Can this restaurant take on 22 international cuisines and triumph?
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