M's Seafood Bistro
Garhood's seafood spot makes waves with delightful food 3 Reviews
The set menu deal offers a starter and dessert plus fresh fish or steak for a main course. From Dhs99 (three courses), from Dhs129 (three courses with grape) Timings: 12.30pm-2.45pm (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday)
- Picture 1 of 2
It all got off to a tricky start as I stuttered over the reservation list. Who was I? What name had I made the reservation under? ‘Dave?’ I offered doubtfully. ‘Ah! Miss Davidson!’ the waiter countered in a stroke of genius or clairvoyance.
My guest and I were rewarded for our trip to Garhoud. For a relatively small venue, there was an illusory sense of light and openness. It was typical of a French-fine-dining aesthetic: hints of grandeur (stately columns with a cosseted corner of the venue tucked underneath) fused successfully with the odd nod to nautical New England chic, in keeping with the seafood concept. The only jarring element was a series of ill-conceived, trout-pout-fish-fancying photos plastered all over the walls, menu and more.
Even so, an atmosphere of fine dining was set: first the hot towels arrived, then an iPad-bearing sommelier. I like sommeliers: their expertise and knowledge is invaluable. I don’t like it when they turn up to match grape with food before the menu has even arrived, as happened here. Yet I like it when they are female, because it’s rare and refreshing.
All sense of female emancipation was, however, undone when the food menu arrived and I realised, with confusion, that there were no prices on it. It was ‘a lady’s menu’; an antiquated embodiment of that age-old assumption that ladies don’t pay for dinner. The waitress (who, like all the staff, was a pitch-perfect mix of formal and friendly) had the grace to giggle, both when I asked for a normal menu, and at the end, when I paid for my male companion.
The starters sounded uninspiring. In contrast, the list of different styles of ceviche was an immediate excitement. So we shared the Peruvian-style tuna ceviche and a selection of Iberian-style bar snacks. Sadly the ceviche made for a lovely salad, but was no ceviche. The tuna was over-cured, and the dish was a little too sour. The squid in tomato sauce was a touch too tough and (again) the sauce was too sour. The cod accras were essentially Portuguese-style salt cod fritters, and were fluffy, soft and moreish.
Opting for some decadence and drama at the table, we’d chosen the lobster thermidor, which was flambéed and reassembled into the shell at our table. The warm smell of melted butter and the theatricals of the display satisfied all the senses and set the tone for a special experience, even on a post-work Monday night. The lobster was well cooked and the sauce was rich, with a buttery, grapey depth.
The marinated black cod loin also looked delightful, and didn’t disappoint in flavour. The flesh was tender and the flavour good, although much too salty. The brandade (a smooth potato purée mixed with flecks of fish) was an unusual, interesting accompaniment, and the finishing touch – a gooey poached egg – rounded off the smooth, creamy, rich characteristics evident in the rest of the dish.
At this stage we needed no more satisfying, but the draw of dessert was too great. Both desserts were recommended, and were good suggestions from staff that know the menu well. The peach Melba ice cup was delightfully simple: the peach and raspberry fruit flavours were fresh and not overly sweetened, there was a touch of texture from almond flakes, and the ice cream was smooth with a strong vanilla flavour. The chocolate soufflé was undercooked, but just as delicious for it. The variation in texture, from the crunch, to the softness, to the spoon upon spoon of hot, oozy chocolate goo, was lovely.
It’s not often that food, atmosphere and service combine to amuse and delight, but M’s Seafood Bistro is a successful example. It’s only a shame that the fact I live on the other side of town (and the prices) mean I won’t be dropping by as often as I’d like.
The bill (for two)
1x Squid in tomato sauce Dhs40
1x Cod accras Dhs40
1x Peruvian ceviche Dhs60
1x Black cod loin Dhs135
1x Lobster thermidor Dhs185
1x Chocolate soufflé Dhs45
1x Peach Melba ice cup Dhs32
1x Large water Dhs25.50
2x Double espresso Dhs54
Total (including 10% service) Dhs616.50
Time Out Dubai,
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.