It was a few years ago now that I was introduced to one of the simplest yet finest examples of Italian cuisine: the Neapolitan-style pizza. And not just any pizza, but the simplest yet most delicious Margherita DOP, cooked for mere minutes in a wood-fired brick oven.
DOP stands for Denominazione di Origine Protetta or protected designation of origin. That basically means that all of the ingredients in this pizza should come from their designated locations in Italy – from the flour to the San Marzano tomatoes to the mozzarella di bufala, basil and extra-virgin olive oil.
Fratelli la Bufala is one of my favourite places in Dubai to have a Margherita DOP. Some people don’t appreciate the simplicity of this dish. Perhaps they have some kind of pizza discrimination and expect their pizza to be fried in a pan or have a crust stuffed with cheese. I’ve even hear some diners complain about the char on the crust – which I think is a must and adds to the flavour. In fact, when I was in Bologna last month I actually stumbled upon a Fratelli la Bufala – so Italians eat it too! That’s good enough for me.
On my last trip to Fratelli la Bufala, we also sampled some of the other dishes on the menu. While for me, the pizza is the superstar, their other dishes are also good for when you want to enjoy a comforting, casual Italian meal.
What’s on the menu:
Focaccia Aglio e Olio – The waiter highly recommended this simple pizza bread with herbs, garlic and olive oil. I normally wouldn’t have ordered it alongside a pizza, but it was so delicious that I literally keep dreaming about it.
La bufalata – Buffalo mozzarella served with antipasto-style veggies prepared in the Neapolitan way
La piramide di provola affumicata – Layers of grilled eggplant and zucchini, tomatoes and smoked mozzarella
Chicken Caesar Salad – Truth be told, the Caesar we ate had a bit too much salad dressing for my tastes. Not sure if this is how they always serve it or if it was just the chef’s heavy hand that day, but next time I’ll specify how I like it or ask for the dressing on the side.
Margherita DOP – Whenever I need a Margherita fix, I head to Fratelli la Bufala. This is pizza perfection. So simple, so tasty. I dig straight into the crust while it’s piping hot.
Paccheri – This is a large tube pasta that I ate in Bologna that ends up flat when it’s served. But it has a hearty and chewy bite that has grown on me. It’s served with some of my favourite ingredients – eggplant, zucchini, peppers, smoked mozzarella and cherry tomato sauce.
Trenette – This is a dish for creamy pasta lovers, with a thick sauce made of buffalo ricotta cheese and a long linguine-type pasta served with shrimp and a touch of lemon zest.
Warm chocolate fondant cake with ice cream – This is a basic chocolate cake with a warm melty centre.
Verdict: Their pizza dough is the bomb! One of my favourite places in Dubai for a Neapolitan Margherita pizza.
Note to self: Ordering both the Focaccia and the Margherita is gluttonous, but I’m sure it can be justified…
Fratelli la Bufala
The Beach Dubai
Jumeirah Beach Residence
Tel: 04 430 3497
Chow for now!