Mozzo Centrale is located in a residential area of Umm Suqeim at the site of the old Central Perk, in the small strip of restaurants where you’ll find the Maria Bonita Taco Shop.
It’s an Italian-Mediterranean restaurant with red and white checkerboard tablecloths that conjures up memories of an old-style trattoria. You can imagine sharing a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs by candlelight, like Lady and the Tramp.
It’s an unpretentious place with decent food and enough variety for you to go with your friends or family week after week to have a relaxed and casual meal. They have interior seating and a terrace outside where you can watch the cars drive down Umm Al Sheif.
Ready to start eating? They start you with a plate of complimentary breadsticks and olive tapenade.
The Mozzo Quinoa Salad doesn’t look all that – seems to be missing some colour – but it’s a tasty and unusual mix of quinoa, roasted pineapple, avocado, fried sweet potatoes, almond flakes and lemon dressing.
One of the new items on the menu is the Shiitake Pesto Pizza – cream cheese, shiitake mushroom, white truffle oil, mozzarella, pistachio nuts and pesto sauce. The crust is thin and very different to what you get in a classic Neapolitan pizza. But no matter since the toppings aren’t very traditional either! This was a heavy and creamy pizza and while not exactly to my taste, I’m sure others will enjoy it just fine.
One of my favourite dishes was one of Mozzo Centrale’s new specialities, the lobster and truffle mac and cheese. I’m a mac and cheese girl anyway, but this one comes in its own baking tray with a creamy sauce of four cheeses, boiled lobster and white truffle oil, with crunchy breadcrumbs on top. The lobster tail is just for show – the meat has been extracted already and can be found inside.
One of the other new dishes was the Cuban Mojo Sea Bass – a grilled sea bass fillet on a bed of sauteed cabbage and zucchini with a mango dressing and “Cuban” sauce. This was a light and healthy option, though the fish was a bit overcooked for my liking.
Mr. S ordered the Spicy Beef, a grilled tenderloin marinated in a sweet soy sauce with a side of asparagus risotto. That tenderloin doesn’t look very man-sized but thankfully we had enough food to keep us satisfied. I enjoyed the flavour of the sauce, but Mr. S didn’t quite think the risotto went with the dish.
For afters, we enjoyed one of the house desserts, the simple Decadent Angel Berry Trifle – a jar of angel cake, layered with mixed fresh berries and lots of whipped cream.
Verdict: An unpretentious place with decent food and enough variety for you to go with your friends or family week after week to have a relaxed and casual meal.
Note to self: Want a late breakfast? They’ve recently extended their breakfast time to 6pm on weekends and public holidays.
Umm Al Sheif Street
Tel: 04 394 8081
Chow for now!