Review: Twiggy by La Cantine, Park Hyatt Dubai
French Riviera swagger on the banks of Dubai Creek…
Dubai residents are a well-travelled bunch, so how do we cure our wanderlust when we’re effectively grounded? Fortunately, we no longer need a passport to be transported to the South of France, with Twiggy by La Cantine bringing French Riviera swagger to Old Dubai.
Sitting pretty on the edge of Dubai Creek at the Park Hyatt Dubai, Twiggy combines a supermodel of a beach club with a stunning French-Mediterranean restaurant. It comes from the team behind Dubai hotspots La Cantine du Faubourg, Ninive and Lana Lusa, who bring their hospitality nous and on-point aesthetics to the fore.
With its curvaceous infinity pool, private beach and breezy alfresco restaurant overlooking the water, Twiggy is everything we love about destination dining, minus the airport queues.
On the ground floor, sunworshippers take languid dips in the 100-metre pool, before topping up their tan on a sunbed, or seeking out the seclusion of a cabana.
We skip the beach on this visit, instead heading upstairs to the sun-drenched terrace. Twiggy’s dining space is entirely alfresco (which may prove to be too hot to handle once summer sets in), but for now, this is one of Dubai’s finest spots for lunch.
The sinuous terrace capitalises on those holiday-worthy scenes below, with a coastal colour palette of sand and cerulean blue, huge rattan light fittings, and market umbrellas providing some much-needed shade.
Showcasing the sunshine-bright flavours of the French-Mediterranean, Twiggy’s expansive menu is made for savouring en plein air. It features a series of cold and hot starters, grills and seafood pastas, as well as a sushi selection that seems slightly at odds with the otherwise Euro-centric menu.
To start, we share a delicate dish of lemony crab and avocado spooned into crisp lettuce cups (Dhs154), and wagyu carpaccio with shaved parmesan and peppery rocket (Dhs88) – it’s a generous serve that needs to be scooped up quickly before it heats in the sun.
Main courses include a faultless linguine alla vongole (Dhs145), with briny, oil-slick strands of fresh pasta, sweet vongole, and the pep of lemon zest, parsley and chilli. From the grill, we select seabass fillet (Dhs140), served simply with a little mop of samphire and a lemon-butter sauce.
For dessert, pineapple carpaccio (Dhs82) is a deceptively simple dish comprising tissue-thin curls of pineapple formed into a giant sunflower. Finished with lime zest, passionfruit and a scoop of coconut sorbet, it’s the epitome of summer on a plate. It’s the kind of ingredient-driven, unfussy cooking that transports you to holidays past – and that’s something we can all appreciate right now.
Twiggy by La Cantine, Park Hyatt Dubai, restaurant daily noon to 1am, beach club daily 9am to sunset. Tel: (04) 602 1105, @twiggydubai