A total of 11 venues received one star, three got two stars and 17 were listed under the Bib Gourmand category.
With the culinary and entertainment season well under way, The National continues its Star-grazing series and visits the latest Michelin-starred restaurants in Dubai to understand the ethos behind their celebrated menus.
Located at the One & The Palm resort, the two-Michelin-starred Stay by Yannick Alleno is our latest stop.
Inside Stay by Yannick Alleno
The French chef’s name is a calling card for culinary excellence.
Alleno has a trio of Michelin-starred restaurants under his belt, including a rare three stars for Alleno Paris.
Accessed from the hotel lobby, Stay by Yannick Alleno is a French restaurant described as offering an “epicurean experience of menus curated especially for you”.
Classic techniques meet contemporary ideas here, with a la carte offerings served alongside seasonal tasting menus.
Winning two Michelin stars is a triumph of teamwork, says executive chef Renaud Dutel.
“It is an incredibly emotional feeling because it is a testament to our organisation and how we focus on delivering every day to our guests,” he says.
“Dubai is a big city with a lot of restaurants, so to be highlighted as one of the top [ones] is incredible.”
Michelin inspectors praised Stay by Yannick Alleno for its “‘less is more’ approach”, writing: “Precise, sophisticated dishes are perfectly judged and packed with flavour; beautifully conceived and skilfully crafted with an intelligent and intriguing array of textures, flavours and temperatures”.
What's on the Michelin-starred menu?
While the Andalusian and Moorish-style architecture of One & The Palm exudes an old-world charm, Stay by Yannick Alleno is contemporary with a monochromatic colour palette of black, silver and touches of burgundy.
The dining hall is spacious and intimate with couples and small groups seated at table-clothed tables.
“This is perfect for date night,” my companion remarks, to which the impeccably dressed waiter replies: “No, this is a place for a wedding proposal.”
Perhaps he is right as everything from the black crystal chandeliers above to the set menus, named Emotions (Dh825) and Experience (Dh1,100), exude a sense of occasion.
We choose the latter, a more extensive six-course menu that Dutel says is the ideal option to appreciate the “technique and rigour” exemplifying Alleno’s approach in the kitchen.
We begin with a king crab topped with farmhouse cream, a wonderful starter highlighting the restaurant's skill for sourcing pedigree products and Alleno's masterful approach to sauces.
The cream is seasoned with a light touch of vinegar and the silky aromatic broth – a combination of sea grapes, herbs, Tasmanian pepper (spicy and fruity) and lemon caviar – form for a mesmerising taste of the ocean.
Key to the Portobello mushroom dish is the texture, Dutel says.
It is served with a zingy foam made from romaine lettuce and a hearty risotto made from rye bread and buckwheat.
“We cook the mushroom in the same process as an abalone, in order to release the same flavour, texture and colouration,” Dutel says.
“When we thought about this dish, we were also considering how to recycle our bread and by turning it into a risotto we wanted people to really feel all those textures in each bite.
“We want them to see that connection between mushroom, bread and the romaine flavours of the lettuce.”
When the langoustines with vanilla arrive, I appreciate how Stay by Yannick Alleno is essentially a restaurant serving sauces with sides of protein.
“The sauce is the bridge,” Dutel says. “It is the road that takes you on this journey from the sea to the earth and various other places. We don't joke with the sauce and it deserves a lot of our attention.”
To simply describe the liquid gold that comes with the fish as “vanilla”, is a disservice. It’s light, deeply fragrant and leaves a caramel afterglow on the palette.
The Australian Wagyu beef and mushroom mille-feuille is another masterclass.
Partly named after the famous French pastry, the savoury version uses a similar technique in which the premium meat is so finely sliced that it falls like sheets on the plate and immediately melts in your mouth.
Seasoned with smoked salt and served with parsley puree and a mushroom butter, it is rich and impactful.
The dessert of soft chocolate with seaweed jam ends the journey on a fluffy and tangy note, courtesy of the winning yuzu sorbet.
It ends the kind of exhilarating dining experience that almost makes you want to go ring shopping in order to return.
Stay by Yannick Alleno at Dubai’s One & The Palm is open Tuesday to Sunday for dinner from 7pm to 11pm; www.oneandonlyresorts.com