If you’re planning to visit home furnishings store THE One over the next week or so, you might be disappointed. It looks as though Keva has cleared the shop floor of all its funky bits and pieces. Every inch of The Lodge’s latest bar-cum-lounge-cum-restaurant is the epitome of THE One’s style, right down to the pseudo-retro light fittings and the 3-D ‘lawn of clover’ plastic wallpaper that decorates the restroom walls. It’s even possible that the owners decided to take a few staff members with them too, for when my dining partner and I entered and asked to be seated for dinner, they stared blankly back at us with confusion.

As it turned out, this was not because we’d asked for menus in the bed and bath section, but because, on the weeknight we came, the place was deserted. Keva obviously hadn’t caught on yet as we –their only customers – were easily out-numbered by the staff, three-to-one, and I’m pretty sure that during the course of our dinner, we were served by all of them. First came the three tome-like menus (drinks, snacks, fine dining), followed by our platter-presented choice of sparkling water. Choosing what to eat under the intense stares of the staff was the difficult part – the fine dining menu is exhaustive and varied, which stands to reason as the restaurant’s Eurasian theme attempts to straddle three continents.

After much page flicking and mulling over, I chose the Mediterranean salad to start, which arrived as a huge mix of crunchy greens, artichoke hearts, asparagus spears, olives, pine nuts and long slender shavings of parmesan cheese. Across the table my partner was presented with two neat rows of deep-fried prawns with salt and pepper. Before I’d even had time to pick up my fork, the service staff, one after the other, began asking if we were enjoying our meal – an annoying trend that was to continue throughout.

It was just after the second prawn was dispatched across the table, and I’d manoeuvred the first of many asparagus spears into my mouth, that my main, a disappointingly overcooked trio of tuna, prawns and scallops atop a tangle of tagliatelle, arrived in a precarious juggle of plates. Thankfully, the two curries my collaborator ordered – the kadhai lamb and Keva lentils (their speciality) – were presented at the appropriate interval and were wholesome and delicious. For dessert we opted to share the chocolate fondant, a baked cocoa shell, which, when stabbed, released a silky lava flow of molten loveliness.

Despite our mixed experience, we’re pretty sure that Keva is going to be a hit with the weekend Lodge crowd. Its weird and wonderful interior is very trendy, and there are some gems on the menu if you dig deep. Once the staff find their groove, gain confidence and stop pestering their clientele at every juncture, the only way is up for this Jack-of-all-trades eatery.

The bill (for two)
2x San Pellegrino Dhs24
Salt ‘n’ Pepper prawns Dhs60
Mediterranean salad Dhs30
Seafood trio Dhs75
Kadhai lamb Dhs55
Keva lentils Dhs30
Keva chocolate fondant Dhs30
Total: (not including service) Dhs304