Restaurant reviews - Tried & tasted.
Reviewed by Sophie McCarrick
Editor of BBC Good Food Middle East, lover of all things food and a keen seeker of new dining experiences.
AT.MOSPHERE, BURJ KHALIFA
Dining experience: The new five-course Market Menu
What's it like? Located on the 122nd floor of the world's tallest building, At.mosphere offers incomparable, breathtaking views through floor-to-ceiling windows. You can get dressed up to come here and not feel out of place in dazzling surroundings -- it's definitely a spot to celebrate, treat your loved one, or impress guests. Expect pristine white table cloths and elegant, chic dAaAaAeA@cor. The dimly lit restaurant makes for an intimat romantic experience -- and allows the city's lights below to sparkle and shine gorgeously.
What are the food highlights?
Led by executive chef Christopher Graham, the kitchen here ensures that well-thought out food takes center stage. Although there are various tasting menus available, ranging from eight-course to three-course, with and without pairing, we are here to try the newly launched Harvest Menu, which showcases beautiful seasonal produce from around the world. Zesty aromas kick-start the experience from a dish of home-smoked mackerel with green apple, radish and horseradish. An aromatic risotto with tomato jelly and pu'er tea follows, which is light and satisfying. Two main courses come next, with pan seared bream served first, topped with fennel and a side of spiced aubergine. The slow cooked duck breast pairs beautifully with poached pear, foie gras, cherry and vanilla -- an incredibly moorish and wholesome dish. Lastly, a dessert of apple tarte fine perfectly concludes the excellent dining experience, accompanied by velvety crAaAaAeA?me brAaAaAeA}lAaAaAeA@e ice
How was the service? Extremely professional and welcoming, ensuring a refined and enjoyable experience is had by all.
The bottom line: This is a place to go when you're looking for an experience to remember. At.mosphere provides an infallible dining experience in the sky to share with those closest to you.
Want to go? The Market Menu is priced at Dhs495 per person for five courses, without beverages. Call 04-8883828 or e-mail atmosphere@ atmosphereburjkhalifa.com.
BENIHANA, AMWAJ ROTANA
Dining experience: New dinner menu
What's it like? For a dining experience without fuss and frills, Benihana is a go to spot for me. Why? Because it's consistently good, offers value for money, a fun and relaxing atmosphere and casual, familiarity. Choose from indoor seating in the restaurant or around one of three teppanyaki tables, or alternatively enjoy the lovely winter weather from the restaurant's idyllic terrace that overlooks the Arabian sea and is lit by candles and fairy lights at night, creating a rather romantic atmosphere.
What are the food highlights?
Seated and ready to explore the new menu, we're advised that each meal should begin with a 'zanzai' -- a selection of hot and cold starters. So, we opted for a portion of steamed duck gyoza with soya and spring onion, which were generously stuffed and tasted wonderful, and for cold, we had the beef tataki with spicy garlic dressing. Next, we indulged with a signature sushi and sashimi platter, filled with a selection of fresh salmon and Hamachi sashimi, plus varied sushi options including our favourite of the night, the crispy prawn tempura roll. On chef's recommendation, for mains we shared the wok fried crispy chili beef striploin, and from the grill, the seabass glazed with ginger ponzu
-- which was expertly cooked and simply delicious. For those with a sweet tooth, menu options range from warm chocolate fondant and citrus rice pudding, to Hokkaido pannacotta and the famed Japanese ice cream, mochi. How was the service? The team at Benihana are incredibly friendly and welcoming. Right from arrival, they make you feel at home and ensure you're looked after at all times.
The bottom line: A place to visit for great food in a relaxed and casual atmosphere with family or friends. If you're thinking of stopping by any time soon, don't miss the newly introduced 'Rush Hour' special daily from 5pm to 7pm featuring sharing plates of sushi, sashimi, tempura and other nibbles for Dhs25 and beverages from Dhs20. Want to go? Priced at around Dhs250 per person for three-courses, without beverages. Call 04-4282000.
COCO ON 8, MEDIA ONE HOTEL
Dining experience: Poolside lunch
What's it like? Coco on 8 is a new launch at Media One Hotel, offering a cool and laid-back atmosphere in chic, Miami-inspired surroundings. Occupying the space that was once Dek on 8, the venue has undergone a trendy makeover, and is now open for guests from lunch through to the evening, when the party gets going. The spacious pool and bar area is an ideal spot to chill during the day next to the pool, while enjoying a bite to eat and refreshing cocktails, or straight from the office for post-work drinks and an early dinner. As the evening goes on, the atmosphere comes alive with DJs that get the party started.
What are the food highlights? The menu here is perfectly designed to keep things light and practical for sharing around the pool. From crudos and sushi, to wraps, salads, flatbreads and small plates, plus those to share -- not forgetting dessert -- there's something for everyone. Expect dishes like tuna poke with avocado, California maki rolls, a dozen freshly shucked oysters, and succulent mini skewers of beef, chicken and halloumi to share. For something a little heartier, the Coco club wrap with chicken, cheese and eggs is satisfying and scrumptious. If you fancy something sweet to conclude, chocolate dipped strawberries or salted caramel and milk chocolate rice rolls are sure to take your fancy.
How was the service? 'The staff at Coco are fun, energetic and helpful.
The bottom line: An ideal place to visit for a relaxing day by the pool with light bites, and your girlfriends -- or alternatively, turn it into a night out and head for sundowners and enjoy the evening ahead.
Want to go? If visiting Coco on 8 during the day, it's Dhs75 for a day pass, which fully redeemable on F&B. Don't miss Happy Hour daily from 5pm -- 8pm, with drinks and small plates from Dhs30. Call 04-4271000.
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