Things started badly; we couldn’t find the place and we needed a man with a buggy to drive us away from a network of dead ends 5 Reviews
Things started badly; we couldn’t find the place and we needed a man with a buggy to drive us away from a network of dead ends. Once inside the restaurant we dug into warm and filling sweet potato bread, soft cornbread, and pots of guacamole and brown chilli sauce. These took the edge off our hunger before we’d reached our appetisers, a plate of chicken burritos and a beef churrasco. The burritos were excellent: lightly and authentically spicy with slightly crisp flour tortillas. But with a steak on the way, three (admittedly petite) burritos and a pile of fantastic guacamole was rather excessive. My friend’s beef had been cut into strips and deep-fried to jovial levels of softness and sweetness, although a little more spice would have further improved the dish.
My steak – a so-called ‘gents’ cut’ (the ladies’ portion is about two-thirds of the size – sexist or simply practical?) of US Angus tenderloin beef – was a triumph. The edges were alluringly browned to a sweet nuttiness and the centre was perfectly pink. I sliced it apart with the edge of my fork. The accompaniments didn’t belong on the same plate – dry, hard and dull yam chips, lentils, and deep-fried plantain fritters. My tablemate’s venison wasn’t quite as expressive. He enjoyed the meat’s dense flavour but was disappointed by the rather un-Latino, and unexciting, portion of foie gras that came with it.
My friend grimaced when he bit into his tres leches, a traditional, soft meringue-topped and jarringly sweet Venezuelan cake. My dim dim was the better bet, a coconut pie with a flaky textured top-half and a thick custardy base. Seeking to avoid sleep-destroying caffeine, we avoided the tempting selection of Kahlua-based coffees and asked for the bill.
Coloured red and gold with pillars aplenty and a spiral staircase, Latino House is more than a little kitschy, although it’s never less than cozy. Unfortunately, the bossanova background music descended into elevator jazz towards the end of the evening and included two dreadful versions of ‘Copacabana’. Waiters, managers and executive chefs all wanted to chat and ask questions, which is fine but we’d rather not be interrupted while we’re having a conversation.
Still, with Dubai going Latin steak crazy right now, this is the best of the recently-expanded bunch. We’ve visited two of its rivals in the last few months and Latino House comes out on top. La Parrilla (Jumeirah Beach Hotel) has the best atmosphere and location, but suffers from average food and excessive pricing, and La Pampa has superb food (also overseen by a Venezuelan chef) but an uninteresting setting and poor service. With outstanding steaks and reasonable pricing, Latino House is already a formidable contender.
The bill (for two)
Chicken burritos Dhs45
Beef churrasco Dhs60
Venison with foie gras Dhs130
Gents’ cut US tenderloin Dhs160
Dim dim Dhs38
Tres leches Dhs35
Total (including service) Dhs468
- Previous reviews
- 21 March,2012- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 24 March,2011- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 24 March,2010- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 17 March,2009- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 26 March,2008- reviewed by Jeremy Lawrence
- 23 May,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 12 March,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 27 April,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai
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