Ever eaten dinner in a waxworks museum? No? Ever fancied it? Probably not. A sallow-featured Daniel Craig, a steely stared Amitabh Bachchan and a proportionally dubious George Clooney are just some of the disquieting sights that seem unlikely to change your mind at Dubai’s Taste of Fame restaurant. It’s intriguing, then, that this flashy, Hollywood-inspired American (and apparently Asian and Italian) restaurant has become so popular with the local Jumeirah crowd.
While much of the city guffawed on social media about the comical lack of similarity between the restaurant’s famous characters and the stars, past and present, on whom they’re based, punters have apparently been pouring into the Sunset Mall restaurant at surprising pace. Even more surprising given that what’s being delivered by the kitchen is as mediocre as the diorama.
On our last visit, one busy Wednesday night, big groups clustered together over their enormous dinners. Our confidence bolstered, we perused the confused menu of everything from pasta to sushi, and ordered a combination of American classics and more experimental options, choosing a couple of signature dishes.
The Taste of Fame-recommended tuna salad arrived topped with nicely seared but off-puttingly fatty fish, with thick white stripes scoring the flesh and the whole thing overwhelmed by a nest of slippery, oily leaves. A second, fussily arranged plate of tiny, overcooked-to-rubber scallops was swiftly cast aside. Nevertheless, we threw optimistic thoughts out to the universe in the hope that our more American mains would come through and pull us from the brink of disaster, in the manner of one of the Hollywood superheroes nearby.
One slice into the premium US fillet steak confirmed our fears. What had clearly, ten minutes previously, been a lovely piece of meat had been criminally overcooked, far beyond the rare we’d requested – and, judging by an incision in its side, checked by the chef and sent out anyway. The towering cheeseburger was just the wrong side of pleasurably greasy, though well-seasoned, correctly cooked and generous in size – but it was much too little, far too late.
With that, and any intrigue we might have had about the dessert menu extinguished, we got the bill. There’s no happy ending to this brush with Hollywood, and we certainly hope there are no calls for a sequel.
The bill (for two) x1 tuna salad Dhs45 x1 scallops Dhs45 1x TOF cheeseburger Dhs75 1x premium US fillet Dhs190 1x juice Dhs20 1x large local water Dhs15 Total (excluding service) Dhs390
Taste of Fame