Restaurant review: The Guild, DIFC
It promises to redefine the city’s dining scene but does The Guild have what it takes to compete with DIFC’s high concentration of established restaurants?
Located in the ICD Brookfield Place, The Guild is the latest restaurant to join DIFC’s robust dining scene and the newest brainchild of hospitality big guns EatX – the team behind the ever-popular Tom & Serg, Common Grounds, Hawkerboi, and Byron Bathers Club.
The sophisticated, multi-tasking venue is divided into four distinct spaces: The Nurseries, The Potting Shed, The Rockpool, and The Salon. As the evening progresses, guests can move through the different spaces – like rooms of a house – each catering to different moods and desires.
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Guests can sip cocktails in the cosy glasshouse-style hideaway, slurp oysters around a live rockpool, and head down to the New York-meets-Parisian-style brasserie to sample fare from executive chef Paul Gajewski.
Take your seat in The Salon in front of what is possibly one of the most theatrical open kitchens in Dubai with striking chandeliers, a roaring open fire, red bricks, high ceilings, cluttered sides, and a team of chefs wearing those crisp-white, tall hats. It’s rather magical.
The vast menu is filled with the exact sharing-style dishes you want to eat in this buzzy, sociable setting, like the chunky, powerfully piquant Wagyu beef tartare (Dhs110) served with toasted baguette; and the wet and wonderful Japanese yellowtail (Dhs120) served in a bed of a rich buttermilk chive dressing and topped with pickled radish.
Order lightly to do justice to the main event: the woodfire steaks and grilled whole fish. From an overwhelming list of prime steaks, ribs, and racks, we order the ribeye (Dhs380). Their medium rare is our medium. Thick and tender, the slices practically melt on the tongue and are swimming in a pan of rich jus perfect for dipping the crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside duck fat fries (Dhs35).
If steak isn’t your thing, the lobster linguini (Dhs240) is pure comfort and the saltiness of the lobster balances perfectly with the sweetness of the pink sauce. It’s like a breath of fresh sea air on the Amalfi coast.
Round off the meal with a tiramisu (Dhs110), made with The Guild’s own single-origin local coffee and mascarpone cream.
You could easily lose a whole evening at The Guild – from post-work cocktails to then, hours later, accidentally finding yourself three courses deep and unable to move – and we’re not mad about it… With a restaurant this beautiful, what’s the rush?
Verdict: Impeccable service and simple food served beautifully, but it’s the buzzy atmosphere and unique setup that set this destination restaurant apart.
The Guild, ICD Brookfield Place, DIFC, Dubai. Dinner, 6pm to 12am Monday to Wednesday, and 6pm to 1am, Thursday to Sunday. Tel:(0)54 279 6826. theguilddubai.com