Chirag Desai

Il Forno


Anyone who’s driven around Abu Dhabi a bit will notice Il Forno outlets spread around the city. Boasting authentic food, the real reason I wanted to try it out was because someone who tried out my favorite pizzeria in Dubai (which has since shut down) said he had liked Il Forno better.

Not one to take criticism poorly, I tried it.

One bite in and Il Forno fell into the category of just another pizza place. They’re not bad, but they’re not great either. I only tried their pizza — I went with their garlic-and-olive-oil option — and felt mostly like I was eating a couple-hours-old manakish. The crust was overwhelming, didn’t feel too fresh and the cheese was your usual unfrozen mozzarella. The iced tea I had with the pizza was your standard run-of-the-mill restaurant iced tea and not brewed or such either.


Il Forno works with something that does look like a woodfire oven, although it’s a pretty standard one in reality. The staff were friendly though and while I’ve only tried their pizzas on a couple different occasions, it’s been with the same results.

For those following closely, the search continues for good pizza in the UAE. There are some I like, some I don’t and others I despise (and therefore, haven’t really visited since the start of this blog). But I’ve received some good suggestions and will post up once I get a chance to try them out. All in all, Il Forno is not going to be my favorite pizza anytime soon.

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Il Forno Italian Restaurant
Abu Dhabi Mall, Abu Dhabi & multiple locations