Can Rixos Premium JBR strike it right again?

It’s been an excellent start for Rixos Premium Dubai on JBR. Its new beach club is packed most weekends, the new Lock, Stock is already thriving, Azure Beach Lounge serves delicious food, and Inner City Zoo has quickly become the city’s hottest new nightclub. So, can it be fifth time lucky for JBR’s booming hotel?

Well, Riviera Beach Grill certainly looks the part. With washed whites and light blue interiors, the restaurant mirrors a Mediterranean trattoria, and when we visited there was already a linen trouser-wearing-crowd enjoying the vibe.

The menu gets major points for being nice and simple. There’s a handful of typically Mediterranean starters, a large seafood selection – freshly-caught and grilled to order – about a half dozen standard side dishes and rotisserie options. There’s nothing out of the ordinary, and that works perfectly for this seaside setting.

The calamari (Dhs55) is so good, we almost ordered them again. Golden crispy chunks are seasoned to perfection, with the addition of little basil leaves. The iconic Spanish summer holiday dish of prawns in garlic oil (Dhs75) doesn’t disappoint either. It’s cooked in white wine and oil with garlic, chili flakes, cherry tomatoes and lemon, and served with toasted ciabatta.

For mains, we were advised to order the red snapper fillet (Dhs90), and delighted we were for the recommendation. It arrived whole, grilled, and served with a slightly charred wedge of lemon. The fish was tender and mildly sweet. Of the side dishes, be bold and order the fennel risotto (Dhs30). It’s a corker of a dish. Even the humble asparaguses, glistening from the use of good quality olive oil, are a touch al dente and an excellent accompaniment to the snapper.

The only disappointment from the night came from our only meaty order. The work that’s gone into the roast lamb (Dhs235) is obvious: the 600g shank is gleaming with honey mustard and there’s a sprig of rosemary carefully jutting out the top. Sadly the lamb just doesn’t fall apart as we’d hoped.

Stick to the seafood and you’ll have a very good meal.

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