As the new Al Habtoor City becomes slowly operational – we’re currently two hotels down, with the almighty 1,000-room Westin soon to be unveiled – Dubai is gradually being gifted a raft of new eating and drinking establishments. And among the first to make a mark is Brasserie Quartier, the modern French restaurant perched inside the St Regis Dubai.
While French food might be, perhaps unfairly, associated with ritual and etiquette, Brasserie Quartier’s new Thursday night deal aims to break down dining protocol with a new sociable sharing concept. Rendez-vous à Table offers up bite-sized portions of the chef’s favourite starters, entrees, and desserts – think French food in tapas style. This form lends the ornate, traditional dining space a lively, post-work buzz. Chic but not stuffy.
Each course offers five taster plates – and the standard is near-universally high. Of the starters, the steak tartare was addictively moreish, while the fluffy texture of the burrata was just right. A large, thin, rectangular “alsacian pizza” – with sour cream and veal bacon but no cheese or tomato – was a wholesome guilty pleasure, and the crab caesar salad did not disappoint. Only the dry calamari rings felt slightly perfunctory.
Moving onto the mains, the Wagyu sirloin was naturally sublime, and the beef bourguignon authentically overpowering. Of two fish dishes, the tender meagre trumped the pan roasted sea bream. But while I can’t quibble with any of the mains, the selection seemed puzzling – why two beef and two fish dishes, and no poultry? The fifth dish, lemon tagliatelle, added a refreshing balance to the palette, while the closing quintet of desserts should satisfy any sweet tooth.
Who’s it best for?
The mix of quality European cuisine coupled with the relaxed sharing concept – and competitive pricing – means this package should appeal to friends, lovers and colleagues alike.
A satisfying way to sample some of this quality restaurant’s greatest hits without breaking the bank.
The National was a guest of the venue.
• Thursdays 6.30pm-midnight. Dh240 (including one glass of grape). Brasserie Quartier, The St Regis Dubai, reservations 04 435 5577 or email email@example.com