Tag Archives: Emirates Towers

Alfie’s

Alfie's
When I hear Alfie's has opened in Emirates Towers, I think "Interesting, two British restaurants in the same Boulevard - let the battle begin!" Taking our seats 'inside' the restaurant, I look at my less than satisfying view of a large metal escalator and question why the restaurant was kept completely open to the mall. The cigar lounge inspired interior greatly contrasts, and not in a good way, the Boulevard escalator and a retail shop's promotional sale campaign. I feel as though what atmosphere the interior creates quickly gets blown away and lost forever in the emptiness of the Boulevard Mall. We receive our two page menus and I am pleased by its simplicity and ease of interacting with. They cleaverly marked an S next to all the signature dishes on the menu which makes my ordering process go something like this "I'll have the all S-es on the menu. My Penelope Cruz look alike waitress responds with a laugh. Realizing the volume of S-es on the menu, I narrow my choices down to the following: pear salad, cured salmon and cauliflower soup for starters and fish and chips and rabbit pie for mains with a chocolate tort for dessert. After sipping on a beautiful white wine recommended by Ms. Penelope by the name of Gewürztraminer Hugel (I promise you it tastes better than it sounds) and munching on a very forgettable bread basket, our starters arrive. At first glance, I'm very content with the portion size that veer on the smaller side. Smaller portions mean I can order more - I am a woman that likes to have options. The cauliflower soup represents earthiness in a bowl. The smokey, sweet flavors of the cauliflower are irresistible to me and each spoonful acts as a warm hug to my lips. The pear salad is beautifully constructed and delivers contrastingly sweet and tangy flavors traditional to the salad. Salmon is a tricky ingredient for me. Personally, I feel it has such a dominating character, something I particularly don't like in food and in men. Always ready to give my dominating friends a second chance, I squeeze some fresh lemon over the salmon, tell it to play nice and take my bite. True to its name, the salmon truly has been cured both in a culinary and characteristic sense. Though curing does intensifies the flavors of a meat product, it did so in such a particularly balanced way that I can taste the lemon, salmon and spices all in harmony which then results in a plate wiped clean. We sip our wine in a satisfied but wanting and anticipating more good food mood. Our mains arrive, yes the choice of fish and chips is very predictable, but staples are a must to always try. If you can't get a staple right what can you get right? Right? The fish and chips comes beautifully presented accompanied with all the bells and whistles, mashed peas, mayo mix, lemon and larger than life potato wedges. The extra crispy crust with the tender white juicy fish in addition to all the sides combine to create a spot on staple that binds my feelings of anticipation and satisfaction. The dish I looked forward to the most while ordering is my rabbit 'pie'. Pie in parenthesis because it is nothing like a pie and for that, I am greatful. The rabbit pie is served in a small deep bowl with the filling of soft rabbit meat in a thick spring vegetable broth topped with mustard infused mashed potatoes and a side of extra soft, butter sautéed carrots. Each bite of my Rabbit Pie held its own, meaning each bite offered something different, whether it be the fresh vegetables including spring onions and carrots, soft rabbit meat or even mustard potatoes. And finally to top off the whole meal, a chocolate tort. Rich smooth chocolate with an amaretto infused crust. Yes it tastes as good as it sounds! I am always open to different types of cuisines and I have enjoyed British food but usually only at that moment. For the first time, if felt a pull back to the food I enjoyed long after the meal was over probably because of the infusion of some contemporary notes to the dishes. But then I remind myself that ambiance is such a large part of an enjoyable dining experience, and one I unfortunately think Alfie's has missed the mark on. I'd recommend a small design change to harness the atmosphere they are loosing to the Boulevard and I would most definitely be back! If you were to ask me The IVY or Alfie's? My answer, based on what I enjoy and maybe contrary to what a lot of people think, Alfie's food offerings with the IVY's ambiance - a match made in heaven.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Emirates Towers OPENING HRS. 12 - 3 pm 7 -11:30 pm CUISINE British PRICE PER COUPLE AED 800 TELEPHONE # 04 3198789
THE FORK-O-METER
A Craving Quencher Restaurant
     

The Ivy Dubai

The IVY
Walking into the IVY the first thought that comes to mind is “Thank God this looks NOTHING like Scarletts”. Sorry Scarletts but you wuz Uglayy. The second thing I notice is that I am the ONLY non British customer within a 10 meter radius of the restaurant. This clearly demonstrates the pull power of the IVY brand – an export from the UK. If I step in the IVY Dubai a couple of months from now and see that it’s still brimming with return British customers, its success would be proven by its domination of its British inspired menu rather than by its brand name. Can the IVY London be compared to the IVY Dubai? The IVY London is known as the place to eat for the who’s who of celebrities. Other than the Dubai residents who act like celebrities (but aren’t) celebrity sightings would be like finding a parking in the Marina – next to never. With that being said rather than being a sister of the IVY London, I’d say, the Ivy Dubai is going to be its distant cousin. I’ve said this a million times and I’m going to say it again, I like… wait Love, short menus. I’d rather a restaurant do a select number of things perfectly than a never ending list of everything half assed. The Ivy’s menu is well fitted, to the nines and concise – just like a beyond your budget designer suit. Iced Tomato Soup As a lover of soup, and a less than lover (my life is too short to hate, hence the less than lover) of the hot/sticky/humid did I say hot... summers of Dubai, the Iced Tomato Soup is a pleasant remedy to my catch-22. Basil, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheerfully bathing in a fresh iced tomato pulp/juice. If you love your Bloody Marys you will love this soup. If tomato juice is too much for you I’d recommend something else. Warm Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce Asparagus is such an earthy, fresh veggie that I feel the more than ample dollop of thick, full bodied hollandaise sauce is too much for me. Though cooked to perfection, I find myself scraping off the excess Hollandaise to reach my beautiful green Asparagi (is that the plural of Asparagus just like cacti or is asparagus already plural?) Fillet of Cod I’m usually not the biggest fish fan. For example when I have quality fish my reaction would be “If fish were my thing I would enjoy this dish”. Taking a bite of my fillet of cod my reaction surprises me. I like! But how can I like? I don’t like fish – but I like this dish… There is something about the smoky, woody, caramelized undertone of a cod that, to me, makes it an un fish and actually delightful. A splash of lemon is all you need. Shepherd’s Pie                                                                                                        I have to admit – I’m a Shepherd’s Pie virgin. While ordering my pie I start to imagine pastry dough stuffed with minced meat. When my pie arrives I have a mini paradigm shift “This is what it looks liiiiikkkee” No dough rather mashed potatoes on top of minced meat placed in a shallow pool of sauce. To me, a Lebanese who has nothing to do with this dish, the secret that brings everything together is the sauce; deep, rich and fruity. Taking a bite constitutes of sliding my fork through the pie and swirling it around the plate to soak up as much sauce as possible and then enjoying. Crème Brulee Is that even British? After a quick Google search on my phone I realize that the question I just posed is actually a hot and heavy debate dating back 100s of years ago. Supposedly the British, French and Spanish are all laying claim to the crème brulee. Either way it’s a delight. Iced Berries The picture says it all. Iced berries topped with warm white chocolate. I know it’s a tradition that the chocolate be white, but deep down inside, while enjoying the amalgamation of hot and cold in my mouth, I secretly wish the chocolate is dark chocolate. The Result The Ivy is the new life line for the ghost town that used to be the Emirates Tower’s restaurant scene.    My personal cooking likes tend to diverge more to French inspirations rather than British – but that’s just me. Do I crave British food – not too often – maybe because of my lack of exposure to it – but I know more than half of Dubai craves/wants/needs it. Do I think the IVY will be a success in Dubai? No… I think it will be a Huge success. Quality food with quality service all at a price your credit card would love.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION: Emirates Towers CUISINE: British PRICE PER COUPLE: AED 600 TELEPHONE # type 04 319 8767  
THE FORK-O-METER
A Craving Quencher Restaurant