The client dinner: Segreto, Madinat Jumeirah

Segreto is no longer Italian fine dining. Instead it's embraced a more relaxed Bistro concept

Not a restaurant that might immediately stand out as a place to bring visiting colleagues – not many visitors on business tend to stay in the tourist-laden Madinat hotels – but Segreto is hoping to lure would-be diners with simple Italian cooking and a fantastic view.

Hidden within the many corridors and staircases inside the Madinat Jumeirah, the restaurant has been updated since it originally opened (many years ago) and is now more bistro than fine dining concept. Ultimately, that plays out well for Segreto – as it puts less emphasis on silver service and more on the type of things it does well.

The roof terrace, for example, fits the laid-back dining style perfectly – and with views that overlook both the waterways that make up the Madinat and the top half of the Burj Al Arab – a pre-dinner drink is well worth it.

The restaurant downstairs is welcoming and similarly low key. You'll spot all your favourite Italian dishes on the menu – which doesn't try to re-invent the wheel – and the classics are mostly delicious. Risottos are cooked to perfection (the al dente, Italian way) with the right balance between light and creamy flavours.

For visitors who have not had time to enjoy the Emirate, Segreto makes a lot of sense. Where else can you take visitors for a delicious meal, 'souq' atmosphere and views of the Burj Al Arab (all to be had within a few hours)?


While the indoor restaurant is laid-back and romantic, Segreto's roof terrace (with views of the Madinat's waterways) is perfect for a pre-dinner drink
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