A slice of Napoli pizza…in Dubai

Raffaele - baking pizza in Rosso Vivo's wood-fired oven

Raffaele – baking pizza in Rosso Vivo’s wood-fired oven

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.

Rosso Vivo's Napoli pizza

Rosso Vivo’s Napoli pizza

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.

Rosso Vivo's DOC & Bufalina pizza

Rosso Vivo’s DOC & Bufalina pizza – just for little lady 🙂

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.

Carluccio's Bufalina pizza plus anchovies

Carluccio’s Bufalina pizza plus anchovies

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?

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

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21 Responses to “A slice of Napoli pizza…in Dubai”

  1. Tala May 29, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I have heard a lot of good things about this restaurant and it was actually in the pipeline to be reviewed.

    I was very delighted to see it in my inbox from you.

    I’m loving the thick crust and you are absolutely correct it has to be crisp.

    Can’t wait to try it and thanks for the review!

    • FooDiva May 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      You’re very welcome Tala. Let me know how it fares for you!

  2. I Live in a Frying Pan May 29, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I just called these guys yesterday cause I wanted to host a little party there! I’m so glad you reviewed it, now I know it’s good enough to take people there 😀

    • FooDiva May 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      It’s a teeny place Arva so I hope it’s a small party! There’s a counter with stools facing the oven and another shorter one by the window. But quality over quantity as they say!

  3. dave reeder May 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I remember Il Rustico in Rydges Plaza as being pretty good though I admit I haven’t been there for some time. I think the problem with most Italian places is that they overcomplicate their pizzas – this is one food where less really is more.

    • FooDiva May 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Gosh yes I do remember Il Rustico and it was indeed a goodie all those years ago. There’s a new hotel operator in charge so have no idea what it’s like. True – the fewer the toppings the better the pizza like in Napoli 🙂

  4. Emma May 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Little Lady just read the review, nodded throughout and now has an appetite for pizza….again!

    • FooDiva May 29, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      Glad she agrees Emma – we’ll have to return before you leave.

  5. Irini Savva May 30, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I’ve eaten their pizza’s a few times now. Agree about the delivery, better to eat it there than take it away. Also if you’re looking for a pizza with a lot of toppings, this is not the pizza to go for – it’s all about the base here. The Napoli is my favourite choice…

  6. Tasmeea May 31, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Great review, would love to try this place out.

    • FooDiva May 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Thanks Tasmeea. Love to hear your opinion when you do. Enjoy.

  7. Devina Divecha (FooDee) May 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Oh nice. Another pizza place to try out 😀 I’ve got a list of pizzeria suggestions from your blog building up and haven’t gone yet!

    • FooDiva May 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Bit of a trend going on here Devina. Have you tried Pizza by the Metre in Barsha yet? (on my list…)

      • Devina Divecha (FooDee) June 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm

        No I haven’t! *Adds to ever-growing list* I haven’t heard of it before either…not sure where it is. Must Google.

      • Devina Divecha (FooDee) June 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

        Have you also tried Pizza ME in JLT? I had some of their pizzas yesterday. Not bad!

        • FooDiva June 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

          I tried Pizza by the Metre last night http://www.pizzabythemetre.com – ordered a Margherita and asked for anchovies to be added. Sadly because their van wasn’t available for the early time I requested delivery, they had to halve it into two 50cm pizzas. A blessing in disguise as it was our mini-van munchies for Madonna! I sprinkled oregano on it – pretty decent but no way does the crust compete with RossoVivo. Not tried Pizza ME but will add to my ever-growing list!

  8. Emiliano June 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Why you all think that pizza was invented in Naples? In the 18th century? 🙂 The term ‘pizza’ first appeared “in a Latin text from the southern Italian town of Gaeta (half way between Rome and Naples) in 997 AD. Of course in Naples they were the first to add mozzarella 🙂 (great idea!!!) and they named Pizza Margherita, after Queen Margherita of Savoy: In June 1889, to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan chef Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita,” a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag.
    W la Pizza!

    • FooDiva November 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks for the history lession Emiliano. There appear to be so many different stories regarding the origin of pizza 🙂 Anyhow, what’s important is finding good pizza today! Appreciate your comment.

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