Peruvian cooking is one culinary trend that appears to be set to stay, and we’re thrilled – especially considering the quality of the cuisine in the city.
LIMA Dubai, from chef Virgilio Martinez, opened in City Walk. Its sister restaurant, LIMA Fitzrovia in London, is the first and only Peruvian restaurant to win and retain a Michelin star, so the Dubai branch landed with high expectations. And it has so far lived up to them, with the food wowing us every time.
Service is also on-point, with staff quick to explain the interesting-looking and sounding dishes (which unless you’re fluent in your anticuchos and tequeños, is very welcome). The venue itself is cool, too, with massive, vibrant murals and a trendy vibe.
The food is a treat – don’t miss the duck bao buns, which are rich, meaty and perfectly flavoured. The ceviches are also stand-out, especially the sea bass and salmon versions, which are light, fresh and tangy.
All dishes are plated beautifully, with swirls of brightly coloured sauces and edible flowers (admittedly a divisive culinary decoration) making them almost a shame to spoil by digging in with gusto, although you won’t be able to resist.
The traditional chicken causa is really tasty, and the delicate flavours are expertly balanced. And if you like the idea of a mini Peruvian Cornish pasty, don’t miss the richly spiced tequeños.
Quite simply, everything at LIMA Dubai is a joy to eat, which is why its out Best Latin American Restaurant 2018.
The bottom line
The food really is superb.
Hungry residents and tourists alike are drawn to this increasingly popular part of town, and Sapori di BiCE is a strong choice for those after an Italian meal in City Walk.
Pitching itself as “casual chic family dining” is pretty spot on. Interiors manage to pull off that tricky blend of upmarket yet not overly fussy, ensuring it appeals to families and couples alike.
There’s a lofty, bustling feel to the eatery and it’s busy on our visit.
An Italian bread basket of olive and cherry tomato focaccia, arrives first, served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar containing dabs of goat’s cheese and an incredibly moreish homemade basil pesto. Next up, it’s calamari fritters accompanied by tempura-style courgette and mushrooms – the calamari is tender enough but lacking a little in seasoning, and not as enjoyable as the vegetables.
Don’t miss the traditional lasagne Emiliana, which is rustically presented in a mini cast-iron pan and is voted by our group as delicious as home-made would be (unless you’re an Italian grandmother, that is).
Despite the Italian-twist, paella is packed full of seafood and fresh herbs, it somehow lacks the real punch of flavour expected from this sort of dish.
Desserts are authentic and tasty, so opt for the salted caramel pecan pie for a treat. Plump for scoops of intensely-rich black cherry and pistachio ice cream on the side, which work surprisingly well.
Dishes are mostly well thought out and tasty, but there’s room for improvement in some areas. With the amount of top-notch restaurants popping up in the area, will this continue to be a family favourite? We’ll see.
The bottom line
Worth a visit if you’re in the area and craving lasagne.
City Walk is one of the most rapidly growing areas on Dubai’s dining scene, and licensed zone The Square is gradually becoming a hit.
Sitting next to Toro + Ko and Time Out Dubai’s Best Latin American restaurant 2018, LIMA Dubai, is Galvin Dubai. The latest venture from Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin opened in late 2017, and so it’s with high expectations that we head to this chic restaurant.
The dishes take influence from Italy, the South of France and North Africa, promising an “innovative yet accessible” take on classic flavours.
We visit on a weeknight and it’s extremely quiet. But the restaurant is elegant and, thanks to the pocketed dining areas, manages to feel intimate rather than empty.
We opt for the menu du chef – based on the fact that it’s decent value for a seven-course meal from such a star-wielding duo, coming in at Dhs398 a head. It will also give us an excellent overview from the menu curated by executive chef Luigi Vespero, who has been entrusted with the role after several years working with the Galvin brothers.
The feast kicks off with a trio of signature starters, which includes steak tartare (rich and meaty), yellow fin tuna (tangy and fresh) and a beetroot salad (a fruity accompaniment).
The risotto of wild mushrooms is a highlight – a delicate serving of al dente rice in a creamy, shroomy dressing, lifted by a crunchy scattering of hazelnuts. The lasagne of Devon crab is also a big hit, and a far cry from any limp pasta bake you might envisage. Beef tenderloin with caramelised shallots and wild mushrooms is tender and a perfect flavour combination, while a chocolate fondant rounds it all off expertly.
All courses are petite, delicious and a great showcase of the famous brothers’ dishes. The only thing that lacks is the atmosphere. With a few more diners in, it could be top-notch.
The bill (For two)
2x menu du chef Dhs796
Total (incl service) Dhs796
The bottom line
Excellently executed dishes but lacks vibe.
Eggpspecation’s flagship eatery on The Walk at JBR is a firm favourite for a weekend breakfasts, and if you can get a table without at least a 15-minute wait then you’re doing better than the rest of us. So when we heard of a new, even bigger, version in City Walk we were curious to try it.
We decide to try it out for an early-evening meal. The restaurant is fairly quiet, so we suspect the word has yet to spread about just how stunning the views across to the Burj Khalifa and Business Bay from the outside terrace actually are.
Service is swift and friendly and we pour over a menu it’s incredibly difficult to choose from – it all sounds so good. We opt for a creamy lobster mac and cheese, that we wish would never end, and wish we could have ordered two of the brie and walnut crostini starters.
Portion sizes here are incredibly generous so it’s a wonder we have room for dessert. But the chocco-banana pancakes prove too difficult for us to resist (they’re not just for breakfast) and we have to hold back from licking the plate clean.
Granted, there’s not the view of the ocean, or a mere hop and a skip to the sand, but there’s still a lot to like about the newest location of the Canadian chain. We can’t wait to go back for breakfast.
- 1 of 3