Looking for a casual yet trendy dining place in Dubai that serves classic British dishes that stir up heady foodie memories of Great Britain? Then head to Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen situated in the Avenues arena of the Atlantis luxury resort on the Palm Jumeirah. With excellent views of the open sea, the Atlantis is bubbling up a whiff of adventure in me as I walk past luxury boutiques and Aquaventure Waterpark before I spot the Bread Street Kitchen.
When I enter the restaurant, the first thing I notice is the sprawling seating area that could easily fit around 400 people at any given time. People can opt to be seated close to the Josper Charcoal Grill station where the Angus rib-eye steak is sizzling to perfection. Others might choose to watch the chef pack the vegetarian pizzetta with porcini mushrooms, baby artichokes, and cheese before he places it into the stone pizza oven to bubble away for a while.
I choose to slink away to a corner table so that I have a wide-angle view of the whole seating area and enjoy the ambiance – intermittent pillars of yellow-golden lights illuminating the dusky brown interiors and bouncing off chequered floors. Unfortunately, at the time of the review, it was too hot and humid to sit on the terrace even in the evenings. No worries. Flipping through the menu has already stirred up past delectable memories of having breaded fish and chips at the British sea-side.
For starters, I go for the king crab and apple cocktail with pink peppercorn, a subtler version of the popular prawn cocktail. Slivered apple slices offer the right crunch with the succulent flesh of the king crab and a dab of lettuce leaves. The peppery taste of the pink peppercorn hits the palate a few seconds later.
Quickly skipping the fresh pasta and the salads section of the menu, I head to the mains where I am greeted with a great conundrum. Should I go for Britain’s unbeatable butter chicken served with saffron rice and cashew nut curry (not to forget the poppadums) or dive into Wagyu burger bliss? After much deliberation, I set my heart on Shepherd’s pie. In addition, I order a couple of sides: Truffle and Parmesan chips; and Truffle mash. Had I known that Shepherd’s pie would be quite substantial and I would struggle to finish it, I might have reconsidered ordering the sides.
I waste no time getting into Shepherd’s pie. It is piping hot and just as well – the freshly prepared dish is heart-warming to this one’s hungry belly. What I like about the dish is its magical combination of braised lamb and mince dancing in a dash of Worcestershire sauce and perfectly married with carrots and onions. Add to that, the potato topping slathered with granular brioche garlic crumbs, and this dish is a winner.
As for the Truffle mash, I find myself in another melt-in-the-mouth moment. I do recommend the Truffle and Parmesan chips. The contrasting combination of the crunchiness of the outer layer with moist truffle and cheese ensemble on the inside is just sublime.
After the main course, it does become difficult for me to choose what dessert to try. I initially saunter off to the ice cream station where one (usually the children) can choose what ingredients to add to one’s ice cream flavor of choice. I decide against ice cream; however, the battle of the dessert begins between banana sticky toffee pudding and legendary baked Alaska. I settle for a rosy twist to the traditional Eton Mess dessert where strawberries are swapped for raspberries. The appearance of the dessert is quite enticing – imagine a slurry of hot cherry red blobs of raspberry slices embracing slim ice-white pieces of meringue. Eton Mess lives up to its name as it is truly a remarkable cacophony on the taste buds where the delightful hint of rose brings a certain freshness to this traditional British dessert. The fact that rose water is a key ingredient in many a Middle Eastern dish offers enough proof that Bread Street Kitchen’s attempt to take a classic British dish and put a fresh spin to it has been successful.
All in all, a satisfying experience, and next time around, as the winter months will soon be upon us, I will head to the terrace and have my eye on the butter chicken and poppadums.
Where : Bread Street Kitchen & Bar
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Crescent Road – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 426 2000