“A single bite is all it takes for you to know that our dough is truly something special.” Antonia
After seeing Antonia Restaurant plastered across my social media since it opened last month I was excited to try the much hyped Italian sourdough pizzas. Located on the beachfront promenade at Mamsha Al Saadiyat, the new homegrown restaurant is the concept of Chef Simone Federici, former head chef at Italian restaurant, Mare Mare.
The restaurant’s striking red, pale green and monochrome interior is definitely eye-catching and the theme continues in their unique branded pizza boxes. As well as indoor tables and bar seating there’s a large ocean facing outdoor terrace offering the perfect spot to dine and enjoy a glass of vino.
Thankfully the hype was lived up too. The Roman style pizza al taglio, traditionally sold in square or rectangular slices, was delicious. So what’s the secret? Well the not-so-secret ingredient is Grandma Antonia’s (who features on the wooden pizza boards) 50-year-old sourdough that’s fermented for 72 hours and then mixed with 80% water, rustic Italian flour, olive oil and salt. I can confirm the thick crust is light and crispy and comes with a variety of toppings from the simple margherita to those topped with burrata, chicken, bresaola and salmon.
It’s not all about the pizza either as there’s plenty of other tasty options on the menu. Chose from authentic fresh pasta, suppli (fried Roman street food), salads and my personal recommendation, the parmigiana. No Italian menu would be complete without desserts so save room for some tiramisu or a sweet Nutella pizza. Weekly specials include Vongole Mondays, Gnocchi Tuesdays and Sea Urchin Wednesdays with limited portions available until they run out. The licensed restaurant has a selection of Italian wines, beers and of course Aperol Spritz.
While the food was great and met all expectations, the service fell short. It’s early days and the already extremely popular restaurant is clearly understaffed when busy. I won’t let the lacklustre service we experienced deter me from returning because the food and location are certainly worth a return visit.
Location: Turquoise 9, Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Cultural District, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 667 2554
Opening Times: Daily 12 noon – 11pm (walk-ins only on Thursday, Friday & Saturday),
The views in this post are all my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2021. All rights reserved.