Ever since I wrote a dissertation on French Cuisine in Year 11, I have been desperate to eat at this restaurant as it is one of the highly recommended ones, here in Dubai. But things kept popping up and I didn’t get the chance to eat there, until now. And so, today’s post is super special!
The Booking Process
As far as my knowledge goes, you must book in order to definitely get a table as this is one of the most sought after restaurants here.
I mean, if a well-renowned culinary school in Dubai recommends it, then this restaurant is hella fine in my books.
Giddy with excitement, I called up the restaurant and made a reservation. I was quite surprised when I received an email that confirmed my booking as well as provided me with some information on how long they would hold the booking for and how to proceed about if there were delays. I even received a reconfirmation call from them on the day and it’s safe to say that I was pleased with their customer service even before actually stepping into the restaurant.
Right before you enter the restaurant, there is a small seating area outside that looked cozy for a small group of people but is nothing compared to what I saw inside. Walking in through the double doors, I felt like I’d stepped into mini Paris. The decor was very sophisticated and gave the sense of tasteful luxury by truly following the motto of ‘less is more’. It was quite surprising to see how well the gold accents of the upholstery and the low ambiance lighting worked with the slightly rustic, partially open kitchen.The tables were all lined with fresh white cloths and the cutlery was simple. A few tomatoes were placed in the middle of each table along with a candle. Additionally, a ring of fresh veg surrounded the partially open kitchen and I feel like the display of all the produce sent a message that they were here to celebrate the individualistic taste of each produce.
Drinks were first on the menu. Since I’m underage in Dubai, the only drinks I could have were the mocktails. So, I ordered this berry citrus-y drink that was freshly made and
blended well! But this is a french restaurant after all, and the main star
was the extensive range of wine. My mum opted for a lighter version of Cabernet Sauvignon which she absolutely loved. I managed to take a cheeky sip from it and I feel like the taste did indeed explode in my mouth and made me feel warm all over. For those who don’t prefer wine, like my dad, they have some spirits and beer options as well.
We were then served by a rather tall Frenchman who had to bend quite a bit (poor thing!) to offer us an option between two types of bread: the plain baguette or the mixed cereal one. What was quite surprising was that when we took our pick of the delicious fresh, hot-from-the-oven bread, he placed it on the table rather than the plate. If anyone knows why, then please let me know in the comments section!
Carpaccio de Boeuf (Lightly cured sirloin with a pickled dressing – AED 80)
This was personally my favourite starter of the night as the beef cut was smashed into the thinnest sheet which allowed it to cure beautifully in the tangy lemon and basil sauce. The dish looked very simple but the technique used was definitely not and I absolutely admire the chef for delivering this beautiful plate of food that celebrates the beef. The dish was light and thoroughly infused as well as enhanced with the pickled flavour.
Calamars Frits (Deep fried baby squid – AED 45)
I am not a major fan of squid as I often find it far too chewy. However, when I tried this one, I literally did a double-take because this was nothing like the rest of the squid I have ever tasted. Firstly, the squid was not chewy at all! It was instead lightly deep fried and salted with a crunchy exterior and a soft interior. Secondly, there was a hint of powdered spice that you could taste in every bite which was a pleasant surprise because usually dishes tend to be completely spicy or not. Every bite felt like a fleck of powdered chilli entered your mouth. It was seasoned with some lime which brought that right amount of tangy relief.
Crevettes Tièdes à l’Huile d’Olive (Warm Prawns with olive oil – AED 80)
As the name suggests, that is exactly what they served us. As soon as I took my first bite, the citrus-y lemon flavour just burst through my mouth with a kick. The prawn was just deliciously cooked to perfection and the dressing had a strong taste of Basil which just added another welcoming dimension to the flavour.
Cocquelet au Citron Confit (Roast Baby Chicken marinated in lemon – AED 130)
This was definitely my favorite main course as the meat was so tender that it just melted in my mouth. The skin was crispy and full of that charred roast flavour. Many a time the flavour doesn’t travel all through the actual meat but this time the meat was strongly infused with the same succulent flavour. The jus served with the chicken had that brilliant lemon punch to it.
Loup de Mer Préparé en Croûte de Sel (Salt baked fillet of line caught Sea Bass with Artichokes and Tomatoes -AED 175)
The fish was cooked well and was lightly salted. The true flavours were found in the vegetable garnish that was sauted in some garlic and onions.
Côte de Veau Grillée (Grilled Veal Chop – AED 230)
The highlight of this dish was the salt crust of the veal that packed all the flavour and made me want to keep going back for more. The chop was cooked perfectly to medium rare and was succulent, juicy and just melted in my mouth. The meat was so tender that i could break it off with my fork. Lastly, the light smokey flavour beautifully enhanced the dish and tied it all together.
Pâtes au Boeuf (Pasta with beef ragout and mushrooms – AED 90)
This was a fresh, clean dish that tasted good, especially the ragout. The ragout reminded mum of a Parsee dish called Sweet and Sour Mince. There was a definite balance in the flavours but there was nothing extremely special about the dish.
Crème Brûlée (Vanilla- price unsure but ranged around 45/55)
If there is any way to end the perfect dinner, it would be with this crème brûlée. The balance with the crispy sugar layer and the cream was absolutely spot on! Even my dad, who isn’t a big fan of very sweet things, took a bite and went back in for more. The cream although rich, was surprisingly very fluffy and light in texture. The vanilla flavour was strong and it felt as though they had used an entire pod just to make this dessert. Additionally, I was surprised by the hearty portion of the dessert as this was the only dish that could comfortably feed two people.
Each plate could feed one person. However, the waiters did suggest that we could share the dishes among ourselves to allow us to taste all the food. Overall the food was full of light delicate flavour that packed a punch in every mouthful! Each dish had a distinct flavour and there was even some Mediterranean and Italian fusion to be found.
Service was quick and swift, with multiple waiters standing on your table without being burdensome. All the waiters were super nice and very well informed unlike some of the reviews I read.
The atmosphere was cozy and inviting but with enough chatter and energy to keep the place buzzing. It was a little price-y but I guess that the price of quality over quantity.
All in all, it was a lovely night out with the family and completely fulfilled all my expectations.
I would definitely revisit this beautiful restaurant just to try the duck and orange dish, which they ran out of that night. I highly recommend this place to anyone!