My first ever restaurant experience in Dubai! I really had no I idea what to expect to be honest. Would it be food for tourists, disguised in some flashy after thought and paired with a big price tag or would we actually be eating food worth every penny we were paying for. Well it turned out to be the latter. Dubai does food like there is no tomorrow. Big portions, excellent quality and a level of service you would have never experienced before. The food isn’t cheap, but if you’re from London you probably won’t notice any price difference at all – except when we’re talking alcohol.
That’s right, Dubai isn’t all teetotal. Happy hour is the key to a boozy Dubai. Enjoy your day booze free and have some energy to explore this wonderful city. But from 6pm, hunt out those happy hours and enjoy beautiful sunsets and soak up the Dubai atmosphere. Especially more so here at Teatro who offer 50% off the early bird menu between 6-8:30pm, meaning you’ll have more cash to spend on wine from the restaurants jam-packed wine cellar.
Staying at the conveniently located Rotana Towers Hotel, we dined in the hotels restaurant Teatro that evening. A beautiful venue with a lovely bar, wine cellar and private dining areas – offering food from all corners of the world. Chinese, Indian, Japanese and everything Mediterranean. At first I was expecting a sort of buffet quality of food, given the vast menu – but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Each cuisine has its own dedicated chef and each was capable of cooking some truly excellent food.
Starting with a cocktail is a must. The staff know exactly how to whip of a good old-fashioned and of course no holiday is a holiday without a pina colada. A bowl of steamed edamame to snack on was a nice touch too.
One thing I will say is that you’ll be wise to remember that you’ll never have a bad meal in Dubai. But also that portions are gargantuan. Starters are like main courses and main courses are like platters. We started with one of the restaurants signature dishes of deep-fried prawns in a wasabi tempura batter. Very little heat from the wasabi (thankfully), packed with flavour and cooked to utter perfection. Six huge giant prawns was a real feast too.
The volcano rolls from the sushi counter were made to order too, filled with fried salmon, avocado and topped with crab and crispy onions – then smothered in spicy mayo and chilli. Utter heaven and if you’re not up for a full meal, these would be a fantastic snack at the bar, washed down with some chilled white wine.
Main courses of miso black cod was as moist and succulent as a fish could possibly be and its flakes separated at just the sight of my fork. The accompaniment of pak choi could have been a little more inventive, but that was my only complaint. The dish I was most sceptical of was the veal Milanese from the Italian menu – which ended up actually being better than most I order from Italian restaurants back in London. The size of a small blanket and the golden crumb was full of flavour. The pasta on the side was nice too, but the garlic heavy tomato sauce it was in was even better.
Barely any room left for dessert, we still somehow managed to squeeze it in and I’m so glad we did. First out was essentially a baked Alaska, but it was probably the best example of it I have ever tasted. The meringue topping was like eating a small sweet cloud and the passion fruit sauce cut into that fluffiness and ice cream so well. The molten chocolate fondant was another lovely affair, full of decadence and who knows how many calories.
Our first night in Dubai and what an introduction. Hidden away inside a hotel in Dubai’s Financial District, Teatro is without a doubt one of my favourite restaurants from our Dubai experience. It has a little luxury to it, but not too much. The prices aren’t cheap, but neither are they over the top and most importantly – the food and service was every bit as good you could have hope for and more. When I’m next in Dubai (April 2017) this will most certainly be top of my list and you should make it yours too. Finishing with a cigar in the bar after, of course.
NB: My meal was complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate and slightly poor eyesight.