RIP - Permanently closed
The reason for choosing this restaurant was that the head chef (Pierre Gagnaire) holds 3 Michelin stars in his flagship restaurant in Paris and a string of other accolades under his belt for the other venues in his empire and hence it was a no brainer to see how he handled a new environment away from Michelin inspectors. The first thing I have to say is how accommodated we were made to feel from the off. One thing you are not short of in Dubai is having enough supply of people to spoil you for your every whim (if you pay the necessary amounts). The service was genuinely warm and without question good here and this was obviously very nice to receive.
The tasting menu began with delicately done squid ink and cheese twirls which went very well with the obligatory Kir Royale. From then on, everything else was a stylish show piece of different and imaginative designs. So much so that two of the dishes were served on top of a layer of clingflim that was stretched over the top of a bowl which I honestly couldn’t see for what point other than possibly being original for original’s sake(?). Perhaps it allowed the spoon to get as much of the sauce as possible as the clingfilm would naturally bend to the exact pressure of the spoon being pressed, allowing all drops of sauce to be scooped up, but this doesn’t fit with the bread crisps course that sat on clingfilm as well. Nevermind, it isn’t that important, just be aware they may be some over the top theatrics on your visit. The actual quality of the dishes was however, not just style and was extremely well done. The lobster in lemongrass was succulant and vibrant in its flavour; the vegetables were beautifully done and the blend of savoury and sweet for the olive oil and passion fruit was very fresh indeed.
The caviar was never in danger of missing its target and the velouté, mullet, artichoke and asparagus courses were all very well done, albeit with a hint of no noticeable wonder-moments. This was not the case though with the mushrooms in light pancake with cider reduction sauce as this was frankly the knock out dish of the meal and produced immediate sensory pleasure. The pigeon was fine and we were then spoiled with what I can only describe as an array of desserts in all forms. Desserts can sometimes be easy vistories when done well but not only were these pleasant, I was also very impressed with the care and effort gone in to all of them along with beautifully made pre-desserts and petits fours afterwards. It is safe to say that we were not hungry after this meal.
Overall this was a highly sophisticated meal with the icing on the cake being given to us on leaving – as we staggerred to the exit, two waiting staff were there ready with warmed and scented face towels along with a shot of refreshing cold alcoholic tea as a pick me up for the road. That is something I have never experienced anywhere and was a frankly spoilt way to finish, however after the bill that was presented, I didn’t feel too guilty at that. The food was in no way in any contention for style or technicality and I would say it sat somewhere between the 1 and 2 Michelin standard, however, the only dissapointment was that for all its care and attention to detail, it was a stylish conveyer belt of dishes with only one powerhouse moment of flavour with all other dishes being just pleasing. Recommended as a spoil occasion if you don’t mind the restrained atmosphere.
Food Grade: 79%
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