A second serving of The Maine opens its doors in Dubai, but is it as good as the first?

The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill in JBR is one of a rare breed of restaurants in Dubai that has not only maintained its popularity since opening three years ago, but arguably increased in acclaim.

So, when we learned that a second restaurant was opening in Dubai Studio City, we were both excited and curious. Called The Maine Street Eatery, the restaurant was initially described as ‘more of a cousin’ than an exact replica of the original. But we wondered, would there be demand for beautiful brasserie-style dishes in one of Dubai’s lesser-known neighbourhoods?

Well, it would certainly appear so. When we arrived at 7pm one Saturday, the place was packed, and almost every table taken. The interiors are contemporary and welcoming; a monochrome-striped awning shades guests on the patio, while inside there’s a large marble top horseshoe shaped bar which separates a handful of bar tables and the white tiled kitchen where guests can watch the expert chefs at work. In the small restaurant, which has seating for roughly 60, dark blue leather booths and black chairs contrast against bright mint green and white walls, and it’s all made to feel light and airy thanks to the large windows that open up to the poolside terrace and children’s play area.

The menu features a mix of the best-loved dishes from the original restaurant, and cool additions such as new pizzas, salads and carvery boards, as well as daily specials. Kick off with the Dibba Bay oysters (Dhs130 for six), which are full of flavour and arrive fresh from Fujairah each day (Top tip: If you go between 6pm and 8pm they offer oysters for just Dhs10 per piece).

The hamachi crudo (Dhs79) combo of sweet watermelon and punchy chilli dressing shouldn’t work, but does. Short rib croquettes (Dhs55) are a stellar choice. Piping hot, the pulled beef is tender and encases a melt-in-the-mouth gruyere cheese. No visit to the Maine would be complete without an order of crispy fish taco (Dhs69), a deliciously light, floury tortilla loaded with crispy cod that flakes away with each bite and topped with a traditional Mexican salsa, pico de gallo.

A restaurant signature, the pizza verde (Dhs82) is a light, crispy base topped with ricotta, pesto, artichoke, padron pepper, caramelised onion and rucola. Moules mariniere (Dhs99) are another brilliant choice (and one of the regular sellouts, we’re advised). A generous bowl full of fresh mussels cooked in garlic and white wine – simply seasoned, the dish lets the fresh seafood flavours shine.

To finish, order the apple pie (Dhs45). The homemade short crust pastry is filled with layers of warm cooked apple and topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This is seriously impressive brasserie food that we’re sure will have more than just the local crowd flocking to The Maine Street Eatery.

The Maine Street Eatery, Studio One Hotel, Dubai Studio City, daily noon to midnight. Tel: (04) 5572468. themaine.ae

— For the best of Dubai straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.