Things didn’t get off to a flying start on our visit to Le Classique. My friend, who was already flouting the strict dress code by dressing like an extra from Saturday Night Fever, had neglected to wear a tie 8 Reviews
Enjoy a starter and dessert buffet and à la carte main courses. Dhs205 (soft drinks); Dhs360 (house beverages) Timings: Noon-3pm (Saturday)
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Things didn’t get off to a flying start on our visit to Le Classique. My friend, who was already flouting the strict dress code by dressing like an extra from Saturday Night Fever, had neglected to wear a tie. Having borrowed one from the stony-faced maître d’, we were then seated approximately half a mile from all the other diners, and left to admire a carpet which looked like it had been plundered from a ‘70s cruise liner. Meanwhile, a cocktail lounge pianist performed a sultry jazz take on Hey Jude. Our culinary expectations were decreasing by the second.
Happily, the arrival of our starters forced us to reconsider. My warm salad of monkfish, sea bass and red mullet was a delight, with generous hunks of firm, fresh fish soaked in an elegantly sweet red pepper dressing and topped with rocket. My companion was equally impressed with a pungent cassoulet of wild mushrooms and garlic snails, which came covered by an enormous cap of rich but feather light pastry.
With the pianist now tackling a James Blunt number, we moved onto a second wave of delights. My friend’s lamb loin was lean, succulent and tinged with mint, and accompanied by an aubergine and celeriac roll doused in a skillfully-balanced niçoise dressing. My rack of venison, although only a small cut, was bewitchingly dark and flavoursome. It nestled in a tangy balsamic beetroot jus, which added piquancy to some gently-steamed baby carrots and cabbage. You’re Beautiful had never sounded so appropriate.
It was during dessert that we were presented with an additional menu – the increasingly charming pianist’s extensive repertoire, all available on request. We decided to complement our sweets with Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale, which proved the ideal garnish. My passion fruit mousse, although wrapped in a weird looking band of green sponge cake, was light, fluffy and deliciously tangy, while my friend’s crème brûlée delivered a rich, bittersweet closure to the three courses.
Having settled the thoroughly reasonable bill, we sorrowfully returned the borrowed tie (to which my friend had become quite attached) and took our leave. Despite a degree of stuffiness and slightly questionable décor, it’s worth weathering Le Classique’s eccentricities: there are very few places in Dubai where such an excellent, diverse menu comes at such a reasonable price. And even fewer where you can request a Tori Amos cover while you’re enjoying eating the dishes on it.
The bill (for two)
2x menu degustation Dhs320
Mineral water Dhs10
By Matthew Lee
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