Change is afoot in the Dubai dining scene, with a number of openings, renovations and relocations tantalising our taste buds. Not content with its current armada of restaurant options, Atlantis is set to open a Pan-Asian eatery called Asia Republic this month. Opening dates had not been confirmed at the time of going to press, though we were slightly disappointed that the name of the restaurant came about at the expense of the original working moniker: Wok Ever. In our opinion, you can never have too many wok-related puns.
Before bounding across town spouting yet more gastronomic gossip, we popped over to Atlantis venue Ossiano, which is now benefitting from the venerable charms and culinary skills of one Wesley Berghoff. The 27-year-old South African chef first came onto our radar when he won Time Out Dubai’s 2011 Young Chef of the Year, and has now crafted a new menu for the restaurant first set up by the late, great Santi Santamaria. Seafood delights include Tasmanian salmon with violet potato, sea vegetables, chorizo, crispy squid and smoked paprika dressing; butter-roasted Dover sole with cauliflower, toasted oats quinoa, capers, almonds and smoked raisins; and Atlantic lobster barigoule, aka saffron lobster ravioli served with artichoke purée.
Leaving the Palm behind, we splash over to Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which is undergoing numerous changes. First and foremost, popular Tex-Mex haunt Go West closes at the end of this month to undergo an exciting transformation (much like a caterpillar, we suppose). Details haven’t been divulged, but the management assure us the resulting butterfly (sorry, restaurant) will be ‘very exciting’. More exciting than cowboy-themed decor? We’ll have to see about that.
Perhaps the biggest news (or at least, the biggest rumour) of the week is that Japanese restaurant Kisaku is relocating. When and where we don’t know – one of the staff let it slip when a Time Out member called to book a table. We’re just relieved it’s not closing for good, and can only hope the relocation won’t take long.
Searching for more May entertainment? March over to German favourite Hofbräuhaus at the JW Marriott Dubai in Deira for the month-long Maifest promotion. Until Thursday May 31, Bavarian chefs (flown in especially for the event) will cook traditional German dishes every Saturday to Wednesday from 6pm to 2am, complemented by German brews and tunes from the Fresh Alpin duo. On Thursdays and Fridays from 7pm to 11pm, there’ll be a traditional Bavarian buffet starting at Dhs230. Bon appétit