We’re a week into January and already our resolutions of eating less are down the waste chute. If, however, you’re one of the cunning few who made a resolution to eat more in 2012, then you can’t go far wrong. Starting from January 15, Ronda Locatelli at Atlantis (04 426 2626) is dishing out a ‘warming’ winter menu, featuring Italian favourites petto d’anatra cavolo nero berlotti e tartfuo invernale (roast duck breast and black cabbage) and madaglioni di cervo al cianti radiacchio crema fritta (venison medallion, radicchio, porcini mushroom, and chianti sauce). Tripping over your words? Try gesticulating wildly while reading. It helps.
Staying in the lost world of Atlantis, little-known eatery The Shore (04 426 2626) is starting poolside barbecues on Thursdays and Fridays offering salads (boring!), meats (hooray!), seafood (hooray!) and desserts (hooray!). And because this is Dubai, no barbecue is complete without a furrow-browed DJ fiddling with complicated buttons, which is exactly what happens from 7pm. With music, obviously.
Heading back to land, we feel obliged to have a bit of a groan about the Lobby Lounge’s afternoon tea at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai (04 399 400). Don’t get us wrong – the picturesque hotel, balcony seating sea views are the perfect setting for such a refined pastime, though we felt thoroughly duped when we turned up at 4pm for our Dhs235 afternoon tea with a glass of bubbly, only to be told that alcohol wasn’t served between 4pm and 6pm. You’d have thought that such gems of information might have been shared when we made our booking over the phone. Think again.
Rant over, we’re turning our attentions to the Habtoor Grand (04 399 5000), which is now home to Summer Place (the worst name for a Chinese restaurant ever, considering its only a vowel away from one of the country’s most famous landmarks – perhaps they were trying to scrimp on signage costs?), and Fish Bazaar (read our review on page 50), formerly of the soon-to-be demolished Metropolitan Hotel. Thai seafood restaurant Fish Bazaar has nestled cosily into the Habtoor’s twinkly gardens, while Summer Place sits where Japanese restaurant Bonsai once underwhelmed its customers. We’ve heard rumblings that the new-look Summer Place will take the form of a trendy Okku-style supper club. Hmmm. We rather liked the kitsch Metropolitan venue. Let’s hope they don’t mess with the menu too much.
And with that, we’re going to DIFC and Emirates Towers to see if any of the posh new restaurants that were going to open this month (Wheeler’s Roberto’s and Alfie’s) are still full of stepladders and paint tins. In the meantime, bon appétit.