Feel transported…

Maison De La Plage fills your heart with sunshine. Even for someone like me – essentially a vampire who stays as far away from the glowing ball of flames, the centre of our limited universe, as possible. It’s a portal of sorts, taking you by the hand with that signature Chef Izu Ani megawatt smile that never fades and travelling across space and time to the refreshing rivieras of France.

Another jewel in Chef Izu’s crown of hospitality, the restaurant and beach club sitting on Palm West Beach is bright and shiny. Even from daylight to moonlight, a transition which I have had the good fortune of experiencing. Frankly put, the magicman has a penchant for surprisingly simple but endearingly delicious food, and that knack for making you feel as welcome as can be.

maison de la plage


As we step into the restaurant that gives way to the outdoor seating by the pool, there is a sense of departure from the typical Dubai landscape. The interiors are white and lavish, but understated – quiet luxury, as one would say. Tones of beige and brown complement the elements of green from the foliage and the space is perfectly reminiscent of a modern countryside farm, with fresh fruits and vegetables from across the rainbow, the latest glossy catch and mammoth cuts of meat on full display.

On this particular occasion, we’re seated by the pool, on the sand. In the evenings, the energy is colourful, pulsating and vibrant with dinner patrons enjoying the last of the Dubai winter as it slips away. A quick glance over the menu, valuable recommendations made by the lovely staff, some pleasant conversation and we have our first round of starters.

maison de la plage


The burrata with heirloom cherry tomatoes and pesto salad (Dhs90) is a delightful explosion of flavours, juicy, tart and creamy all at the same time. The tang of the tomatoes smeared on the crunchy brown bread with the uber rich burrata is a winning combination of flavours and textures. No harsh spices, just the natural flavours shining through.

The beef carpaccio with Parmesan cheese and truffle dressing (Dhs125) is a salty affair, and one we polish off too soon. Although the profiles of the cheese, the truffle and the mushrooms are similar, the taste of each stands out in each bite. A different kind of deep, umami salt.

Our next round of starters comes as a grilled bit of octopus with bell peppers sauce and cauliflower puree (Dhs105). Contrary to our previous dish, this one is tonally sweet. The bell peppers add a smoky sweetness and the cauliflower puree a nutty, smooth one. It’s great, with the clean octopus taking on those attributes.

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maison de la plage

For the mains, we choose the Izu burger (Dhs135) and the gnocchi with sorrentina, basil and mozzarella (Dhs95). The burger is a classic, with a brioche bun lashed in butter, Emmenthal cheese that offers a glorious stretch and quality Wagyu beef. You can taste the difference. The gnocchi is little morsels of melt-in-your-mouth goodness, steeped in more sweet tomatoes and cheese. The sauce is not too bright or too sharp, everything softened by the touch of cheese, but bold enough to carry the effortless dish.

To conclude, we are advised to order the Hokkaido cheese ice cream with roasted strawberries (Dhs100). We happily oblige, unaware of the portion size – it’s enough to feed four people and we’re only two. It’s a pleasant surprise, for sure, and so is the soft serve itself. There’s a salty, malty-ness to it, almost like salted caramel without the excessive sugar.

What’s On Verdict: I’m a earnest fan and so will you be

Maison De La Plage, Palm West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily, 10am to 2pm, Tel: (0) 4 452 3344, @maisondelaplage_

Images: Supplied