Sucre review: Gaucho chef brings Argentinian flavour to Dubai

The sharing-style dishes are at once hearty and flavourful

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Sucre, which opened in the Dubai International Financial Centre in January, is the brainchild of Fernando Trocca, a master chef and acclaimed restaurateur, who also launched the restaurant chain Gaucho.

Trocca trained in some of the most prestigious kitchens in Argentina before undertaking a culinary journey across Europe and the US. He is well known for his skilful open-fire cooking, a traditional technique from his homeland. This is evident in the first Sucre in Buenos Aires as well as the various Gaucho outposts, all of which set the bar high for this style of South American cuisine.

Where to expect and where to sit

Sucre Dubai opened in January 2022. Antonie Robertson / The National

The DIFC space is designed by Japanese architect Noriyoshi Muramatsu, with the aim to create a similar look-feel as the other Sucre venues. Accordingly, the vaulted entrance is done up in textured bricks that lead into a restaurant area done up in warm colours.

This is split into dining and lounge sections, a bar and an open kitchen plan with a dedicated elevated seating area, so patrons can see the chefs at work as well as the dramatic fireplace and wood oven. Bag a seat here if you can.

The menu

“The menu here is slightly bigger, but follows the same concept as the original Sucre in Buenos Aires,” Trocca says. “The small snacks, the grill, the brick oven, are all classic Sucre, but we have a wider selection here than even in London.”

The Sucre Dubai menu is split into snacks, small dishes and large dishes. In typical Latin style, the food is intended to be shared. Starting with empanadas is almost a must when dining here. Both the smoked cheddar and onion empanada and the beef and chilli empanada are moreish and must be eaten piping hot.

The chef-recommended saffron risotto with veal ossobuco is a classic dish filled with subtle flavours. The slow-braised veal is a joy to the palate.

“This is one of my favourite dishes that we have here, in London, and that we have been serving for 20 years in Buenos Aires,” Trocca says. “It is a dish my grandmother made for me. Ossobuco risotto is classic and simple, but is very attached to my personal history.”

Be sure to save some space for dessert, though. The dulce de leche fondant with fried pecans and vanilla ice cream is the perfect bookend.

Standout dish

Saffron risotto at Sucre. Photo: Antonie Robertson / The National

The ossobuco aside, the main event for meat lovers is the huge Wagyu tomahawk with chimichurri and tarragon aioli. The succulent beef is cooked to perfection and will have any table wrestling over the last bits.

A chat with the chef

Executive chef Fernando Trocca. Photo: Antonie Robertson / The National

“When I open a restaurant, I want the food to be amazing. But I also think now restaurants must be a whole experience. People want to have fun, be in a nice place, have good service and obviously good food,” Trocca says.

“I like warm places, warm restaurants. When I look at Sucre here, I see that.”

Price point and contact information

Snacks range from Dh40 to Dh55, and encompass Argentinian fare such as empanadas and bread seasoned with regional cheeses. Small plates (think ceviche and tiraditos) range from Dh55 to Dh130. Large plates go from Dh125 for the paccheri pasta to Dh1,100 for the Wagyu tomahawk.

Desserts start from Dh40 for the creme caramel and go up to Dh80 for the bread and butter pudding.

Sucre is on the podium level of Gate Village 5 in DIFC. Reservations can be made by contacting 04 340 0829 or reservations@sucredubai.com

This review was conducted at the invitation of the restaurant

Updated: May 27, 2022, 6:02 PM
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