The lat­est chap­ter


Virtuozity - - Fine Dining -

FOR MANY RESTAU­RANTS THE key to gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity and re­ceiv­ing crit­i­cal ac­claim is by de­liv­er­ing con­sis­tency, whether that is by show­ing faith in the head chef or per­fect­ing each dish over time. Enigma at the Palazzo Ver­sace Dubai have scrapped that rule book and in­stead de­cided to write their own culi­nary story.

Ev­ery few months the restau­rant will change its din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, wel­com­ing new chefs who de­liver brand new menus. Quique Da­costa brought a taste of the Mediter­ranean, Björn Frantzén ex­pertly show­cased Scan­di­na­vian cui­sine, now Yunus Emre Ay­din of­fers the de­lights of Turk­ish fare.

Ay­din has been work­ing at Enigma since its launch in Jan­uary 2016 and hav­ing helped tell the story of the restau­rant’s pre­vi­ous chefs, he is now writ­ing his own chap­ter.

An à la carte menu has been added for the first time in Enigma, show­cas­ing a far wider ar­ray of dishes and prov­ing that Turk­ish cui­sine be­longs in fine din­ing restau­rants. Tra­di­tional in­gre­di­ents and dishes are on dis­play, but each has been over­hauled to present some­thing new and ex­cit­ing. The hum­ble egg­plant fea­tures heav­ily in the starters and is matched per­fectly with lob­ster and dill oil, as well as with home­made wagyu pas­trami and pear puree.

Ay­din also ex­pertly matches exquisitely cooked meat and seafood with a unique ar­ray of mar­malades and purees. The beef cheek is paired clev­erly with a shal­lot and red cab­bage mar­malade, while the most ex­pen­sive dish on the menu - the short ribs - are com­pli­mented with a caramelised onion puree.

Yet to truly sam­ple the best Enigma has to of­fer you must se­lect the six-course taster menu. The first course of Oc­to­pus served with a citrus sauce and av­o­cado cream demon­strates the pre­cise na­ture of the dish, with the seafood hav­ing been cooked for seven hours at pre­cisely 78°C.

The smoked egg­plant soup in­cludes a the­o­ret­i­cal pre­sen­ta­tion and is burst­ing with flavour, but our per­sonal favourite is Ay­din’s sig­na­ture dish of lamb neck, fon­dant pota­toes and fig mar­malade. The meat is par­tic­u­larly suc­cu­lent thanks to be­ing cooked for 36 hours at 68°C.

Also in­cluded in the taster menu is a beet­root cous cous with duck con­fit, seabass with caramelised en­dive and spinach, and to end on a high note is an ap­ple mousse with a kay­mak ice cream.

The theatre of the food is per­fectly matched by the ex­trav­a­gant sur­round­ings which have been de­signed by Ver­sace, while the out­door ter­race over­look­ing the creek of­fers a stun­ning back­drop.

Af­ter din­ner, it is worth re­serv­ing a place at Q’s Bar and Lounge - the first-ever bar from leg­endary mu­sic pro­ducer Quincy Jones. Sit­u­ated next door to Enigma, it has the feel of an in­ti­mate liv­ing room and is decked out with plush fur­ni­ture and ma­hogany ta­bles fac­ing the stage.

The per­fect place to en­joy a cigar and watch res­i­dent multi-award win­ning drum­mer and com­poser – Ol­lie How­ell.

“The theatre of the food is per­fectly matched by the ex­trav­a­gant sur­round­ings”

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