BASTA! Restaurant

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Fusing the food and feel of a Roman trattoria, Florentine steakhouse and Neapolitan pizzeria into one buzzing venue, BASTA! serves up full-flavored Italian cuisine in a seriously stylish space in front of the Dubai Water Canal.

As the shouty name might suggest, BASTA!, from US Michelin-starred chef David Myers, is a fun and lively, but more importantly good quality, casual eatery from the American TV chef who happens to run two other outlets in the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai.

You can choose from indoors or terrace vibes for your meal, offering gorgeous views out over the Dubai Water Canal.

On the menu, you’ll find many a traditional Mediterranean dish, and special mention from the starter menu has to go to the heirloom tomato and red onion bruschetta served on a walnut and basil pesto-coated hunk of bread. It’s beautifully balanced and bursting with Italian flavour. Its taste is further enhanced by thinly sliced yellow, red and green tomatoes.

Alternatively, try the grilled calamari, which (refreshingly) isn’t delivered in the conventional battered and fried format, but instead as multiple flat sheets of squid, alongside baby octopus tentacles. It’s a garlicky delight.

For your main course you’ll have a tough time picking between the authentic pizzas, the equally traditional pastas (of which the spinach tagliatelle with beef bolognese is a must-try), or the grilled items. The latter is home to a wonderfully tender beef short rib with beautifully piped potatoes.