From Petrus to The Berkley, meet table 9 supremo Darren Velvick
What’s On meets Darren Velvick, formerly head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus, at his new venture table9 at Hilton Dubai Creek. Check out the review and interview with the chef.
Contact details: Hilton Dubai Creek, Deira, Dubai, Sun to Fri 7pm to 11pm, Sat closed. Tel: (04) 2127551. Taxi: Hilton Dubai Creek.
Darren Velvick has the kind of CV most chefs dream of. Back in London, Darren was head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Pétrus, and later at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, two of the UK’s most prestigious restaurants, with Michelin stars to match. Luckily for Dubai, Darren left the grey drizzle of England in December to head Table 9 at Hilton Dubai Creek, taking the baton from fellow Ramsay protégés Nick Alvis and Scott Price. Hype aside, Darren has quickly put his own stamp on Table 9, with fantastic European food.
Amuses-bouches arrived in the form of moreish Parmesan risotto balls, fish bites with lime mayo and cubes of melt-in-the-mouth beef hash. A good start. Try not to fill up on bread, served in three kinds – white, garlic and tomato – with a velvety spread of butter, cream and lemon. The starter of bone marrow with snails and garlic was succulent and beautifully presented. A light foie gras starter came in finger-thin rods with apricot and soft ginger bread, while the goat’s cheese with watercress and onion was deliciously zingy.
For mains, the braised short rib of beef was rich and tender, a typically unfussy dish served with cauliflower. Close your eyes and you could be in England. For a light, zippy dish, pick the dory with fennel and orange, the delicate fish brought to life by the sweet citrus and a clam sauce. For sides, Darren has achieved the miraculous task of making Brussels sprouts exciting by serving them crispy and drizzled with a truffle dressing.
Desserts are listed on the menu like a shopping list – milk, honey, cornflakes – but behind the mundane names are some inventive concoctions. The lemon meringue pie looked like a cartoon sea anemone and gave the meal a nice sweet and sharp finale. The modest portions leave you satisfied but not stuffed, and keen to come back for more. Nick and Scott set the bar high at Table 9 and Darren has met the challenge.