Review: Carna Dubai, a vibrant steakhouse 74-storeys high
Very high steaks at SLS Dubai…
Never have we experienced a steakhouse with as much personality as Carna. The ambiance is bubbling with excitement as we arrive, and the DJ has already begun spinning some upbeat house classics as we get comfy within our half booth, under a huge olive tree.
Created under the watchful eye of famous butcher Dario Cecchini, Carna Dubai offers more than just steak at its SLS venue. The 74th-floor spot provides incredible city views through the floor to ceiling windows. Understated chandeliers hang throughout the dining room, bouncing light off a huge steak mural hung on the back wall.
We begin with a classic prawn cocktail (Dhs120). Served on crushed ice, marinated jumbo prawns arrive with their tails on, sharing their bed with fresh greens and a spicy tomato feta dipping sauce. We drizzle lemon all over and wolf them down.
We also try Dario’s signature steak tartare (Dhs82), lured in by the promise of truffle aioli. It’s prepared for us on a tiny toast and the garlicky goodness is just as tasty as we’d hoped. The flavours are well balanced, both rich and crunchy.
Before our steaks arrive, we’re asked to pick our ‘weapon’. The request might seem obscure but a fancy box opens with a range of steak knives as we proudly pretend to know what the difference is between each.
Truthfully we don’t even need a sharp knife to cut the Hokkaido beef tenderloin (Dhs375 for 120g) as the Japanese A5 grade meat slides apart like butter. It’s rich and flavourful, with a crispy seared edge. Each slice of beef is a treat for the senses.
While the Japanese beef is an ideal choice for meat connoisseurs, for those of us who prefer a more traditional steak, the NY strip steak marbling score 7 (Dhs360 for 300g) is perfect. The meat is 450 days grain fed and tastes great with a sprinkling of coarse salt. We requested it medium rare, and it came perfect pink inside with a layer of flavourful fat on one edge.
Although the restaurant is buzzing with activity, the staff are more than happy to stop and have a chat, make recommendations. It’s these little authentic moments that make a restaurant truly great.
Baked Alaska (Dhs60) is our final dish of the evening, and it’s a thing of beauty. A mountain of ice cream, wrapped in torched mallow sits atop refreshing blueberry sorbet. Definitely one to share with the table, or if you’re feeling brave, take it on yourself.
Carna by Dario Cecchini, SLS Dubai, Business Bay, daily 7pm to midnight. Tel: (0)4 607 0761. @carnadubai