Driving up to The Four Seasons hotel always feels very ominous. Kind of isolated on its own little island. Yes, an island within an island. The building itself is huge, and eerily quiet. Once inside, the atmosphere feels very much the same, but what always puts us at ease are the staff. Every single one of them, from the valet staff to the restaurant hosts, are all so friendly and happy to help. Good thing too, considering everything is difficult to find.
First items ordered – two negronis. We’ve indulged in cocktails at the CUT Bar before where the bartenders there really know how to mix their drinks – these negronis were no exception.
The menu at Vento is split between appetisers, antipasto platters, pasta, pizza, main courses and desserts. While not overwhelmingly extensive, it still took a while to figure out what to order.
Decisions made – bruschetta and deep-fried olives to start, tagliata and buckwheat trofie to finish.
Starters were good. There are mixed opinions on the deep-fried olives. Different. Interesting. Not bad, just different. The bruschetta was both hit and miss. Three different toppings: wild mushrooms, fresh tomato & basil, and caponata. All great. So where’s the miss? Let’s refer to the all-knowing Wikipedia here “The noun bruschetta comes from the Roman dialect verb bruscare, meaning ‘to roast over coals”. Bruschetta, in its simplest form, is grilled bread, usually rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil and salt. No matter how good your toppings are, the bread has got to be right. This is where the bruschetta at Vento falls flat on its face. Look at it. It’s toast. For added insult, we were served a perfectly good ciabatta to snack on. Why not use that for the bruschetta instead of toast? Oh, but it’s served on a pretty plank! You’re a plank.
Now onto mains. The presentation of the tagliata (which literally translates to ‘cut’) is quite carpaccio-like. A bright green and white layer of rocket and parmesan hiding a substantial amount of thinly sliced beef.
Beautifully cooked beef – melt in the mouth, no need for a knife, perfect. But it lacked basic seasoning. The rocket was lovely and fresh, and I was happy with the generous amount of parmesan, considering the lack of seasoning. The one component of the dish that seemed to have been missing was the rosemary oil. Didn’t get the slightest hint of rosemary and rosemary isn’t the sort of flavour you can miss. While the olive oil used was very tasty, a hit of rosemary would have added an extra dimension to the dish.
“Buckwheat Troffie, Sicilian pesto, tomato, ricotta, almond” – sounds good, right? That’s what I thought, too! Sicily is known for big personalities and even bigger flavours. Sicilian pesto usually consists of tomato, parmesan, capers, anchovy, almonds, and raisins. Sweet, salty, tangy, and nutty. So what did this dish taste like? Not much, really. It was VERY bland. I partially blame myself for ordering the wrong dish here. Buckwheat pasta sounds great on paper, but without a strong enough sauce, the bitterness can turn from a pleasant undertone to overpowering and off-putting. I thought the Sicilian pesto would help, but it was largely flavourless. I suppose it wasn’t a bad dish, just… meh. It looks like they’ve taken it off the menu, which makes us think someone in the kitchen tasted it and said “wait, this dish sucks”. I feel like that should happen before it finds it way onto a menu.
The food at Vento was OK, but ultimately forgettable. There’s nothing about the meal that jumps out to feel the need that a return trip is required, except maybe to try their pizzas. Sure, the setting is lovely. The service is impeccable. But when you’re paying nearly BD 40 for a meal, you’d expect everything to be perfect. It could just be that we ordered the wrong items. It looks like the trofie has been taken off the menu already, so it sounds like they’re actively working on it, which is a good sign. Maybe we’ll go back again. Maybe.
- Phone: +973 1711 5000
- Hours: Lunch: 11am – 6pm. Dinner: 7pm – 11pm.
- Accepts credit cards: Yes