Review: All'onda at Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai
What happens when Italian, Indian and Japanese cuisines collide at a glam new restaurant on The Palm?
If the fusion of Italian, Indian and Japanese flavours sounds unexpected, it’s not the only surprise All’onda has in store for you. Perched on the sixth floor of Emerald Palace Kempinski, a glittering new resort on Palm Jumeirah’s west crescent, this flashy restaurant has a few tricks up its sleeve.
First, there’s the view from the rooftop terrace, which provides a panorama of the Dubai skyline, from the Burj Khalifa to the southern end of the Marina. You’re going to want to book one of the alfresco booths to capitalise on the vistas, but if you do find yourself at an indoor table, never fear: the sleek space of curvy black chairs, luxe textures and gold mirrored surfaces is just as eye-catching.
For such a glam setting, you’d expect the menu to be suitably steep, but this is where All’onda surprises once again. Starters begin at a very respectable Dhs52, and mains kick off at Dhs98. And then there’s the food itself. In lesser hands, the strident spicing of India, refined techniques of Japan and rustic approach of Italy could result in a multicultural abomination, but US-born chef Chris Jaeckle has cleverly drawn from each cuisine to create his own palette of flavours and textures. It’s unique, intriguing and, most importantly, delicious.
A stellar example is the All’onda risotto (Dhs85), which combines the earthy spices of madras curry with mascarpone, parmesan and prawns in a dish that is at once comforting and creative. From the crudo bar, an elegant Italian wagyu carpaccio with truffle cream and pickled mushrooms sits alongside more Japanese-leaning dishes, such as tuna belly tartare with crushed edamame, and the border-hopping curried yellowtail with passionfruit and Sardinian flatbread.
Mains showcase the natural synergies of the three cuisines. There’s the subtle interplay of soy and balsamic that accompanies roasted salmon and artichokes (Dhs98); and a generous veal Milanese (Dhs120) that offers a nod to Japanese tonkatsu, topped with horseradish cream and a fermented cabbage salad. If you needed further proof that these seemingly competing food styles can play nice, look to the green tea-misu, a light, luscious dessert of mascarpone and lady finger biscuits that subs in matcha for the traditional espresso.
Perhaps the final surprise is that All’onda isn’t busier, but we predict that rooftop is going to be hot property as the weather warms up.
All’onda, Level 6, Emerald Palace Kempinski, Crescent West, Palm Jumeirah. Sat to Wed 5pm to 1am, Thur and Fri 5pm to 2am, Fri brunch 1pm to 5pm. Tel: (04) 248 8870. kempinksi.com