Magnolia

Vegetarian hideaway in scenic in Al Qasr 11 Reviews

magnolia_rest_1
© ITP Images

From Time Out Dubai Eating Out 2008

None of the items on the menu here have blood coursing through their veins (it’s a vegetarian restaurant), and everything is healthier than an obsession with Giselle. Even the drinks have been carefully picked, with an expensive array of organic wines to choose from (starting at a rather pricey Dhs220).

But it’s the range of water that really stands out; there’s a collection of around 10 to choose from, and three types of crystals to amplify the liquid. Once you’ve dealt with the crystal dilemma, rip apart plaited date and rye bread, served with a baby-food-consistency pumpkin dip that sparkles with flavour and an equally punchy cream cheese and chive accompaniment.

Being a Madinat restaurant, you’re further spoilt with amuse bouches – on our last visit we had purple potato and fried tofu crumbs, which were delicious. Sadly, the yellow pepper soup tends to be overly seasoned. You’re better off ordering the roasted artichokes on mash, with crunchy stalks and mushroom shavings that brilliantly contrast with the silky-smooth potato and the dribblingly good semi-dried tomatoes.

It’s not just the food that impresses, however. The restaurant and terrace are blissfully relaxed, so it’s a shame that the same can’t be said of the staff, who are overly attentive. The main courses of spinach risotto and stuffed baby vegetables are more than adequate, and the desserts are utterly flawless.

End with the chocolate parfait and crème caramele, or the caramelised figs and coffee ice-cream. This place may even tempt a few carnivores.


By Jeremy Lawrence

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

Details

  • Location: Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 366 6730
  • Travel: Al Sufouh Road
  • Website | Send mail

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Romantic

User reviews:

Posted by: Irfan on 03 Sep ' 12 at 07:56
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This place was SUPER.....but i think it closed down now!

Posted by: Michael on 25 Mar ' 11 at 08:49
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

What a shame. We are both vegetarians and this was our second visit to the Magnolia having enjoyed our previous experience in December.

Unfortunately, on this occasion, the food was bland and tasteless - not a good sign considering the cost of dining at this restaurant.

We chose the set menu but had to send the dessert back for being "stodgy" and "uninspiring". Although the staff - who were a little over-attentive, bordering on intrusive - replaced it with another, it was an end to a disappointing evening that we had both looked forward to.

Disappointed.

Posted by: mona on 01 Oct ' 10 at 10:00
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Awesome ambience, with friendly service. I went there with hubby to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. Being vegetarians we loved the fact that most of the dishes on the menu are organic and as natural as possible.
the environment is serene and peaceful..all we could hear is each other. (as all the tables are spaced out well and at a good distance from each other.) The best thing is that there is no overwhelming smell of smoke, alcohol or spices..I will definitely go again

Posted by: Hetal Sagar on 16 Jun ' 10 at 13:04
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

My husband took me there for our anniversay in Feb2010, and i have actually lost count of how many times i have been there since! We had had such a good time, and the food was so flavorsome and palatable. And the ambience and the friendly staff add to the whole experience.

Most of the times i go back just to have the herbal infusion teas! And having tried literally each and everything off the menu, i can say its safe to say that you cant really go wrong ordering anything off their menu.



Posted by: Janette on 12 Jun ' 10 at 23:33
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great resturant - really glad i now know of it as i will definatley be going back.
I'm vegetarian so it was nice to have a decent choice for once!
The food was lovely and the portions were the perfect size - not over-facing.
The staff were amazing.
The setting superb.
My husband loved it too and he's not vegetarian.
Probably the nicest meal i have been out for in Dubai.

Posted by: Sophie on 31 Mar ' 10 at 09:43
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Lovely surroundings and excellent service. It is on the expensive side but you get what you pay for with a good original choice of food and drinks. Would defiantly return and recommend.

Posted by: Patricio on 23 Sep ' 09 at 07:24
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Magnolia is, without question, one of the top 5 most overrated restaurants in Dubai. The food, when I went, was bland and the servings small. Considering the size of the bill, I would have expected to leave sated, but instead left hungry. All I could think during the meal was how the dishes needed some flavour, and I was tempted to ask them to put some bacon into it. This is a pity, because vegetarian cuisine can be some of the most flavourful around. Done well it is peerless.
Again, perhaps I was unlucky on the night. Nonetheless, Magnolia should focus more on food and less on new age gimmickry.

Posted by: Simon on 05 Jul ' 09 at 16:36
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We had a fantastic time at Magnolia. We went there primarily because I wanted to show my friend Al Qasar and ride through the lagoons on one of the boats. We also had an entertinment voucher for 2 for 1 meal (which is the only restraunt in al qasar that features in the book). As a die hard meat eater (and I mean this in the strongest sense as I hardly ever eat vegies) I was a little worried about what to expect in terms of the meal but was happy to let that one go in return for a cheap meal, ambience and a boat ride.

I have to say the the meal was very good. I would still prefer a steak being who I am but was very surprised with some of the intense flavours that came out of the dishes. What was also really good was the wine list. We were able to pick up a nice bottle of aussie chardonay for 160dhs meaning our total bill was only 210dhs (with the entertainer book voucher). The quality of service was amazing also, There were numerous times when my friend and i would head to the smoking section and before we knew it, our wine and food samplers were brought along to us without us even asking. I have not experienced service like this in dubai before anywhere!!

The ambience from our table outside overlooking al qasar is fantastic and would be the best that i have seen from the al qasar resteraunts that i have been to. Of course we were also given a complementory cruise down the lagoons down to the bars at madinat. Tip, if you finish your meal before 9.50pm then when your travelling down the lagoon you will witness the burj al arab lightshow from some excellent view spots while on the water.

Would definitley recommend this place to everyone!!!

Posted by: Gaby on 16 Jun ' 09 at 13:50
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

A beautiful location, especially when you sit outside as you overlook the canal from the Mandinat Jumeirah.

This is a haven for Vegetarians and Organic fans. Some very special dishes are on the menu, and it is fun to select from the creative descriptions and combinations. This goes for the mocktails as well

Had a lovely evening and would drop by once a while.

Posted by: KatieP on 21 May ' 09 at 06:34
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We had a delightful dinner for two here recently for my husband's birthday. Everything was wonderful. We arrived at the Madinat and caught an abra down. We had a lovely table out on the deck over looking the water which was relaxing and romantic. The service was great, the staff were very attentive but not overbearing. And the food was sensational. We are both vegetarians so it was suited to us but for non vegetarians the menu was still very tempting. We had about three serves of bread which was complimentary. The wine list was extensive and quite reasonable. And because it was my husband's birthday they brought out a cake at the end which was complimentary as well and everyone sang happy birthday.
All in all, a fabulous experience and we will definitely be back.

Posted by: expat09 on 16 Mar ' 09 at 11:13
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Madame Kurz does magic with the food. Everything was tasty and well presented. Take the sampler so that you can see as many dishes as possible and encourage your dining companion to do the same. Romantic and cozy on the terrace. The only disappointment was the price for some organic Champagne and wine... I will drink the lovely herb infused water next time. Bravo Chef Kurz! Recomended even for non vegetariens, the food is that good.

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