Review: Sucre Dubai
A Buenos Aires hit tangos into town…
Sucre has spent two decades charming diners that dance through its doors in Buenos Aires. The electric pairing of chef Fernando Trocca and mixologist Tato Giovannoni have created an elevated dining experience that’s been recognised twice on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Fresh from opening in London, Sucre Dubai is here to make its mark on DIFC, bringing punchy Latin American flavours to Gate Village 05, taking the spot previously occupied by Indie.
In its design, Japanese architect Noriyoshi Muramatsu clearly understood the brief to bring Buenos Aires to life: an exposed brick entrance leads into a reception of printed tile flooring, cut glass chandeliers and a tapestry of woven carpets in endless hues of burgundy covering the curvaceous ceiling. Once inside, the restaurant is split into a bar that spills onto a neat terrace at the front, and a dining room towards the back, lined by a show kitchen filled with expert chefs at work. Here you’ll find the enormous La Parilla – the staple grill found in many Argentinian homes. The mishmash of woven carpets in those dramatic dark red shades adorn the dining room walls, and attention to detail has also been extended to the dining room ceiling, with a lattice of boxy wooden structures an ode to the home fronts Muramatsu discovered strolling the balmy Buenos Aires streets.
“You can’t come to Sucre and not try the paella,” general manager Flavio Pensa tells us as we browse the menu, neatly divided into snacks, small plates, large plates and sides. While Sucre is largely Latin American, Spanish and Italian influences are evident across dishes, including the king crab tostada (Dhs125), a floury tortilla packed with avocado paste, crunchy scallions, and rich tatemada salsa; and the mussels (Dhs75) served in a light coconut sauce with the punchy additions of ginger and lime.
We were right to order the squid ink paella (Dhs275), with paella rice served just the right side of al dente, coated in thick, jet black squid ink and topped with perfectly cooked mouthfuls of grilled octopus and drizzled with aioli. Our second main, a piece of Wagyu striploin served simply with chimichurri (Dhs345) is the only dish that slightly misses the mark, lacking the rich flavours of some of the other dishes.
Desserts, for those not too full to face them, are all top-notch, but the standout has to be the dulce de leche fondant (Dhs55). Piping hot and sprinkled with sea salt, it oozes a thick, rich dulce de leche when the delicate edges are cut into, and we delight in every mouthful of it paired with an airily whipped vanilla cream.
A special mention should be given to the DJ, who is evidently well versed in playing to a DIFC crowd. While his mixes may not be particularly akin to the restaurant theme, they’re the kind of songs that have the whole room wanting to linger longer to enjoy them.
While it may face tough competition from some of its more established neighbours, first impressions offer full confidence that Sucre Dubai is here to make an impact.
Sucre Dubai, Podium Level, Gate Village 05, daily 12pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 340 0829. @sucredubai