I did not pay for this meal at The Restaurant. It was complimentary, as part of my staycation at The Address Boulevard earlier this month. The opinions stated within this post are entirely my own.
I don’t like to post spoilers but dinner at The Restaurant was absolute perfection. Service was at par with that of proper fine-dining. They even noticed (what to some is a small detail, but to me, quite hard to miss) when my napkin fell to the floor and were quick to swoop it up and offer me a fresh one. This wasn’t my first time at The Restaurant, so I won’t talk too much about the theme (to read my previous experience, click here), nor the last, but every time I go there, I am increasingly impressed.
This was our first meal out since getting back from our Eid trip to Thailand, and it was a perfect reminder of how food and hospitality in Dubai is just on a whole other level, and how it spoils you for life.
We went with some of the manager’s recommendations and had zero point zero regrets. For starters, we had what is already The Restaurant’s famous Grilled Octopus, and after only one bite, we understood why. It was beautifully marinated and grilled to tender perfection. The number of times I’ve had rubbery octopus is too darn high, but this was the absolute best octopus I’ve ever had. It was as soft as butter.
I was in the mood for something light and refreshing, being it’s summer and I always want something light and refreshing these days. I picked the watermelon and halloumi salad and it was definitely one of the better watermelon-cheese salads I’ve had. I still prefer watermelon to go with feta, even though I am a huge halloumi fan, as I feel that the richness of feta is just enough to contrast with watermelon without making the salad heavier than one would want a watermelon salad to be. Regardless, the halloumi was beautifully marinated and grilled, and I loved the toasted hazelnuts and pomegranate arils on top. I always love some textural contrast.
For mains, M ordered the striploin, medium-well, and it was a perfect medium-well. It was still juice and very tender. We both loved the chimichurri on top. It’s sad and surprising how hard it is to find some good chimichurri! Even the pumpkin puree on the side didn’t taste like baby food, which again is an occurrence more common than not.
I ordered the seabass, because for some reason all I want to eat since my trip to Thailand (which blessed me with some of the best seafood dishes I have ever had the pleasure of eating). I’m even debating becoming a pescatarian, but I love beef too much. Anyway, back to the seabass. To put it succinctly, it was sublime. The skin was crispy, the flesh was flaky and glossy, the tomato compote was nicely seasoned and the fennel salad had a kick of acidity and crunch to it the contrasted beautifully with the delicate fish and tomato compote.
We were too stuffed to be able to enjoy dessert, so we decided to skip it altogether. I ave no regrets, because I’ll definitely be frequenting The Restaurant for as far into the future as I can see. During this staycation alone, I went back for breakfast, and the business lunch, because why not, right?
The most important conclusion I came to after my dinner at The Restaurant was that the chef knows the importance of seasoning. A little salt goes a long way, and it was very pleasing to meet a chef who understands that. It was also clear after this meal that the chef can appreciate the importance of textural contrast, and flavors that contrast but complement each other in just the right ratios.