miX by Alain Ducasse

First Dubai opening from a renowned chef
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Time Out Says

When alain ducasse attaches his name to a restaurant, he attaches enormous expectations along with it.

miX is nothing new to this world – until 2015, it existed in Las Vegas, earning a Michelin star in 2008 and 2009.

But we can’t help wondering if it’ll be so fortunate in Dubai.

At a time when the city’s diners are leaning into the fashion for more casual experiences, miX’s arrival, waving a menu featuring a Dhs700 prawn, feels about ten years behind the curve.

Dubai’s reputation for luxury has been superseded by its new reputation for accessibility – across palate, aesthetics and price point. Ducasse, it seems, prefers to buck the trend.

But then, this is Emerald Palace Kempinski – the interiors of which make the Burj Al Arab’s look practically minimalist.

The setting of the restaurant itself is odd, split into multiple levels and rooms, each as genreless as the next. It doesn’t bode well for the food. At least there’s a terrace, with its top views over the Palm.

Service is earnest, but it’s not enough to detract from the food. Unremarkable king crab cakes (Dhs120) filled with sweetcorn are followed by downright unlikeable sea bream ceviche (Dhs95).

We desperately want to know why that giant king prawn costs Dhs700. But we’re paying for this meal, and beyond the eye-rollingly limp “because it’s good quality” offered by staff, there’s no other justification supplied for ordering it.

A more affordable line-caught sea bass (Dhs280) is well cooked, and so it should be, but not much more. Canneroni pasta (Dhs140) in an ox cheek sauce is presented to the table, rather comically, at the bottom of a giant stainless steel pan – lid and all – then awkwardly, agonisingly spooned out, almost ’roni by ’roni, into the dish before us.

Is miX targeting tourists? Or trying to reel in residents? So off-key does Ducasse’s first opening here seem, we suspect the focus is the former.

It’s impossible to say how much time the chef spent studying Dubai’s ever-evolving dining scene – but it feels unlikely it was anywhere near as long as we’ve been thinking about that prawn.

First Dubai opening from a renowned chef

For the, erm, view?

By Time Out Dubai staff  | 04 Jul 2019

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Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Emerald Palace Kempinski - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

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