An offer you can’t refuse
ubai Restaurant Week offers foodies a chance to dine in 15 of the emirate’s most notable restaurants for just Dh199 a person, a considerable saving on the usual prices. It runs from Thursday until March 4, and there are two sittings a night: 7.30pm and 9.30pm.
We sampled the menus for the best dishes.
DFagotelli carbonara at Social by Heinz Beck, Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah Heinz Beck, the genius behind La Pergola, the only restaurant in Rome with three Michelin stars, serves up food you will remember long after the last bite. His fagotelli carbonara – a dish he is rightly famous for – nearly brought me to tears with joy. These thin, delicate pasta parcels envelop a rich mix of egg yolk, Parmesan and pecorino cheese. The pasta bursts in your mouth, bringing forth a gush of creamy, decadent sauce. Savour them one at a time. Do not miss your chance to meet Beck on Thursday – he will be in Social, mingling all night. Tres leches at Mayta by Jaime Pesaque, DIFC The menu at this restaurant, from globally renowned Peruvian chef Jaime Pesaque, is packed with flavour. We devoured the signature mariscos with charred octopus, squid and roasted potatoes, served with a moreish aji chimichurri sauce. However, the tres leches dessert stole the show. The simple sponge cake arrives drowning in a creamy pool of heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. It is served with sour ice cream that has a hint of lime zest – just the right amount of acidity to balance the sweetness. Jaime Pesaque will be in Mayta’s kitchen on Saturday. Chilli-miso chicken Yakiniku at Okku, The H hotel The generous set menu here will serve up four dishes, two desserts, edamame and a side of steamed rice. My favourite dish was the chilli miso chicken yakiniku. The slightly charred, robata- grilled chicken is glazed with chilli-miso and comes skin on. My advice: keep the skin on and enjoy all the sweet, sticky, guilty flavours.
Stacie Overton Johnson
Fu’s forbidden rice, one of chef Pierre Barusta’s signatures. Despite the dry description of the dish on the menu, this is far more inventive than the ordinary seafood fried rice I was anticipating. Instead it has tiny, rustic black-rice grains swimming in a rich broth that is somewhere between soup and sauce, enticingly flecked with pieces of baby octopus and edamame. Delicious, if a little salty. On top sit generous slabs of seafood – scallops, prawns, calamari – aggressively but expertly seared, tender and fresh. Extra visual flair comes from jutting sticks of asparagus and bursts of Parmesan-coconut foam.
Tawa Kee Champen at Rang Mahal, JW Marriott Marquis The set menu at Rang Mahal features flavours from all around India, but the one that stands out is the Tawa Kee Champen – a lamb chop served as part of a kebab platter. The South Australian lamb is marinated with Thalassery pepper and fennel, pan-grilled, and placed atop a bitesized portion of chana masala (spicy chickpeas). Every bite of the juicy, tender, melt- in- the- mouth lamb chop bursts with flavour. The platter comes with pickles and chutney – but the lamb chop needs no help from those additional flavours.
BBQ veal short rib at Marina Social, InterContinental Hotel Dubai Marina At English chef Jason Atherton’s Dubai restaurant, it was no shock to discover the best dish has flashes of flair directly inspired by his home country. However, the small Yorkshire pudding sitting alongside the BBQ veal short ribs was slightly visually eclipsed by a miniature cowshaped gravy boat – the resultant appearance of the cattle-shaped vessel seemingly regurgitating its own jus should guarantee that any wavering vegetarians will remember why they ditched the pleasures of cooked meat. For the rest of us, the pull-apart-tender veal, presented on a chopping board with an additional side pot of charred sweetcorn, was a reminder of the finest benefits of our carnivorous life choices. Atherton will meet and greet diners at Marina Social on February 26.
Tres Leches at Mayta by Jaime Pesaque.