Can newcomer Laluz become, ahem, a shining light on the DIFC food scene? And, perhaps more importantly, will this review contain any more awful puns? Thankfully for all of us, the answers are an absolute yes and probably no, respectively.
Powered by an ex-elBulli chef in the kitchen and graced with impeccable staff front-of-house, the place should probably come with a warning. So welcoming is it that a lunch can, trust us, drag on joyously well past 4pm. (And lead to a text from your boss, when he’s noticed your desk gathering tumbleweed for a third consecutive hour, enquiring simply, “Did you walk there?”)
Inspiration for the menu comes from all corners of Spain, and it’s uniformly excellent. Put it this way: on our visit we deliberately – and maybe a little harshly – took as our guest, a man who lived in that country for the first 18 years of his life, to properly ascertain if the grub really could cut the mostaza. His verdict as he chowed down on a majestically oozing, fantastically flavoured Spanish omelette?
“I think that’s the best tortilla I’ve ever eaten.”
Unreservedly recommended and first up are the “spherical olives”. One of those molecular efforts that make your head hurt if you try to figure out how they’ve been achieved, these glorious balls of olive reduction are held inside a meniscus so thin it dissolves on impact with your mouth, jolting your taste buds out of their slumber.
Main dishes impress in equal measure. From Galicia arrives paprika-sprinkled potatoes and meaty, sliced octopus in a sauce so positively life-affirming it might just revive it. While from Valencia – the home of paella – comes Laluz’s spin on the Spanish institution, a Mediterranean prawn black rice so fresh and deep (“We add langoustine heads to give depth to the sauce,” explains our enthusiastic waiter) it transports you in a blink from the humid stuffiness of the financial district to the briny, cool blue of the ocean. Olé, and all that.
The bill (for two) 4x spherical olives Dhs28 1x octopus Dhs105 1x Padrón peppers Dhs40 1x Spanish omelette Dhs55 1x black rice Dhs105 1x selection of cheeses Dhs75 Total (including service) Dhs408
The bottom line A triumph of taste where molecular Mediterranean meets traditional Spain.