Spectrum on One
This restaurant takes you on a culinary trip around the globe, but is it just a dish too far? 26 Reviews
The ‘dupper’ concept is a combination of supper and dinner, with food and entertainment. Dhs350 per person Timings: 8pm-11pm (Thursday)
The ‘dine in the dark’ experience offers a three-course meal, served to guests in a pitch-black room, by waiting staff wearing night-vision goggles. Dhs325 per person (Dhs27 per guest is donated to Sightsavers Middle East) Timings: 7.30pm-10pm (Sunday, Monday, Friday, Saturday)
Friday brunch at Spectrum on One continues to push the culinary envelope, serving more than 200 dishes from all corners of the globe. There’s a great cheese room as well as a guacamole station. Dhs345 (soft drinks), Dhs455 (selected beverages), From Dhs575 (bubbly) Timings: Noon-3pm (Friday)
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It’s not often that you can get a full 10-minute tour around a restaurant that doesn’t involve a time-wasting diversion inspecting the dishwasher and urinals. But a full 11 minutes after we’d taken our waitress Cybill’s kind offer, we’d visited Thailand, China, Japan, Europe and India. We’d scrutinised the four private rooms that can be hired out (including the Sheikh-designated dining room that costs a minimum of Dhs800 per person), drooled at the dessert counter and walked off enough calories to allow us to tuck into the three-tiered bread basket without suffering any guilty feelings.
We had also been positioned at the front of the expansive restaurant – away from the hustle and bustle of the many kitchens and annoyingly close to the hordes of hungry families who constantly wandered in. But the genuinely friendly staff, not to mention the starters they were bearing, soon tempered any resentment. Like Pavarotti in his pomp, the trio of sushi-stuffed dynamite cones were fit to burst, with the avocado slivers, tempura-battered prawns, asparagus sticks and distended rice barely contained by the black seaweed jacket. Meanwhile, the tom ka gai soup from Thailand was a heady mix of coconut, lime, ginger root and cayenne pepper that mixed sweet and sour with palate-pleasing precision.
With Japan and Thailand ticked off the culinary journey, we headed for Europe and India for the main courses. But while the short hop to the subcontinent for the murgh makhani was utterly successful (the thin peshwari naans were studded with raisins and dollops of honey, while the meat was butter-soft), Europe’s contribution flattered to deceive. Beautifully presented, the tournedo steak – a slab of Angus fillet – sat atop a celeriac patty above a moat of spinach. But the steak was cooked well beyond medium-rare, meaning we were left with a somewhat impervious hunk of meat, something the damp selection of vegetables did little to alleviate. And the less said about the accompanying sauce – which came with an unwanted layer of thick skin on top – the better.
With the restaurant still filling up at 11pm – as well as playing host to a busy and bubbly Friday brunch when it’s not Ramadan, Spectrum seems to be a popular late-night spot – the arrival of our desserts was signalled by the succession of inquisitively upturned noses getting a whiff of the molten chocolate cake. A deft gash into the side of the sweet-smelling concoction released a seething mass of chocolate magma that decimated the dollop of coffee ice cream. The extravagantly presented but overly moist tiramisu proved to be less of a head-turner, but was an impressive meal-closer nonetheless.
Spectrum embarks on an ambitious project – a gastronomic trip that can involve chomping your way around the world in 80 minutes – but in doing so it often bites off rather more than it can chew.
The bill (for two)
San Pelligrino Dhs27
Tom ka gai Dhs45
Dynamite cone Dhs55
Tournedo steak Dhs190
Steamed vegetables Dhs25
Murgh makhani Dhs90
Peshwari naan Dhs45
Molten chocolate cake Dhs45
Total (including service) Dhs567
By TimeOut Dubai Staff
- Previous reviews
- 15 April,2013- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 22 March,2012- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 14 August,2011- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 23 March,2011- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 05 April,2010- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 19 March,2009- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 26 January,2009- reviewed by Daisy Carrington
- 26 March,2008- reviewed by Jeremy Lawrence
- 21 January,2008- reviewed by James Brennan
- 12 March,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 24 January,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 04 May,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 27 April,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai
- 01 February,2004- reviewed by Rob Orchard
- 01 March,2003- reviewed by Rob Orchard
- 01 April,2002- reviewed by Carolyn Robb
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