Ossiano

Dubai’s premiere Spanish restaurant proves itself with tapas and fine-dining on a budget 43 Reviews

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Followers of Time Out’s restaurant reviews may be aware of our hesitant enamour of Ossiano, the Spanish seafood restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef Santi Santimaria. We’ve always loved the food and decor, but in the past have been put off by the price and the service. There’s no denying that the latter has improved considerably and now the management has started offering a deal in the form of their tapas menu. Patrons previously turned off by the Dhs625 minimum spend can now sample bite-sized creations at the bar, either individually at Dhs60 a pop, or as a 14-course meal for Dhs450. By fine dining standards, it’s a relative steal.

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.

Halfway through the meal, warm dishes were introduced. A juicy round of white fish on a crumbly tart base (Santimaria’s version of coca Catalana, a pastry unique to the Catalan region of Spain) was paired seductively with a sweet scoop of onion jam. All that got in the way of our enjoyment were the limits of our stomachs. Fourteen courses may sound excessive, but we figured, given how small each one was, downing the complete menu was doable. Towards the end it became difficult, which is a shame because our waning appetites were the only things affecting our enjoyment. The last savoury note was a guinea fowl pastille, triangles of game that were at once incredibly rich and floatingly light. The thin outer shell of these fried beauties was simply ethereal in texture. Often with the Dubai-based outlets run by Michelin chefs, there’s no real sense that the man whose name graces the restaurant actually has much to do with what ends up on your plate.

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

By Daisy Carrington
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 426 2626
  • Travel: Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah
  • Website | Send mail

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User reviews

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DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Romantic

User reviews:

Posted by: Syed on 14 May ' 13 at 11:19
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

No where close to Michelin Star restaurant, if you like fancy decor this place is great. We went with some of our business associates and had to deal with rude staff, I've been fortunate enough to eat at other Michelin star restaurants but this was by far the worse. The food was not to standards, i paid 800AED for one of my courses which looked like it came from a cafe. Waiters have no idea whats in the menu either and aren't able to make recommendations.

Posted by: Daniela on 10 May ' 12 at 13:17
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Spectacular atmosphere, you have the impression of eating under the sea! Very good seafood but also very very high prices (especially considering the portions' size); it's probably one of the most expensive restaurants I've ever eaten in Dubai!
I particularly enjoyed the cappuccino seafood&mushroom soup that they serve as complimentary starter.
You cannot find the same scenario anywhere else in Dubai, but you can eat as good in other places.
Restaurant's waiters are giving you too much attention, I found it exaggerated and they don't leave you the intimacy that you might want when you go to such a restaurant!

Posted by: aicha on 26 Mar ' 12 at 06:24
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

what iWould you go back to this restaurant? No


Not what it used to be, is not spanish seafood or michelin style anymore, and the staff are RUDE.. specialy the Manager

very dissapointed how much one restaurant can change over a year time

Posted by: Chef, Oslo on 06 Jan ' 12 at 21:11
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

It started well, with a warm welcome. As the grand set menu advanced, the attention from the staff got poorer and poorer. The winelist is extreemly overpriced and the price of the food makes you expect the best. Some of the dishes were superb, but some where of less quality and taste that you expect from a supermarket cafe. You get far better food for less money almost everywhere else, but the Aquarium is nice

Posted by: Yuri and Olga (Honeymoon) on 27 Nov ' 11 at 16:24
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Not what it used to be, is not spanish seafood or michelin style anymore, and the staff are RUDE... very dissapointed how much one restaurant can change over a year time

Posted by: shakila kumari on 16 Aug ' 11 at 09:16
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

food was wonderful just try once

Posted by: Jacob Shaw on 09 Jul ' 11 at 01:52
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I dined with 3 of my friends at Ossiano and obviously we had the highest expectations about the best restaurants in the Dubai.
Usually is very difficult to please my friends as they also work in the hotel industry.
Surprisingly, they were amazed with everything... the attention to details, the friendly and professional service staff that gave us the best suggestions.
For the food we choose the ultimate tasting menu and each dish was a surprise of combinations & blends of flavors... simply unbelievable!
To finish with the evening we had post meal drinks in the Lounge that is a vibrant place with a great atmosphere. The Irish coffee is a must try for everyone who visits this beautiful restaurant!
We really appreciated the whole experience and we definitely recommend as a must go place when you visit Dubai.

Posted by: Sean Miller on 27 Jun ' 11 at 02:10
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This restaurant is really amazing with regards to its looks & service. The food is quite simple for the extremely high price. Beverage selection is good. Too much water & bread is served. Service & the staff is what stands out from the rest, making it a memorable experience!!

Posted by: Disappointed on 06 Jun ' 11 at 09:07
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

The setting is fantastic, one of the best in Dubai. Comfortable, stylish, modern ambience. Service was excellent from start to finish. Only quip was that I was told on the phone when I reserved that tables by the aquarium can't be reserved on the phone, first come first serve, in reality however, when I got there, I was told that these tables were already booked! Somehow, the booking policy works differently for different people! Not too big a deal.

The disappointment was the food. It was fine by usual standards but having shelled out 1500 DHS for 2 people, I was expecting a lot more.

Posted by: Assia on 27 Apr ' 11 at 16:11
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Just the best

Posted by: Larissa on 21 Feb ' 11 at 13:54
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We had an amazing night. Yes this restaurant is expensive but you pay for what you get. The service was impeccable, not like some places where the service is 'over serviced' which is annoying. It was a perfect balance.

We had the Chef's Special Menu which was one of the two choices of degustation menu. By far the best way to sample all the flavours and extend the experience over 4 hours. If you have great company, which I had my husband (perfect company) 4 hours flew by.

The Management and most of the staff had changed since Feb 2010 and the new menu made this place special. I highly recommend it although with me being pregnant we didn't spend as much as we normally would on the wine bill!

Posted by: Domino on 27 Oct ' 10 at 05:02
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

My husband, teenage children and I ate at Ossiano last night and it was absolutely out of this world. The food was exactly what I imagined a Michelin Star restaurant to produce. The staff was very attentive and very knowledgable. Undoubtedly the very best restaurant I've ever been into and we've been to some very good ones.

Posted by: Andre on 30 Sep ' 10 at 14:20
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

This Michelin-star chef should be ashamed. The quality of the food was absolutely criminal the evening I went there.

For a AED1,000+ pp menu, you would expect a world-class, once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience. This was a once-in-a-lifetime disappointment.

I do not recommend this restaurant at all.

Posted by: UAE Monticristo on 25 Jul ' 10 at 18:29

i have booked a table for the 27th of july 2010, for dinner so far i have tried the edg at the DIFC, which to me the service was well but as for the food not even a spark in my taste buds which was quite shocking to me. so far the only outstanding 3* Michlene restaurant. is refets at the intercontinental hotel in festival city.

as for the Restaurant Ossiano at the palm is going to be a new experience from me from readinfollowing comments for this restaurantso far most of them dont sound that good for the restaurant reputation. bunever the less i would rather let my taste buds do my own critisisim for this restaurant.

Posted by: shaima on 23 Mar ' 10 at 11:47
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: maria on 18 Mar ' 10 at 19:42
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Customer service is poor!!!! Disappointing. don't go. there are better restaurants out there.

Posted by: terrence wilden on 07 Mar ' 10 at 16:19
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Claudia on 03 Mar ' 10 at 07:33
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Mary on 15 Oct ' 09 at 06:59
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

i don't recommend i had bad experience with this retaurant

Posted by: Samar on 14 Oct ' 09 at 18:01
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I tried to reserve table for two to celebrate my husband’s birthday but they did not accept to serve for me table on the aquarium as the tables they have on the aquarium big one for 5 people it is very bad from such restaurant specially that it is very expensive restaurant and the only thing make it special is the aquarium then when you go to celebrate in such restaurant they should care to provide good service and to earn money and get 5 guests instead of 2.

I will not visit such restaurant and will recommend to all my friends not to go.

Posted by: Saxon Hunt on 26 Sep ' 09 at 18:38
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This really is the best resturant i have ever been to!! It was really nice and the setting watching the aquarium really was fantastic. It was really expensive but the food was absolutly stunning. I would definitly go back but only on special occasions.

Posted by: Stefan on 19 Aug ' 09 at 08:24
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

The decor is Wow effect, aquarium and dining room design are among one of the most impressive in.. THE WORLD
As far the food is good and delicate .... service is not acceptable for those type of positioning Nothing related to any Michelin star minimum standard ( as all the venue of Atlantis like Rostang).... So avoid the door and just enjoy Reflets at Intercon for true experience !!

Posted by: Jean-Michel Adamo on 30 May ' 09 at 14:57
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Is this the Man who dare to criticize Feran Adria???The restaurant itself is truly amazing!
One of the most beautiful I have ever walked, and the service it is even better!
When you visit a 3* Michelin Star Chef restaurant it is suppose to be the food that shine brighter! Well ….this is not the case with Ossiano! The food is so so so simple that it hardly can go wrong ,Yes -but does not mean that it is good-the scallop Carpacio with a few miserable micro herbs on the top was just a jock ,what exceptional has into a scallop sliced and put onto a plate ,not even seasoned properly! Or the tasteless “Hamachi”-yellow fin Tuna with a Salmon Roe , I can carry on and on…. !
Such a pity that out of all the greatest Spanish Chefs ,Dubai got the most boring and less innovative one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Michael Watson on 30 May ' 09 at 14:06
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OVERPRICED!!!

Posted by: pujol on 08 May ' 09 at 21:06
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: joel on 08 May ' 09 at 21:04
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: joel on 08 May ' 09 at 21:04
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: pujol on 08 May ' 09 at 21:02
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Nanette on 08 May ' 09 at 04:35
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

A Truly amazing experience, the food (Deluxe tasting menu) was to die for the service was outstanding and the atmosphere was magnificent. What more can I say. I can't wait to go again.

Posted by: pep on 06 May ' 09 at 11:19
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

the best in Dubai.

Posted by: Chris Mullinger on 06 May ' 09 at 09:12
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Come on, over 180 euros for tapas for two! You could eat for a week for that much in the best tapas bars in Granada. Time Out should get real.

Posted by: Sarah Culton on 05 May ' 09 at 09:56
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Far too expensive for what it offers.

Food was average to ordinary and I had the distinct sense I was paying for the upkeep of the aquarium rather than what was on the plate.

That said the staff and service were very good. But at this price I expect a lot more from my food.

Total cost was 2000AED for dinner for two with a glass of wine each.

Posted by: Graham Emmerson on 04 May ' 09 at 11:08
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Some of the best food I have had in Dubai, well worth the visit!

Posted by: Tracy on 30 Apr ' 09 at 10:16
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

After hearing alot from Ossiano, my boyfriend and I decided to go to this restaurant. Unfortunately this restaurant was so disappointing especially when it came to the food, every after meal we would complain when it was either not cooked well or raw and tasteless. I was expecting more from this restaurant as it has its renowned 3 star michelin chef. It is also very overpriced. I have been to some other seafood restaurant and they were very good. Ossiano didnt live up to my expectations that is for sure.

Posted by: pep on 19 Apr ' 09 at 14:00
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Fantastic. The best in Dubai.

Posted by: george on 02 Apr ' 09 at 20:08
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I had a very nice dinner and a beautiful experience in this restaurant, the staff very friendly and I will advise it to everyone.

Posted by: Mineus on 02 Apr ' 09 at 15:29
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

After reading these reviews I felt that I needed to express my opinion. Normally when something goes wrong people tend to spread heavily and quickly their bad experience. In my case, I must say that I have been in Ossiano and I had by far the best experience of my life, the food was wonderful, me and my wife had a tasting menu and the courses seem to overcome the previous over and over and the service looked like a play of synchronized movements.
It was a truly unforgettable experience and I look forward to go there again.

Posted by: Duval on 01 Apr ' 09 at 20:16
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We had a dinner tonight in Ossiano and we really think that the awards they are given to the wrong restaurant this year.We can not undestant how a restaurant like Ossiano by a 3 michelins stars chef having this delicated food and this perfection of service can not be nominated the best restaurant in Dubai. i don't what to talk about the decor and ambience with is super. If you what to have a experience of good products and good service you should visited Ossiano.

I defenetly come back again and again.

Posted by: antoniamatouskova on 31 Mar ' 09 at 00:31
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

i will never back ossiano

Posted by: chris on 31 Mar ' 09 at 00:26
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Posted by: gomes on 31 Mar ' 09 at 00:23
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

ossiano food is not good.

Posted by: Roberta on 27 Mar ' 09 at 08:36
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Posted by: Julie on 23 Mar ' 09 at 09:42
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Got invited by friends to eat at Ossiano. Ambience and decor was great but unfortunately the food was average and I think overpriced as I have been to most of the seafood restaurants in Dubai and except for my favourite 3 (whose names I won't mention) Ossiano could do better

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