tel: 0128 2184083