While on a staycation over the Eid Al Adha break in Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah, T was seriously craving pizza. The only options around were either a fast food place in the mall nearby or Pesto Ristorante, located in the Al Hamra Golf Club. M made the decision to go with the latter and it was obviously a good one. Cravings were satisfied, additions were made to the treasure hunts and we had a relaxed meal as the sun set.
Our verdict: Great Italian food in a more modern setting with a relatively affordable price. If ever in Al Hamra, don’t restrict yourself to the restaurants in the hotel you’re staying at and give this one a try.
We got complimentary focaccia bread and a sun-dried tomato dip. As we’ve mentioned before, we love our sun-dried-tomato-anything (#TMFaves) and we give a two thumbs up (or four) for this one, great texture and flavour.
Cipollotta Ripiena (AED 45): Now this dish is not something that we would order as we both really don’t care for fruit in a savoury dish. We asked our server if it was too sweet with the pear jam but she said it wasn’t, but it came on the side so it’s not an integral part of the dish, just an accompaniment. It was definitely a bit sweet but surprisingly not intrusive. The dish looked wonderful, a beautifully braised white glazed onion stuffed with a goat’s cheese and chopped walnuts mixture topped with a parmesan crisp with the pear jam and walnut crumble on the side. The combination of flavours and textures went together perfectly, a bit sweet, tangy, mushy and crunchy. All in one!
Contadina (AED 50): T called it as he saw it, you know a legit pizza when it’s an uneven circle and has burnt edges. We wanted to try something else than our standard Margarita and so opted for the Contadina, a grilled vegetable and cheese pizza (with some fresh pepper on top). The vegetables included zucchini, bell peppers and eggplant, thankfully sliced thin enough that it grilled evenly (no mushy bits). The sauce could have had a bit more flavour to it, we ended up adding a bit of the sun-dried tomato dip to the slices and that made all the difference.
Aperol Spritz (AED 45): Sparkling wine is one of M’s favourite drinks so she had to give this a try. A popular apertif choice, citrusy and bubbly. It was well balanced.
Tiramisu (AED 35): The Tiramisu was served in a martini glass, while this does well for the presentation, it leaves the experience a bit lacking. This is because T likes to get all the layers of a tiramisu in each bite, but with this, the ingredients are funneling down, so at some point you only get 1 or 2 layers. The taste of the tiramisu was great, it was the right amount of sweet. The texture left a bit to be desired, as the lady fingers were nonexistent, some might like this but we like a little more texture.
We arrived for a late lunch (or early dinner), so the place was deserted when we arrived. The servers were welcoming and promptly seated us at a window table with a nice view. The place did get busy by the time we were leaving and that was good because we noticed the service got just a little slower. Overall very good service.
As you enter Pesto Ristorante, you are greeted with their huge selection of wines in an equally huge wine rack that goes from waist height to the ceiling. It’s really quite impressive to look at. Pesto is decorated quite nicely with a minimalistic approach. On one side of the restaurant they have an outdoor seating area (more suitable for the winters), overlooking a beautiful waterfront view. Watching the sun-set made our casual early dinner into a romantic time, which was just an added bonus to our lovely meal.
To Book or not to Book
We did not book a table here and as we came at an odd hour, the restaurant was empty. But thy way the place started to fill up, it’s probably best to make a reservation for any dinner plans. The staff were really nice, so I can’t see anyone having any issues with their booking experience.
How to Get there
Pesto Ristorante is located in the Al Hamra Golf club, right near the entrance of Hilton Al Hamra Beach Resort.
By Car: Since Pesto Ristorante is part of a golf club, there is plenty of parking here. But this place is only worth visiting if you are already in RAK or UAQ.
By Cab: Taking a cab would be an easy option if you plan on drinking. All cab drivers should know the Al Hamra Golf Club. If they do not, tell them to head to the Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort, the golf club is on the right, just outside the Hilton.
Public Transport: This is really not an option, however if you are staying in any of the hotels nearby they should be able to provide you with a shuttle service there.
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/32f1FMMCNjN2
When you enter the golf club, Pesto Ristorante will be straight ahead. You will see the sign for Pesto right beside the entrance.