Review: Is Krasota Dubai really worth Dhs2000 per person?
The ‘too long, didn’t read’ answer: yes…
At Krasota Dubai, culinary excellence and art come together to create a unique masterpiece.
The nine-course immersive experience is intricately designed to bring popular artworks to life while also reflecting the artistic elements into your dish. Your dinner runs for approximately two hours and will have you walking out of the venue with a newfound appreciation for art, culinary excellence and the human experience.
For journalists, one word can alter an entire sentence. For chefs, the addition of even the mildest herb can change an entire bite. For an artist, too many drops of black paint can turn the beautiful calm turquoise ocean into a stormy day. So, has Krasota Dubai got the balance exactly right?
Here’s our review. For the purpose of keeping some surprises, should you choose to visit – we will only be highlighting three courses…
Let the show begin…
View this post on Instagram
A bell tolls in the welcome room, signalling the beginning of a journey we were yet to understand. “Please find your seat, it is allocated by your name projected onto the table.” Once everybody was firmly seated, we were ready – well, we thought we were.
Dinner takes place in a circular dimly lit room, with a dark grey, crushed velvet table taking up the majority of the space. Our seats swivel around, ensuring that we don’t miss out on anything that is yet to come.
Act I: The dark light of the Past – Aleksandr Deyneka
To understand the composition of each dish, one must understand each artist – first, Aleksandr Deyneka, a Soviet and Russian painter. Regarded as one of the most important names in Russian modernist figurative art, he often created works to depict life in the Soviet Union – an art style known as Socialist Realism.
The paintings begin to move around the screen depicting boys and girls playing. There’s plenty of attention to detail and we can almost hear the painting – from the children playing, and birds chirping as the waves crash in the distance.
The screen stops on what is said to be one of Deyneka’s most famous paintings The Future Pilots. The work depicts three young boys sitting on the edge of a cliff, looking out to the ocean, and pointing at planes. The piece has a childlike innocence to it promoting a happy Soviet Union while simultaneously romanticising a military career. We wouldn’t have known any of this if it weren’t for our spectacular server for the evening, Aleksander (ironically.)
The first course is served. Perfectly in unison, we are presented with a clear glass bowl, that resembled a mosaic design. Peach sashimi is cut into a unique floral design to mimic the childlike innocence that is translated through Deyneka’s artwork. With delicate gold cutlery, we take our first bite. A palette cleanser that is light, but slightly tart thanks to the peach. Coating the peach is a fresh, clear coulis that is complimented surprisingly by a light touch of truffle.
Act IV: The Crystalline Space – Mikhail Vrubel
At this point in the evening, we were in awe of all of the artwork that we had absorbed and the stories we’d been told. Immersive, doesn’t even begin to describe the all-encompassing, visceral journey (typically avoiding this word when it comes to the culinary world, but it truly is a journey).
Every course we are greeted by Aleksander in a different costume. After each course is served, he takes time to explain the artist’s style; how they achieve their brush strokes; where the artist draws inspiration from; the connection between dish and art piece, and his knowledge astounds.
For this course, we are greeted by The Seated Demon and The Swan Princess, two pieces created by Mikhail Vrubel, a romanticism and art nouveau artist who was considered an obsessive artist whose work was often deemed decadent and in some cases, ugly. Eventually, he sadly descended into a manic state and was in and out of the hospital where he continued to paint eventually stopping as he became increasingly blind in the last years of his life.
His artworks were created using only a palette knife which create a crystal-like feel. Broad strokes on the paintings create the impression of a mosaic art piece rather than an actual painting. The Seated Demon tells a story of a fallen angel suffering as he wanders the earth. He is not meant to depict evil, but rather sorrow and majesty.
The Swan Princess is another fairytale-like character that seems to exist between worlds. The story of the Swan Princess is well known, and Vrubel painted her as though a picture was captured during her metamorphosis from princess to swan. Some say the princess resembles an unrequited love from the artist’s early life.
For our meal, presented to us is an ice cube-like structure. We are instructed to touch our dish and we were surprised to learn that the ice cube is warm to the touch.
Carved into the block we find our next delight – a black lemon mousse. As we stir the mousse, it begins to evolve into a sauce and flavourful crab is revealed. On the first bite, we sigh, the lemon is not overpowering and compliments the strong flavour profile of the crab. An added crunch from the blanched almonds adds a new depth to the dish.
Act VI: The Core of The Worlds – Nicholas Roerich
Russian-born artist, Nicholas Roerich was a world traveller and often used his travels to inspire his artworks. Having a deep appreciation for India, his work Himalayas was the main inspiration for the sixth course. Many of his works include realism of mountainous scenes, most commonly of the mountain range. In this course, we find our servers dressed to inspire the movement of the flags waving calmly within the screen.
A fragrant artichoke curry accompanied by coconut is presented to us on a wooden box. The dish captures the essence of Roerich’s mastery of capturing light and provides a unique experience. As we stir the curry with the wooden spoon, we are presented with what looks like a sunset, with paint strokes that would mimic a stirring movement.
The orange hues of the curried sauce mix in with the brighter shades of pumpkin and sweet potato hidden at the bottom of the dish. Taking a bite of the warm dish, a sweetness comes through, thanks to the pumpkin and sweet potato puree, while a crunch and nuttiness come across in the artichoke.
Next, we taste the coconut rice, to our surprise: the rice and coconut accompaniment are cold – an interesting choice. One we perhaps wouldn’t have made as it takes away from the warmth of the curry – in both flavour and colour, however, an intentional artistic choice made by our chef. We delight in the dish while a dragon begins to circle around our table rhythmically to the music.
What’s On verdict: Without sounding too much like a character out of the film The Menu; the immersive dining experience, Krasota Dubai is an intricate and painstakingly perfected evening that combines all the senses to create a truly visceral moment in time was a pleasure and a privilege to witness, taste and enjoy.
Krasota Dubai, The Address Downtown Hotel, Dubai. Matinee 3pm, first seating 6pm, and second seating at 9pm. from Dhs1,830 per person. Tel:(0)4433 1258. krasota.art