A slice of Napoli pizza…in Dubai
Dubai; Pizza may go hand in hand with Italian cuisine, but its origins can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks, where a yeast-less flat bread was baked with veggie toppings. Slowly but surely, it found its way to Naples in Italy and those less fortunate started adding tomato to the flat bread in the late 18th century, creating the first versions of what we now call pizza. Remember the scene from Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts’ pizza frenzy? Well that’s Da Michele pizzeria in Napoli.
Even though FooDiva has blogged about Dubai’s best pizza before, finding authentic Napoli pizza here amongst the zillions of Italian trattorias and pizzerias is like searching for a needle in a haystack – but looks like the opening of a teeny pizza joint, Rossovivo at Business Bay may help fill that gap.
The owners may be Romans, but the traditional wood-fired oven was constructed by a builder from Naples using hand-made clay bricks imported from Campania. Most importantly though, the pizza chef, Raffaele hails from Naples and even worked at Da Michele. The hot air rolls over the top of the pizza, whilst the bricks seal the base immediately to make it firm and crispy. Free of artificial additives and preservatives, the dough is leavened for 24 hours which also helps makes it light, fluffy and crispy.
Rossovivo has a menu of 20 classical and creative pizzas (all one size) which we perused perched on stools across from the oven. Our trio, including an 11 year-old pizza lover whose opinion was crucial, ordered the original Napoli pizza with tomato, mozzarella (it may not be buffalo but at least it’s local from Italian Dairy Products), anchovies, oregano and basil – the Umbra with mozzarella, mushrooms, garlic and basil – and the little lady’s special request of half D.O.C. – buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil and Bufalina – tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil.
Pizza should be eaten pretty much within minutes of leaving the scorching hot oven otherwise it will go soggy – hence avoid delivery if you can. Whilst the crusts and a good chunk of the pizza was firm, the centre of two of our three pizzas (Napoli and Umbra) were slightly soft and maleable – whereas little lady’s, whose pizza was the last to be baked, was perfectly crisp all round. You can also blame FooDiva’s time-wasting on photography. Having said that, I relished every morsel and scoffed mine pretty quickly, even though a purist would frown at the use of basil in Napoli – strictly oregano they say. My two guests thoroughly enjoyed their take-away breakfast! Would little lady return? Most definitely yes, as will FooDiva.
If Business Bay isn’t convenient and until Rossovivo expands, then FooDiva’s two other recommendations for authentic pizza are Emporio Armani Caffe (Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall) and Carluccio’s (Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Mall and Mirdif City Centre). At the latter, the dough is apparently left to leaven for 48 hours before wood-firing. If you’re after Napoli, request anchovies to be added to the Margherita or Bufalina.
Rossovivo is located in the Millennium Tower at Business Bay just off the Sheikh Zayed. T; +971 4 3805833. Open for dining in and delivery. Saturday to Wednesday 11am – 11pm. Weekends 11.30am – 11.30pm. Pizzas are priced from AED 25 to 50 – one size only. A second location has recently opened at Internet City and the Napoli is just as good. Block A, Office Park Building. T; +971 4 4272477. Same opening hours.
Have you tasted Rossovivo’s? Do you have a preferred pizzeria in town?