The Gor­don Ram­say Ex­pe­ri­ence


WKND - - Fine Dining - BY JAN­ICE RO­DRIGUES • Let us help you de­cide your dine- out op­tions

Thinkcelebrity chef Gor­don Ram­say and there’s no doubt you’ll con­jure up images of a swanky set­ting, with posh din­ing booths and showy table­cloths. And you wouldn’t be far from the truth; that’s ex­actly what Verre — Ram­say’s first over­seas restau­rant, which opened in Hil­ton Dubai Creek — was like. Verre was much lauded ( it was even named one of the best restau­rants in the Mid­dle East in 2010), so when it closed down in 2011 due to fi­nan­cial rea­sons, fans of the potty- mouthed chef were rather dis­ap­pointed. Well, they didn’t have to fret for long — by the end of 2015, Ram­say was back in town for the open­ing of a branch of his much- more ca­sual Bread Street Kitchen.

Whether he’s learnt from the past or sim­ply catch­ing up with newer trends, every­thing about Bread Street Kitchen screams ca­sual- chic, with its open- plan din­ing space ( that can eas­ily seat over 400) to its ware­house- like style. The warm amber glow from nu­mer­ous lamps, as well as the fire flick­er­ing away mer­rily in the open kitchen, lends the space a cer­tain warmth, but in­ti­mate it is not. In fact, go on a week­end or week­day, and you’ll find it teem­ing with tourists and fam­i­lies alike, mak­ing quite the din.

Now, for those cu­ri­ous about the name, Bread Street Kitchen first opened in 2011 in 10 Bread Street, fa­mous in Lon­don for its abun­dance of bak­eries. Since then, it’s opened three more branches: in Hong Kong, in Sin­ga­pore, and, of course, Dubai. “How­ever, the Dubai branch is my favourite,” our waiter con­fesses, be­fore ad­mit­ting that he may be a bit bi­ased. “It’s also be­cause each branch has dishes cus­tomised for the re­gion its in, and in Dubai you’ll find the most var­ied menu of all.”

He’s not wrong. Just pe­rus­ing the short- yet- pre­cise menu we dis­cov­ered Roasted Scot­tish Salmon min­gling quite well with But­ter Chicken and Cashewnut Curry. So di­ver­sity can be checked off the list.

For ap­pe­tis­ers, I couldn’t re­sist an or­der of Ram­say’s fa­mous baked scal­lops, which came with the un­usual, but ex­cel­lently paired, sweet­corn purée. The tex­ture of the scal­lops was ab­so­lutely per­fect — del­i­cate, but not rub­bery, with the purée adding a won­der­ful di­men­sion to the dish. My din­ing com­pan­ion went in for the Ta­marind Spiced Chicken Wings, and again, the tex­ture was just right — crispy on the out­side, juicy on the in­side. How­ever, the sauce is a bit of a hit or miss — my com­pan­ion de­voured it in­stantly, while I found the flavour too tart for more than a nib­ble or two at a time. Their Flat Bread with Caramelised Onions, Ta­leg­gio Cheese, Pine Nuts and Basil Pesto in in­ter­est­ing enough if you like sweeter flavours in your food. If not, I’d give this one a pass.

Now, if there’s one dish fans of the celebrity chef have prob­a­bly heard about, it’s his sig­na­ture Beef Welling­ton, a chunk of beef fil­let with mush­rooms, wrapped in pas­try. How­ever at Dh 545 ( al­beit this is for two and in­cludes truf­fle mash and other sides), this is not some­thing ev­ery­one can opt for, es­pe­cially if they want to try other dishes. If you are dead set on it, like we were, opt for their Welling­ton Wed­nes­days of­fer where you can sam­ple it for Dh300 ( per pax). You can get the meat pre­pared any way you like it; we opted for medium rare and found the meat juicy and ten­der, com­ple­mented by the crispy crust. We warn you, it’s heav­ier than it looks and a sliver can fill you right up. Or­der with cau­tion!

On rec­om­men­da­tion, we also or­dered the BSK Wagyu Beef Burger, and while it was ex­cel­lently paired with Chimichurri mayo and Mon­terey Jack Cheese, the meat felt tough, even though we had asked for it to be medium rare. Per­haps just an over­sight?

We know it’s hard, es­pe­cially af­ter a hearty Bri­tish meal, but save space for dessert, be­cause Bread Street Kitchen out­does it­self in the de­part­ment. My or­der of their Rose & Rasp­berry Eton Mess was divine — berries mixed with sweet cream and del­i­cate meringue that melts in your mouth. Their Cam­bridge Burnt Cream, their ver­sion of a Crème Brulee, had the tex­ture of plain cream, with a del­i­cate layer of crunchy burnt su­gar, and rasp­berry sor­bet.

Bread Street is a quintessen­tially Bri­tish eatery, although it does add its own twists when it comes to flavours and dishes. Withthe­ca­su­alam­bi­encethough, it’s easy to for­get about the mark- up. So if you’re look­ing for a laid­back din­ner out with the fam­ily, be sure to keep your eye on the price points. Or, in clas­sic Ram­say style, you might find things get­ting very heated, very fast.

jan­[email protected] khalee­j­times. com

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