Review: Sunday roast at Carna brings a nostalgic sort of happiness
All hail the rein-Carna-tion of Sunday lunch, just as it should be…
The Sunday roast, or Sunday lunch, is among the UK’s most celebrated food traditions; when it’s right, it’s up there with the world’s most adored national dishes. The focal point is roasted meat: typically beef with Yorkshire pudding. It’s served with roast potatoes, an assortment of vegetables, gravy made from the roasting juices and other delightful additions.
Debates about what constitutes the ‘perfect’ Sunday roast have been known to last for hours, but at Carna – helmed by the world’s most famous butcher, Italian Dario Cecchini – we’ve surely now found one of the best in Dubai.
Choosing what to eat at Carna on Sundays is not up for discussion, which is no bad thing. Instead, the concise yet generous menu presented is served to the table in its entirety.
Posh starters – including smoked salmon with shallots, capers, lemons and chives, a prawn cocktail salad, and the deliciously vintage melon and bresola – precede more traditional Sunday dishes: carved beef rump, roasted vegetables, potatoes (both roasted and mashed) and enormous Yorkshire puddings. Adding their take on more unusual sides – a pan of crispy Brussels sprouts, grilled Portobello mushrooms, and a miniature Francessina pie with veal belly, and beef cheek.
The meat, as you’d expect from a celebrity butcher, is fantastic with a thin sliver of fat on each carved slice to give it oomph. The foot-long Yorkshires provide a hint of crunch but are moreish and moist. The mound of buttery mash potato is so smooth it was surely piped, and the gravy so wonderfully rich, we only wished they’d offer a bigger pot.
Two missed marks for us lie with the roasties and the sprouts, the former lacking the crunch we so desired (the hunt for Dubai’s best roast potatoes continues), while the latter were just that bit too sweet.
To finish, the most British of desserts: pineapple upside cake, Eton mess and a trifle. Your Aunt Betty would be proud. The result is a wonderful three-hour-long British Sunday lunch that brings a nostalgic sort of happiness, the likes of which we rarely experience in Dubai, and from an Italian butcher no less.
74th floor, Carna, SLS Dubai, Sun 1pm to 4pm, Dhs295 with soft drinks, Dhs395 with house drinks. Tel: (054) 705 8198. @carnadubai