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Multi-cuisine restaurant has good vibe at One&Only The Palm Reviews

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As we drove past one half-built hotel after another, our taxi driver became increasingly antsy, muttering that we must have gone the wrong way. He even questioned whether One&Only The Palm even existed. It does, of course; it just takes a little while to get to the far tip of the Palm’s ‘halo’ – the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, if you will. Pulling into the drive of the opulent, romantically lit hotel was almost enough to make the journey worth it, but we hadn’t come all this way just to have a look – we were here to sample the offerings of Zest, one of the One&Only’s three restaurants.

We were heartened to find the interior in keeping with the hotel’s pervading aesthetic. All silvers, mirrors and snowy whites, Zest marries opulence with an accessible layout and laid-back vibe. My mind was already conjuring images of a hip and high-end brunch taking place here, though I later learned that there are no plans for one (yet). As inviting as the decor was, we opted for a table outside on the terrace, which provided us with views of Dubai’s tall, twinkling coastline.

It took us a while to divert our gaze away from the view and onto the menu, which offers guests a choice of starters and mains, each prepared in either a ‘Western’, ‘Middle Eastern’ or ‘Asian’ style. Starters consist of salmon, prawn, tomato or pasta, whereas mains cover meat and poultry (beef, lamb, chicken or quail) or seafood (tuna, sea bass, scallops, or crab). A fun concept, yes, but only if it’s done well. Could Zest deliver?

We started with prawns – my date went West (steamed with crunchy green vegetables), while I headed East. My prawn dim sum had been overly steamed, while the viscous skin suffocated the prawn interior. My date’s salad was better, though there was very little to it – we were hoping for more from a dish costing Dhs90.

Little had improved by the time the main course arrived. The ‘Middle-Eastern’ curried tuna was served in an exotic tagine pot, though what lay within looked little more than a lifeless, nondescript rice dish, which didn’t do much for the taste buds either. Meanwhile, the quail, cooked in a cocotte with green peas and served with diced smoked duck breast, was, for some inexplicable reason, garnished with lettuce leaves. Not only did this ruin the dish’s appearance, but made for awkward eating (I was in no mood to pick out cold lettuce leaves to get to my food). The quail itself was tough – as you might expect from a game bird – though lacked the unique flavour so typical of game.

Zest pitches itself as a restaurant that serves simple, well-made food. It succeeds with the former, but until the venue raises its game on the latter, there’s little reason to endure the mutterings of a disgruntled taxi driver on the way to the Palm’s outer echelons.

The bill (for two)
1x Citrus-infused dim sum
1x Steamed prawns Dhs90
1x Tuna curry Dhs145
1x Quail with duck breast Dhs120
Total (excluding service) Dhs445

By Oliver Robinson
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: One&Only The Palm , Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 440 1010
  • Travel: Palm Jumeirah
  • Website | Send mail

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Zest On The Map

User reviews

  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Romantic

User reviews:

Posted by: Mazhar Mohad on 09 Aug ' 11 at 10:39
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

If you are looking to take someone for a birthday treat or wedding anniversary, then go ahead. You will feel bit privacy and nice ambience. Its a posh hotel and restaurant, so expect as is, not what you would find in a mall restaurant as many readers seems to compare with.

It may not be about the food, its the experience of dining in there. So go for that.

Posted by: dp on 05 Jun ' 11 at 08:20
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

The food is OK, the options are good but the prices are way too high. The deserts are a big disappointment, very sugary. There were a lot of staff and they were very attentive, so I guess they changed that already. The boat ride was by far the best experience of the night.

Posted by: David on 18 May ' 11 at 10:45
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

We went there for a friends birthday. The service was poor and the food average at best.

I don't think it's too much to ask in the 5 star hotel/restaurant that plates are cleared from the table when finished and a waiter checks on the people at the table every now and then to see if they require more drinks or anything else. All of the guests at the table had empty glasses and empty plates in front of them. Not once over the course of the evening did a waiter come over to check on us. These are restaurant basics. When we complained to a waiter he nodded and walked off. No apology at all. Then it happened again that we were left unattended for a prolonged period of time with empty glasses in front of us. We complained again and asked for the bill and the waiters were all huddled by the till looking over. I assume talking about us. After 15 minutes we asked for the bill again which hadn't come. There was no one to say goodbye on the way out and in general it was a thoroughly unrewarding experience. I'm not sure if we came in on a bad day but the service in a word was: c**p.

Onto the food; well it was ok. nothing good or bad to say about it but definitely overpriced for what it is.

Onto the venue; it lacks any real ambiance and feels like a big open white marble room. It does look expensive but misses those nice warm touches.

The bill came to AED 360 per head and it would have been well over AED 500 per head if we had been served properly.

My advice to the hotel would be to not spend as much on marble and spend it on staff training and raising the standard of the food. I believe also the outdoor area might be nicer to sit but it was too warm to sit outside.

Posted by: Sarah K on 17 Jan ' 11 at 15:14

Exactly our sentiments! With starters hovering at the 90AED mark, mains at around 150AED, with water, coffees, service etc. it comes to 350 per head easily- without any alcohol, for two courses- for what they term as their most casual offering. The portions were on the dainty side too- we filled ourselves up on multiple bread baskets. Charging 150AED for a 'Crab' main which comprises of 6-8 pieces of cut sushi rolls doesn't seem right- no matter how lovely the setting.A lovely ambiance, good enough food, but the pricing needs to be addressed before this becomes a must-eat. The above breakdown in pricing in the review is not representative unless you add all the extras...

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Close X The Holy Month of Ramadan started on Thursday, June 18 and will last for one month. During this time live music and DJ sets will stop and opening hours may change at all venues. Please call ahead to confirm details with the outlet.