Enigma at Palazzo Versace has been the talk of the town as of late, and understandably so. It is not only a concept new to Dubai, but new to the world. The restaurant promises to showcase a different Michelin starred chef every 3 months, and the chef will most certainly come (with his trusted team) from one of the 50 best restaurants in the world. Enigma announced it’s arrival in Dubai with a bang, and Chef Quique Dacosta at the helm- offering his Vanguard dining experience.
The word avant garde is derived from the french word Vanguard, which in this case refers to a group of people who are a step ahead of others in terms of cooking. The avant garde push the boundaries accepted as norms, and the aspiring connoisseur in me is ever so grateful for the vanguards in this kitchen. Chef Quique Dacosta muses on contemporary gastronomy and his diners get to sit back and bask in the end result. With his avant garde approach not just to cooking but to life in general, he has been propelled to the pinnacle of culinary acclaim as his eponymous restaurant back home in Denia, Spain, boasts 3 michelin stars and ranks 39th best in the world.
Chef Quique’s techno emotional style of cooking places premium on innovation and this can be witnessed though each of the 12 courses of this meal. The cleverly crafted and impeccably thought-out meal strokes one’s emotions and shocks the senses. Each course can be broken down to a handful of meticulously prepared and shockingly transformed ingredients. Whether it’s something unusual like charcoal, or a household item like butter, every ingredient on the plate before you adds immense value to it.
One observation I couldn’t help but make, was that there didn’t seem to be a progression to the “story”. While each course was artistically thought provoking, I couldn’t form a connection, link, or progression between the courses. That said, it undoubtedly a most captivating epicurean journey, and each bite left me mesmerized, wondering what went through the Chef’s head when he conceptualized this; what was he trying to convey?
I’ve had a taste of chefs trying their hands at molecular gastronomy in the past, but sadly, their conceptually ambitious attempts failed to deliver on taste and flavors, more often than not. The Vanguard dinner was luckily a case of the latter, and I highly recommend this sophisticated experience to anyone visiting or living in Dubai. While the novice may deem AED 750 to be a steep price, anyone with the faintest understanding of cooking and appreciation of techno-emotinal cuisine will undoubtedly be floored.
I’m already counting down for Enigma to reveal their next guest chef 🙂