UAE food: Say it like you eat it at La Fabbrica: Focacceria Italiana
As we tucked into this Italian meal, we couldn't help remembering the famous book and novel 'Eat Pray Love'.
My favourite part of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book and later, of course, the movie starring Julia Roberts, Eat Pray Love, is the one that takes place in Italy, where the protagonist, Liz, discovers the true pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy. I particularly enjoy the bits where she romances the food and the pronunciation of the Italian words. So, no wonder when a meal from La Fabbrica: Focacceria Italiana, reached home, I went all Liz about it.
I started by learning how to pronounce focaccia, stressing the middle syllable and the double c. What is focaccia? Well, it’s a flat oven-baked bread, essentially it is the pizza dough but fluffier and lighter. UAE’s first-ever Focacceri brings the history of authentic focaccia to you serving more than 15 variations of focaccia. Reading through their menu, which serves only three things, burrata, focaccia and tiramisu, was indeed a reminder of Liz calling Italian a fairyland kind of language, say it like you eat it.
Foremost, it was the Genovese, a beautiful serving of burrata, pickled heirloom tomato salad, with Genovese pesto. It was oh-so-creamy, and we scooped it with Focaccia Tradizionale, one topped with Za’atar and the other with olives and tomato. Burrata happens to be my favourite cheese for more reasons than one.
To start with, I can’t get over the round, beautiful shape and this one claims to be hand-moulded by Italian artists! This followed by how when we cut through the mild pillowy firm outer casing (made of mozzarella), the soft, and stringy curd-like and fresh cream appeared. It was rich, yet didn’t feel overindulgent, which is how this queen of Italian cheese is best described.
Moving on to the showstopper, the focaccia, which the team suggest is favoured by many for its non-bloating quality (fermented during its three-day proofing). The emotion that they maintain the 2000-year-old recipe evokes even today comes alive in our first bite of the Toscana. Most of us are familiar with the thinner Tuscan style version, and this one was the thickest I’ve ever had in the city, perhaps three-quarters of an inch thick. The provolone cheese (mild, highly recommended if you don’t like a stronger flavour), the tangy lemon zest and the baked zucchini slices were magically chewy, yet crusty. How does one achieve that now?
Its counterpart, the Piemontese, is not for the faint-hearted, for you have to love the musky aroma of truffles for it. It was doused in robiola and mascarpone cheese, again both milder flavours, which only enhanced the taste of the truffles and sliced potatoes. And once again, the airy texture won us over. We ended the meal, with the tiramisu. Side note, invented by the family’s Great Aunt Speranza Bon and served to a passing Greek Princess, this dessert is prepared using the exact recipe and ingredients of the founder herself! Ours was airy, dreamy, creamy, chocolatey (coffee too!), fluffy and custardy – I am falling short of adjectives now. So, I’ll just quote Gilbert again, “I think I deserve something beautiful”; and yes, this meal was it.
Your delivery will come in pretty cardboard boxes with heating instructions. The cold items came with ice bags, which made sure we could eat our desserts and burrata right away. Buon Appetito!
Where: La Fabbrica Italiana, Wasl 51, Dubai
Meal for two: Dh200
Order via lafabbricaitaliana.com, 045470719