Review: En Fuego Dubai
Atlantis, The Palm’s fiery new hotspot lights up The Avenues…
It is near-impossible to recognise the spot once held by Ronda Locatelli in The Avenues at Atlantis, The Palm. The venue was gutted and reimagined as a South American restaurant, having reopened at the end of 2022. Now called En Fuego, guests are treated to a lively night of Latin food, cocktails and entertainment.
Much of the team, both front of house and in the kitchen, are South American, ensuring that every detail feels authentic. Equally, a large portion of the decor – which we could spend an entire page talking about alone – was sourced from Colombia during the fit-out. The interiors were conceptualised by Bishop Design and are truly something to marvel at. Everything from drums and trumpets, neon lights, flamingos, a rickshaw and even a car, suspend above us throughout the bar area. A central carousel, complete with an opulent horse, serves up creative cocktails from funky glassware, while the main atrium acts as a stage for performers, as guests on high tables and cosy booths enjoy a front-row seat to the show.
An entire section of the menu is dedicated to avocado, offering a whopping six styles of guacamole to choose from. Our pick of the bunch is called ‘you’re everything I avo wanted’ (Dhs85), which features sashimi tuna and marinated tomatoes. Sure, adding tuna to guac is unusual, but we can confirm that it works.
Coco scallop ceviche (Dhs125) is an excellent choice from the raw and marinated section of the menu. It’s fresh and flavourful, with a vibrant punch of chilli and pops of colour thanks to the garnish. Spice fans should opt for the Patagonian prawn tiradito (Dhs125), which brings the heat and will get your tastebuds tingling from the first mouthful.
En Fuego has put much consideration into its entertainment, which is designed to feel impromptu and spontaneous, but just take a look at the number of people in black with clipboards and headsets, and you’ll see that this is a well-considered operation. From flamenco and rumba dancers, a live Mariachi band and a larger-than-life compere, to singers in full Colombian dress, guests are brought to the streets of Cartagena through music.
From the rotisserie, which can be seen spinning through a large window to the kitchen, we devour the mucho grande beef short ribs (Dhs290), which are slow cooked for several hours before being drizzled in a simple yet flavourful chimichurri. The meat falls apart at the touch of a fork, making each bite tender and tasty.
The dessert menu is a list of traditional South American sweets, from tres leches to churros, flan and flambé. We opt for the banana bomba (Dhs60), which is served in a banana-shaped ceramic sundae glass. Peanut mousse is topped with chocolate granola and caramelised banana, putting a grownup twist on childhood-favourite dessert, the banana split.
We have no doubt that En Fuego will be a hit with the many visitors to Atlantis, The Palm. The vibrant design and authentic food make for a memorable experience for tourists and residents alike.
What’s On verdict: A vibrant and entertaining restaurant with plenty of personality.
En Fuego, Atlantis, The Palm, Mon to Fri 5pm to 1am, Sat and Sun 12pm to 1am. Tel: (0)4 426 2626. atlantis.com