A beloved French Brasserie has opened in the Heart of Dubai…

Couqley, a much-loved restaurant in JLT, known for its low ceilings and authentic feel, has recently opened a branch in the Pullman Hotel, Downtown Dubai. Having taken the original concept but revamped it to create a new, bright and chic experience.

Greeted by stunning red doors upon arrival, we are transported into a chic French bistro as soon as we walk through. At the centre of the restaurant is a heightened bar boasting the signature Couqley cockerel hung from the ceiling. To the left we spot an open-style kitchen and to the right is a private dining area.

The interiors provide a real feel for France, paintings and décor are all reminiscent of Mid-century style, while the alfresco dining is adorned with hanging plants and greenery that one would expect in any outdoor seating area in Paris.

Time to dine

We start off with two varieties of steak tartare. The classic steak tartare (Dhs119) was a hit, and we couldn’t resist scooping up more of the flavourful meat onto our toast. The wagyu steak tartare et truffes (Dhs137) was not quite as tasty but still managed to satisfy our truffle craving. Next, we move onto the poélée de champignons (Dhs76). The poélée’s mushroom sauce was deliciously creamy, and well balanced against the ratio of flaky pastry. We couldn’t waste a single morsel, so much so that we swiftly reorder. Naturally at any French restaurant, we had to try the escargot de Bourgogne (Dhs61 for six). The snails were cooked to perfection, and drenched in butter, garlic and herbs just the way they should be.

Making our way through the main courses, making sure to try Couqley’s signature steak frites (Dhs137) We requested it medium rare and the steak arrived at optimum temperature, which alongside with Couqley’s signature sauce really sealed the deal. We also enjoyed the sea bass en papillote (Dhs129), which was served in a foil bag to ensure all of the juices remained, and led to the most flavourful, tender fish.

Dessert consisted of a crème brûlée (Dhs41), and the pain perdu (Dhs55). The crème brûlée arrived perfectly caramelised and we can’t help but smile as we crack into the crunchy sugar surface with a spoon, to reveal the sweet vanilla cream resting underneath. However, the real showstopper is the pain perdu. It was not soggy, but instead, crispy on the edges and deliciously soft on the inside, the thickness of the brioche was perfect, and the balance of cinnamon and vanilla ice cream were the perfect treat we needed to round out the day.

What’s On Verdict: There is not a single negative thing to say about Couqley. The food was all cooked to perfection, the service was incredible and the overall look and feel of the new venue is refreshing and inviting.

Couqley French Brasserie, Pullman Hotel Downtown Dubai, 12pm to 2am daily. Tel: (0)4 514 9339, couqley.ae

Images: Supplied