CATALONION EATERY LA LUZ OFFERS A TYPICALLY ECCENTRIC MENU BRIMMING WITH INVENTIVENESS
WHILE HIGH-END RESTAURANTS are two-apenny down at Dubai International Financial Centre’s Gate Village, few dare to offer such playful and experimental dishes as those served at La Laz, the new Catalonian eatery from acclaimed chef Alain Devahive.
The Barcelona-born chef honed his craft with a number of positions in Michelinstarred restaurants throughout Spain and France. But in the context of La Luz, the experience he gained was the decade spent working in the kitchens of world-famous, three Michelin-starred elbulli. Certainly elbulli provides much of the influence for the menu at La Laz, which serves unique takes on Catalonian classics.
The interior of the restaurant, however, is relatively unassuming. It may well have been crafted from gold materials, natural stone and organic ornamentation, but the subdued colours create something of a forgettable atmosphere. There’s an openplan kitchen, and an extremely cosy bar area where fabulous cigar nights are held, but on first impressions, you’d be forgiven that this was more of a run-of-the-mill, allday hotel restaurant.
Happily, that atmosphere is juxtaposed brilliantly against an eccentric menu brimming with inventiveness and excitement. The signature dishes, including tomato tartar with aromatics, beef carpaccio with foie gras and truffle vinaigrette, and king crab salad with mushrooms, apple and creamy vinaigrette, are pure Barcelona luxe, creating classical Catalonian flavours out of ingredients one wouldn’t normally associate with the area.
That said, there are well-known favourites that often find their way onto Barcelonabased restaurants’ menus. But this is no criticism. That La Luz handles such dishes as the truffle ‘bikini’ with mozzarella and smoked cecina with such skill—creating a high-end tapa out of what is a simple dish—is certainly welcome. The beef and potato ‘bombas’ from Barcelona are not to be missed, either—each bite transports the diner from Dubai to the cool, nonchalant streets of the Catalonian capital.
La Luz is much more than a homage to Barcelonian cuisine, however—some of Devahive’s creations are downright out-there, but still evoke that sense of culinary adventure that the area is so well known for. The lobster and avocado rolls with caviar are a perfect example of this, coming wrapped like a large maki roll but tasting like a European classic. Elsewhere, the classic cerviche, an homage to Peru, is perfect for those who yearn for sharp, refreshing starters.
Indeed, Devahive seems to have a way with seafood, with many of La Luz’s best dishes bearing an ‘S’ next to their names on the menu. For example, the Galician octopus grilled with potato foam and smoked paprika will have even the most ardent sea food snob’s mouth watering. Elsewhere, the Mediterranean prawn black rice, while strong for some tastes, is a bold take on the flavours afforded by sea-based ingredients.
After dinner, take the time to enjoy a cigar in the bar area, and ask for sommelier Krystian Hordejuk, the UAE Habanos Sommelier Champion, who creates inventive cocktails befitting the playfulness of the menu and can recommend the ideal cigars to go along with them.