Dinner by Heston Blumenthal review: Our thoughts on the Michelin-star restaurant
It’s one of the most anticipated openings of the year but does Dinner by Heston deliver?
Just a few months ago, the world’s first Atlantis The Royal opened its doors in Dubai and with it, eight brand new celebrity chef restaurants.
Helmed by gastronomic magician Heston Blumenthal, Dinner may have two Michelin stars in London but does the medieval British restaurant impress in its shiny new location?
Just off the hotel’s main lobby and a floor up from Resonance, Heston Blumenthal’s unique and first-ever bar concept, Dinner’s setting is elegant and looks out onto the hotel’s water fountain. On a Wednesday evening, the hotel restaurant is full of a mix of families, tourists, and groups.
There’s a warm Tudor design style throughout with symbolic Tudor rose motifs on the ceiling, leather detailing, large rosewood tables, and dim lighting which dramatises the open laboratory-style kitchen. The pièce de résistance? The statement mechanical pineapple clock in the middle of the room that opens every half an hour and turns the pineapples roasting in the kitchen.
So, sit at one of the window booths, order the Bloody Mary (we won’t ruin the surprise), and enjoy the ride through British culinary history…
View this post on Instagram
Start off in the 13th century with the signature Meat Fruit (Dhs140) – a silky and rich chicken liver parfait disguised as a mandarin, served with perfectly charred bread. And no, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you, the ‘peel’ is infused with mandarin purée and essence giving a subtle citrusy zing. It’s a glorious sensation to eat and a testament to how serious this restaurant is about cooking.
Now, the year is 1723 and the Salamagundy (Dhs135) is served. Chicken oysters and salsify are complemented by the bone marrow and lubricated with a tart horseradish cream.
The sherried scallops (Dhs220) are a new addition to the menu, from a recipe book dated 1965. Served two ways: roast scallop and tartare, the rich, umami flavour from the shiitake mushrooms is well-balanced with the smokey cauliflower. A plate full of distinct characters yet they work just as well together as one.
For our main course, we order the powdered duck breast (Dhs375), served with pickled red cherries, braised red cabbage, and spiced umbles. An unforgettable combination and we can’t help but soak up every last drop of jus with the fluffy yet crispy triple-cooked chips (Dhs75) – like a warming hug with every bite.
The chicken cooked with lettuces (Dhs295) is intriguing. A rolled chicken breast is served with cooked lettuce, grilled onion emulsion, and celeriac sauce, the dried chicken skin crisp was a saviour for this otherwise forgettable dish.
Make sure to save room for dessert to try the amazingly inventive nitrogen ice cream trolley (Dhs100) where the ice cream is made at the table to order with your choice of toppings (the popping candy comes highly recommended). And the Tipsy Cake (Dhs105), warm buttery brioche buns served with the signature caramelised spit roast pineapple, you won’t want to share.
Verdict: Dinner by Heston is fine dining at its finest. While it may sit on the pricier end of dining in Dubai, it is undoubtedly a bucket list foodie experience. With an outstanding backdrop and impeccable service, the culinary creativity here at Dinner knows no bounds.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Atlantis The Royal, daily 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (0)4 426 2444, atlantis.com