Can this restau­rant take on 22 in­ter­na­tional cuisines and tri­umph?

What's On (Dubai) - - CONSUME EAT // REVIEW -

rom the beaches of Barcelona to the night­clubs of Beirut, 22 coun­tries bor­der the Mediter­ranean sea: and so there are a wealth of cuisines to be ex­plored along the coast of Europe’s largest body of wa­ter. That is the main con­ceit of Ostro, a Mediter­ranean-themed all-day din­ing restau­rant in Bar­sha Heights. Lo­cated in the DusitD2 Kenz Ho­tel, Ostro’s decor pulls in­spi­ra­tion from the sunny eater­ies that mir­ror its menu, with ex­posed wood, lat­tice­work walls and dan­gling rus­tic chop­ping boards on dis­play.

The ex­pan­sive menu of­fers no short­age of choices with both hot and cold mezze, tapas and a range of sal­ads. We cast our net wide, pulling in a tasty bowl of ajo asado (Dhs25), con­sist­ing of roasted gar­lic dunked in goats’ cheese with olives and toma­toes, a trio of per­fectly cooked gam­bas a la plan­cha (Dhs45), shrimp doused in olive oil and gar­lic and, our favourite, toma­toke­fet­edes (Dhs35), a de­li­cious Greek dish of pan seared tomato dumplings with a tzatziki dip­ping sauce. Ex­cel­lently priced, and with per­fect por­tions to share be­tween two, we could have hap­pily eaten starters all night.

For mains, Ostro’s Plato Prin­ci­pal cov­ers a lot of ground, of­fer­ing ev­ery­thing from burg­ers and grilled meats to Ital­ian sta­ples and other Mediter­ranean fare. We opted for the cous­cous lahm bakri (Dhs85), a slightly fatty beef cheek that sadly de­tracted from the flavour of its date and cin­na­mon sauce. How­ever the gy­ros (Dhs35) was a pleas­ant – and very large – meal for one. Ten­der strips of grilled chicken are lath­ered in a

Fcreamy gar­lic yo­gurt with toma­toes and red onions and wrapped in a gi­ant fluffy flat bread. Use your hands and en­joy get­ting messy.

For dessert, the créme Cata­lana (Dhs50), all thick creamy cus­tard and crunchy caramelised sugar, was an au­then­tic slice of Spain, while the Re­vani (Dhs50) took a Turk­ish clas­sic and made it mod­ern with salted caramel ice cream.

While we’d rec­om­mend dou­bling up on the starters and then get­ting dessert, Ostro ul­ti­mately suc­ceeds thanks to an ex­pan­sive menu that cre­atively cov­ers the length and breadth of the Mediter­ranean.

Kenz Ho­tel, Bar­sha Heights, Dubai, daily 6am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 5672246. Taxi: DusitD2 Kenz. dusit.com

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