My date and I popped in one evening to see how the tapas compared to the dinner menu. As can be expected, the bar is a more casual, relaxed way to sample Ossiano (our fellow bar munchers were even in jeans, a sign that the venue has relaxed their ‘smart and chic’ dress code). At the same time, it was bound to be a less grand affair. The Atlantis’s majestic aquarium was at our backs, so we missed out on seeing Sammy do her rounds. Instead, we had a prime view of our tapas chef, who always seemed intensely focused on the task at hand.
The dishes that came out, as I would expect, were mostly divine. Gamba (Spanish for prawn) carpaccio was sliced thinner than pages from the Oxford English Dictionary. It seemed unbelievable that these wisps of flesh could be so potent, or the flavour so buttery. Next up was shreds of crab that were sweet while tasting of the ocean, served next to a dollop of fresh herb sorbet. As with the dinner menu the dishes built on each other, and the flavours got more intense and dynamic as the meal progressed. Still, nothing was over complicated. Rather, it was a progression of beautiful produce prepared simply. Gentle, tender stalks of sweet green and white asparagus embodied this philosophy. The vegetable didn’t need much to make it dazzle, and was accompanied by nothing more than a quail egg and romesco, a rich, Catalan salsa with grounds of almonds that added a lively crunch to an otherwise smooth dish.
Not so at Ossiano, where the creations are so novel and so uniquely Catalan. Those not familiar with Catalan culinary definitions (and that’s most of us) may find interpreting the menu tricky, as the ingredients and techniques are so specific to Barcelona. But there’s a reason that Barcelona is considered one of the culinary capitals of the world: the food there is excellent. And in Dubai we are now lucky to be able to sample an incredibly faithful rendition in the form of Ossiano’s tapas menu.
The bill (for two)
1x Large Vittel water Dhs30
2x Tapas menu Dhs900
Total (including service) Dhs930