Reviewed: Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen Dubai
Does Ramsay’s return to Dubai live up to his own high expectations?
Yes, Gordon Ramsay’s spent much of his kitchen career puce, shouting at people, but he’s also dedicated a good portion of it to helping flailing operations turn around via TV shows like Kitchen Nightmares. So you’d expect that a restaurant carrying his name – like the new Bread Street Kitchen in Atlantis – would be a slick operation.
Well, it is. It’s not where we’d choose to celebrate an anniversary or necessarily somewhere we’ll return to that regularly, but next time we’re going for dinner with friends who have kids, but still want to feel like we should posh-up a bit pre-meal, this is where we’ll go. When we visited there were kids everywhere. Quite literally. Another plus for parents: it also has a beautiful terrace with an enclosed garden where little ones can run around without actually escaping, meaning you can relax over your shepherd’s pie.
We began our child free meal with tamarind chicken wings (Dhs50).
These have quickly become the restaurant’s most talked about dish. The portion was hefty for the price, and the wings were juicy, saucy and so tart that they made us wince: if you prefer unobtrusive flavours, you won’t like these. But if you like your tastes ostentatious and almost a touch uncomfortable, you’ll love them. They were basically chicken-wings-meets-spare-ribs – which is A-OK with us.
The plentiful stone bass carpaccio with avocado purée, horseradish and ginger dressing (Dhs65) was the highlight of the meal.
The folds of fresh fish were truly Rubenesque (none of those disappointingly tiny discs that a carpaccio order can involve). The creamy dots of avocado had a perfect smooth texture and the horseradish was freshly shaved (nice touch).
When the time came for the main course we were in the mood for meat. The braised beef with star anise, carrot purée and creamed wild mushrooms (Dhs145) lived up to expectations – the carrot was sweet, the gravy rich, the mushrooms a testament to the power of fungi and the meat soft (it did have a boiled taste, but such is the nature of braised meat, so we can hardly complain).
However, the Bread Street Kitchen’s short rib beef burger with Monterey jack cheese and sriracha mayo (Dhs95) was overcooked (to the point of being dry and crumbly) and we’d have preferred Shake Shack. That’s not an insult to Bread Street, more of a compliment to Shake Shack. Redemption came in the shape of the chips, which had clearly been crafted by someone with a PhD in deep fried potato – they were dangerously crispy on the outside and like the best roast tatties we’ve ever eaten on the inside.
We somehow managed to stuff in sweets – the bread and butter pudding ice cream (Dhs60) was essentially a super-fancy soft serve that had echoes of rum and raisin. The sticky toffee banana pudding (Dhs45) trumped the ice cream thanks to the fact it had the flavour of banana bread, but the texture of chocolate mousse.
There’s a lot to love about Bread Street. The service is informed. The food is thoughtful, the ingredients premium. The lighting is perfectly designed. The music is very Tarantino soundtrack – although punctuated by the occasional tinny twang from a child’s iPad. The vibe is good.
So yes, we’ll be back – we just won’t order the burger.
Atmosphere: Family friendly yet a touch posh & trendy
Price: Dhs250 to Dhs749 for two
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, daily 12.30pm to 4pm, 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4262626. Taxi: Atlantis, The Palm. atlantisthepalm.com