Monday, May 12, 2008



Wafi City


Tel: 04 324 4100
Email: fnb.sales@wafi.com

Medzo has a business lunch set menu which is pretty inexpensive at Dhs85 and quick to serve. For some reason, it’s not automatically offered to lunch guests which means you’re effectively stuck with the big boy’s menu if you’re hosting a largish group.

The set menu, incidentally, includes a choice of three starters from a list of delicious looking things. Be warned – you get three canapĂ© toppings the size of your thumbnail arranged on a plate. Go for the seafood salad starter if you actually want to get through lunch before your blood sugar levels drop too low.

I’ve never seen it busy at lunch, which is a shame, because few things are more depressing than empty restaurants.

Medzo is billed as an Italian restaurant (well, as a ‘contemporary Italian menu with a Mediterranean’ twist, whatever that is), but it’s almost self-consciously chic to the point where you are in danger of missing the Italian theme: this is also true of the food, with a menu that, although it does contain ‘antipasti’ and ‘pasta’ and ‘pizze’, is heavier on pan fried this and that served with this and that mash and a glaze of balsamic somethingorother. While these make all the right noises, they don’t necessarily make for great food: it can all jar a little, to be honest.

For starters, various members of the party had: the potato soup (excellent), goat’s cheese and pistachio ‘canneloni’ (liked it), the mixed seafood salad (loved it to death) and I took the lobster and tomato soup, which was fine but didn’t leave me breathless with excitement. It had something of an identity crisis, sort of wanting to be a bisque but not having the weight, aspiring to be a consommĂ© but not having the depth of flavour. You’ll notice I was the only one being picky here.

The mains arrived: several went for the pizza, which was enjoyed universally. But then if you can’t make a pizza, you’d really want to be shutting up shop, wouldn’t you? An order of carbonara, off menu, came as a spaghetti and was enjoyed but looked like it had spent a few minutes too long under the UV lamps: similarly, my fillet steak had spent a while sitting around, my fault for ordering medium to well. It was, again, fine but not in any way remarkable or special. The presentation, incidentally was nice, as it was for all of the main courses that came out. Three had the duck, “pan seared marinated lavender duck breast with caramelised peach, glazed carrot and pumpkin mash” and said that they enjoyed it.

The service was a little patchy: in an empty restaurant you’d expect a little more attention when you needed it and the plates came out in bursts of activity rather than one flurry. It’s slightly odd to be offered food that’s been hanging around waiting to expedited when the kitchen can hardly be busy, but that’s the breaks I guess.

It being lunchtme, we skipped desserts and slipped down a coffee instead before getting back to the hamster wheel.

As a business lunch, Medzo is not bad at all but then not inspired, either. It’s a little empty, the service is a little slow and the food is, although it presents some interesting ideas and is perfectly competently executed, not jaw-droppingly great. I’d probably go back for lunch but I’d probably skip on having that special evening meal here.

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