Monday, October 15, 2007

Verre, Hilton Dubai Creek, Dubai

Verre, Hilton Dubai Creek, Dubai

Monday 15 October, 2007\

Dubai Creek? Doesn't sound too glamorous does it? I was as surprised as you are reading this that Gordon Ramsey would choose to house his first international restaurant on a creek.

Gordon and I go way back.....I've admired his empire and have had the good(?) fortune of dining at his signature London restaurant, Gordon Ramsey at Claridges plus meeting the man himself in Sydney at Aria. The verdict........I was more impressed meeting him than dining at Claridges.

As Gordon himself has been quoted as saying,....“ Verre was my first restaurant outside the UK and represents a huge challenge – but a thoroughly enjoyable one. There is a real buzz about Dubai, and I am proud to be a part of it. In my mind, Dubai is one of the most vibrant cities around.”

Vibrant? Well, the first word that springs to mind is construction. The amount of construction here is phenomenal and every hotel is represented. Verre is located within the Hilton Dubai Creek on the other side of Dubai to Jumeirah so you will have to experience the amazing motorways to get there if you are not staying in the business district.

All my email correspondence with Verre beforehand was impressive - the courteous manner, confirmation details and welcoming tone. On arrival we were treated like royalty, the decor is minimal, subtle with hints of colour and the staff are impeccably dressed. As we reviewed the menu we were completely floored by the variety and descriptions - everything sounded just delicious.

For entree we ordered:
  • Wild quail and forest mushroom tart with thyme jus
  • Roasted sea scallops with caramelised pork belly,watermelon, five spices and ginger emulsion x 2

For mains we ordered:

  • Pan-fried halibut with Scottish lobster and herb risotto,baby leeks and shellfish cream
  • Roasted wild sea bass with crab couscous,grilled asparagus and sauce vierge
  • Red label chicken “en vessie” with confit leg, lettuce farcie creamed cabbage and a thyme bouillon
After ordering we received a selection of sour dough and brown rolls and two bowls of fois gras plus french butter. I could have eaten this all evening. The sommelier visited the table and helped us select a moderately priced white - he was very good and offered a variety of suggestions. To say the food was good is an understatement - it was outstanding. We were in awe of the presentation and every mouthful was heavenly.

In between our mains and desserts we received complimentary shot glass to cleanse our palette - this consisted of mango pieces in a coconut cream foam and sauce - absolutely magic. For desserts we ordered:
  • Cold chocolate fondant with milk ice cream
  • Assiette of Verre desserts chosen by the chef
  • Pistachio soufflé with bitter chocolate and honeycomb ice cream
This was sheer excellence and I would highly recommend it. I cannot fault anything, the staff anticipated our every need, were discreet but on top of everything and very polite. The food was just outstanding and we left wanting more and wanting to return the next night! The only downside is the location. The journey from Jumeirah took us an hour to get there in bumper to bumper traffic - it was not fun but the journey home was quick.

Verre - Hilton Dubai Creek, Beniyas Road, Dubai - +971 4 2271111


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