Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 details - Timeoutdubai.com


Best European Winner 26 Comments

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Moore your yacht at 101's dedicated quay, or wonder across the pontoon to this starry, waterside spot, located on the outer corners of the Palm Jumeirah. With views across the water, and an elevated sense of laidback, in icy blue Ibiza beach tones, 101 manages to be achingly stylish while still decidedly relaxed. The elevated bar vibe continues inside, with a broad and open space, filled with minimal but high design features such as the artfully exposed tree trunk tables. Staff have an easy, amiable way about them, that adds to the chilled tone. They also display an excellent knowledge of the menu and ability to make good recommendations. The largely European, but heavily Spanish tinged menu adds further to the delight inspired by an evening here, offering recipes in a classic Mediterranean style, unpretentiously yet exceptionally well prepared. Delicious examples, which we highly recommend include calcotada, a traditional Spanish plate of sweet caramelised onions, the seafood platter for one and the rich rigatoni with chicken chorizo.
Open daily 12.30pm-3.25pm, 7pm-10.30pm. One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 440 1010).

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: Emma Graffagnino on 05 Feb ' 14 at 12:59

I have to say i had one of my worst experiences in Dubai in this Restaurant , The waiter huffed and puffed when we asked for anything , My mother ordered a drink with bitter lemon she was given tonic with with lime which had already been poured in when we said this to the Waiter we were told we wont refund this or take it back and he then walked off .I had booked this months in advance due to it being my uncles 50th Birthday , I had ordered a cake which had a males name on and this was brought to myself even after i advised who to present it too . We were also moved to the deck after our meal to have the cake . all in all a shambles ! the food was average but the service was a major disappointment . Would never go back and always tell people

Posted by: Christina on 31 Jan ' 14 at 15:11
  • Best for: Romantic

Great setting, and stunning location, but food & service were terrible. Could be so much better! Just not what you expect of such high-end place.

Staff are not friendly and warm, but maybe that's because they're dressed in some sort of hospital uniform.

Food was ok - starters, but all of our main courses were nothing to write home about (mussels, chicken, fish soup). Btw fish soup has no fish in it only the fish stock...!

Mangers were walking around looking really important, but no one seamed to be interested in the guests. No one once asked us how our meal was or if we were satisfied.

Payment was also slow and confusing.

Leaving the place, no one said thank you or good bye which is at least what you could expect.

When working in the service industry every day, these things are clearly noticeable. Not only to me, but to my friends as well.

Posted by: Jon Williams on 30 Jan ' 14 at 14:47

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

I am saddened to write a negative review of my experience. My host in Dubai booked this restaurant to celebrate our friends Birthday, we are both visiting from the UK. I have personally visited Dubai on many occasions and I have never had any reason to complain regarding any top restaurants. My experience is thus: A wonderful view, a warm reception, from there on in it went downhill rapidly. It was difficult to choose from the menu because the choice is not well constructed, in many ways it is limited and expensive. My difficulty was understanding why basic ingredients were missing from dishes explained on the menu, the most appalling example was Moules marinières. In essence it was mussels in dishwater. It was a completely transparent sauce. My Palm salad must have been the most expensive bowl of lettuce with insipid dressing on the planet.The most irritating factor about this place was the "background" music, it was completely inappropriate to the well advertised " Romantic setting" Repeatedly we requested that more appropriate music was played (in my opinion, and that of others), it was more suited to a nightclub or disco. Staff present did not understand the basic rules of hospitality i.e. "the customer is always right." I am fortunate to have eaten in the best restaurants in the world and Dubai has a good few of these but I would never revisit or recommend this restaurant.

Posted by: Des W on 29 Jan ' 14 at 19:41

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

Awfully overpriced for food which is no better than served in the typical boulevard cafe in Dubai. Lousy music more suited to to a disco or night club that a restaurant. Gave me a headache. The food is really disappointing - I had a palm salad - this was 160 AED for a bit of lettuce and not much else. Moules marinière included what was left over from from the last dish washers water's at the bottom of the bowl, certainly nothing like this rather well known dish - cream, garlic, parsley - these mussels didn't see any of these ingredients. Appalling overpriced food, in an atmosphere spoiled by unsuitable music, in an excellent position on the palm. I would love to hear their explanation as to why they have 3 assistant managers, but no manager in charge. Save yourself the trouble of a long journey to a place that is sure to disappoint you.

Posted by: melissa on 28 Oct ' 13 at 09:16

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

I took my parents here for dinner last night and the food was appauling! I thought maybe we were unlucky or the chef was having a bad day until I saw the other reviews on here. I never normally reveiw restaurants but I hope the F & B director of the One and Only reads this. We were left waiting for our table for 40 minutes even though it was ready. Every single one of our dishes was terrible. Seafood platters were a joke! the staff are stuck up and rude. Nobody poured our wine, bread was hard we had to ask twice for some butter and oil. when we complained we were promptly told "that is how its supposed to be" Such a shame because the venue is nice. Just go for a drink the Spiced Sangria is good. But if you want amazing food and service go to Gary Rhodes Twenty 10 at Royal Meridien - that's a special night out and worth every dirham!!

Posted by: Irina on 08 Apr ' 13 at 05:28
  • Best for: Romantic

We've been going to the 101 ever since it's opened and while before we may have been going for the ambiance and location, now it's definitely the food!!!!! We've had it all and our lamb always arrived succulent and perfectly cooked and a few tapas are enough to satisfy a jolly group of four.
Maybe a little less arrogance from the reviewers would do them well, a young chef is not good enough for you, why? A hostess who doesn't put you above other equally important guests - I'm all right with that.
I think the guys at 101 do a wonderful job and they definitely deserve the praise from Time Out and from happy guests, me being one of them.

Posted by: Aparna Arya on 02 Mar ' 13 at 13:30

We went this afternoon to 101 and it was not a pleasant experience at all. For the price they charge, the food was cold and insipid.

Nina- the hostess who attended to us was pretentious and not interested in giving us a good seat.

We would not be going there again and would not recommend anyone else. We agree with the previous reviews that this place is overpriced, the service is bad and the food is cold and horrible.

Posted by: rajveer on 02 Jan ' 13 at 16:15

This place is only good for the location, but not for your stomach.
Go there if you want to see a beautiful end of the Palm .

Food is really bad. Be prepared to go to another place for filling your stomach after this visit.

Waste of money....

Posted by: Asmaradana on 07 Jul ' 12 at 20:03
  • Best for: Romantic

How difficult is it to cook Veal Milanese? Basic ingredients, flour, egg, bread crumb, thinly sliced veal and seasonings. Place the breaded veal in hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Simple, right? Not!! If you bring me a dull looking plate with unevenly cooked veal that looked like it was cooked in very little oil making it look patchy. Some parts were golden brown and other parts which were not submerged in oil still had the color of breadcrumb.
My husband ordered Lamb Chump medium well and what he got was rare lamb. Need I say more??
We were introduced to the chef after we complained and he looked like he should still be in cooking school learning how to properly cook steak to order and frying breaded veal. Cooking 101.
We were given free dessert and hot drinks. Thank you, but that still could not hide the fact that the head chef did not do a good job in his kitchen. My husband peeked in the kitchen while we were eating to see who was responsible for this horrendous food and he saw the chef playing with his phone.

Posted by: St. Joe on 11 Apr ' 12 at 11:10
  • Best for: Romantic

visiting 101 frequently since they opened, i must say, they really made something out of it.
location & ambience was anyway great and the food & service are in the meantime on a level what you would expect from a one & only.
yes...its not cheap... but hey...have a sundowner there and you know what i am talking about!

Posted by: christophe on 16 Mar ' 12 at 04:46
  • Best for: Romantic

First time when i saw this place , i said that i will come for romantic dinner with my girlfriend!! amazing food with a nice team! really one of the best romantic restaurant in UAE!

Posted by: sylvette on 16 Mar ' 12 at 04:36
  • Best for: Romantic

Posted by: sylvette on 16 Mar ' 12 at 04:36
  • Best for: Romantic

Posted by: Jennifer on 12 Feb ' 12 at 06:08
  • Best for: Romantic

The best and romantic restaurant i ever been in Dubai.
Excellent service and foods.
The view and the lights from across the water was breathtaking.
For my personal opinion, this restaurant is good for a wedding dinner, because the environment is so romantic.
We will definitely go back there again.

Posted by: Siddharth on 09 Jan ' 12 at 12:45
  • Best for: Romantic

Posted by: Jag on 28 Nov ' 11 at 05:02

Why do these restaurants spend sooo much time attention and money getting everything but the food right? You are a restaurant at the end of it and the humblest places can guarantee repeat visits if their food is great. My husband and I went on a special night and while the experience at the Jetty and the boat ride were all lovely, it all started going downhill at the restaurant. We asked for an outdoor table, and inexplicably, even though the restaurant was empty, they claimed there were no tables outside. Both our mains were inedible - extremely fishy and foul tasting. The complimentary bread basket was full of cold hard dry loaves - is it so hard to warm a roll? We skipped dessert and pretty much jetted out of the place. Beautiful location, lacklustre service, disgusting food. Would I recommend it? No chance

Posted by: Luigi Bork on 21 Nov ' 11 at 16:27

French people cooking and serving spanish and mediterranean food... already a bad start.

Lack of service in a stunning place.

If you want to eat a good paella go to Valencia, don't go to 101

Posted by: Maya on 08 Nov ' 11 at 12:11
  • Best for: Romantic

Very bad experience from just walking into the place, badly greated, badly informed when reserving that kitchen would be closed by the time we get there.
Head Staff are quite pretentious, they loosened up a little later.
It has One of the most beautiful views.

Posted by: WRT on 29 Oct ' 11 at 07:30

Nightmare booking experience - Unfriendly reception - Inefficient staff and manager - Terrible food; when ordering the Salad Nicoise I was assured the tuna was fresh (which was described as 'tuna belly confit'). However it turned out to be tinned tuna!!
Tagine dishes had no resemblance to tagine taste.
Bill included an item we did not order.
Overall a very disappointing experience considering their sibling hotel across the water is one of the best!

Posted by: GD on 22 Oct ' 11 at 13:24
  • Best for: Romantic

It was a long drive to the tip of the palm for this restaurant. However when we got there we immediately felt like we were on a long awaited holiday, and the stresses of the week were starting to feel like a thing of the past. The view of the water and the lights from across the water was breathtaking. The venue itself is beautiful. Unfortunately the service does not live up to the same standard. It took 45 minutes and a few arguments with waiters and the manager to get any service. It took another 30 minutes of begging for our bill which was missing half our orders, before we were able to leave. Mind you, we could have easily left without paying, and no one would have noticed or cared. In conclusion, it was a very disappointing experience, we were expecting 5 star service and would have settled for 2 star, but this was unbelievable!

Posted by: Alison Johnston on 12 Oct ' 11 at 10:45
  • Best for: Romantic

The Jetty Bar was DELIGHTFUL and the boat ride across to 101 was great - the best part of the evening. When we arrived we found the restaurant was virtually diserted....at 9pm on a Friday night!! I am not a fussy person, but I found choosing a starter and a main incredibly difficult. The food when it arrived was very disappointing - my lamb tagine was greasy and fatty and did not come with any rice or couscous (with no option of side dishes). We had to pour our own wine....and we did not bother with dessert...usually my favourite part of the meal. The manager came to check we had enjoyed our meal and when we told him that we had not really enjoyed the whole experience he did nothing to improve things.
Lovely view, but a dissappointing experience.

Posted by: Traci on 14 Apr ' 11 at 03:41
  • Best for: Family friendly

This is not necessarily a child friendly restaurant, but it is one that you can take children too! If you survive the booking process which is frustrating in the extreme.

We were unable to get the complementary boat, but service upon arrival was marvellous. Dropped off the car at the valet parking, to be whisked away in a buggy to the restaurant.

Upon arrival, we were seated at the bar, were the bar tending staff were friendly, helpful and super efficient, even treating us to a mini floor show along the lines of the movie "Cocktail" - mildly cheesy, I know, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The table was a bit strange, being raised up high which is not what I am used to, but was of a good size once dishes of food began to arrive. My started of the prawn salad was absolutely divine, my husband's gazpacho good, but not great. The main courses were good, but not wildly exciting. Unfortunately, due to being accompanied by two small children, we didn't get to dessert.

Throughout the evening, the staff catered to our accompanying two young children with marvellous professionalism and enthusiasm. Their bizarre drink requests (ice, but no slice of lemon), changes to the children's menu (yes, this fancy restaurant has a children's menu, and an extraordinarily good one at that) and needs for extra cushions to be raised high enough were all treated as if they were the most normal requests - despite the fact that there wasn't another child in the place.

The music was not to my taste, being a fairly modern version of jazz, but was at a bearable volume. At one point in the evening, the volume was raised, but when I asked the manager if it could be turned down, this was attended to immediately with no comment at all - something which impressed me a great deal.

With regards to service, all I can say is that the manager and staff have obviously been tracking these reviews. The service started out as being slightly too efficient, but settled down to a very comfortable high quality level of attentiveness.

I would return for the venue alone, but the fact that we also had a very enjoyable meal was a super added bonus.

Posted by: rob on 26 Feb ' 11 at 10:28

With a designer's eye, it was obvious from a distance that this venue was classy, chic, high-end, but not pretentious. And our appreciation for the décor did not waiver in the least upon our gaze of the beautifully considered interior details. Unfortunately however, this opinion would not stay with us for very long, once we were taken to our unwelcoming table. A grossly over-sized two-seater table was obviously designed for couples on a blind date, taking advantage of the unsociable distance apart. Defensive seating, opposite to one another, is the only option for seating arrangement. Forget about holding hands, unless you are a basketball player. No opportunity to sit perpendicular to your partner since the glass wall adorning two sides of the table prevents this from happening. But, if you accept the distance as tolerable, be prepared to scream so your partner can hear you over the all-too-loud lounge music.

Though we appreciate the nautical theme, this didn’t seem to transpire effectively into the staff uniforms. They looked too much like interns in medical scrubs than sailing crew. And as for the service, well, this left a lot to be desired. To say it was slow is an understatement. Not only did they forget one of our drinks (though once we pointed it out 20 minutes later, they took it off the bill), our dinner did not arrive at our table for 50 minutes. And once it did arrive, it was anything but special. I am not a chef by any means, but my culinary skills could effortlessly muster up the same disappointment of a meal, for a tenth of the price.

After we left, the wait for the buggy to take us back to the main hotel lobby was the highlight of frustration, as one buggy drove past the waiting station, to the restaurant, then picked up some guest from inside. His only defense for driving past us with a full buggy is that he needed to pick up a box from the kitchen and would return in 2 minutes. 15 minutes later, another buggy arrived.

Would be ever go back? Only if they turned this restaurant into a museum for guests to appreciate the décor!

Posted by: N. R. on 25 Feb ' 11 at 16:17

The worst customer service ever with an unprofessional manager. It s not worse spending money while other better alternative are available in the same area.

Posted by: John on 22 Feb ' 11 at 06:12

The food is good and the setting is lovely but it's totally let down by the terrible service and the fact it's wildly overpriced. Add to that the hassle in getting there and it's just not worth the time, money or effort.

If you're staying at the hotel then it's worth a walk down for a light snack, but really not worth a visit in itself.

Posted by: Tommy Mac on 20 Feb ' 11 at 08:53
  • Best for: Romantic

To much hassle in the time it takes to arrive.The venue looked nice but the place was over priced, there are lots of good places in Dubai that are outside. It wasn't convenient, OK for a getaway.


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