Mediterranean haunt in the Dubai Marina area
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Time Out Says

Dubai is a city of superlatives, which is reflected by its dining scene. With the exception of the small, family-run restaurants in Karama and Satwa, most Dubai dining establishments are all about ‘biggest’ and ‘best’. This equates to a conspicuous absence of smaller, more intimate restaurants; the kind of venues that make eating in more established culinary cities, such as New York and Paris, so much fun.

In this respect, Seran, a new eatery in Dubai Marina – just along from the Yacht Club – is refreshing. Rather than being located in a mall or a hotel, as so many restaurants are, it boasts a charming street-side location, which allows diners to enjoy their food while watching the world go by. What’s more, the venue is refreshingly intimate, boasting a cluster of tables amid minimalist and relatively tasteful (if a little random) furnishings.

Seran markets itself as a Mediterranean restaurant, though I suspect it does so in order to serve a more eclectic range of cuisines than it would if it was simply an Italian venue. As a result, traditional Italian dishes such as arrabiata, meatballs and classic quattro stagioni pizzas are accompanied by Greek salad, Lebanese potatoes, patatas bravas and baba ganoush. I’m always suspicious of restaurants that feel obliged to serve an array of cuisines; I’d rather they master just the one.

As if sensing my disquiet, the manager (who was on hand to take our order) mentioned that Seran’s three chefs were all of different nationalities, thus implying they could competently prepare a range of continentally diverse cuisines. As dubious as I was, the complimentary bowl of houmous that arrived on our table went some way towards proving his theory. The houmous was really very good; creamy and flavoursome thanks to the generous application of lemon.

We went on to order the mussels symphony, a steamed platter served with crème fraîche, a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley, garlic and tomatoes. The sauce was very good indeed, and boasted a playful hint of spice that was nicely tempered by the crème fraîche. The mussels themselves, however, weren’t as fresh as we’d have liked, but the dish was ultimately a success.

While our mussels starter arrived in relatively good time, we were made to wait for our mains, which was irksome considering the restaurant was virtually empty. However, it’s safe to assume that service will improve with time (at least, we hope this will be the case). Our food eventually arrived in the form of Seran’s spaghetti special, which consisted of beef meatballs soaked in a home-made pasta sauce; pepperoni pizza (albeit topped with beef pepperoni); and gambas aioli (king prawns served in a rich garlic sauce). Each dish was competently prepared – my meatballs were consistent and tender, and served with a generous slather of thick, rich tomato sauce. The dish neither surprised or disappointed; it tasted much like a good pasta dish that you’d make for yourself at home. This was no bad thing – I’d expected little more from a restaurant as modestly sized as this.

My date and I shared the pizza, which was decent enough, but would have benefited from a turn in a traditional pizza oven – something that would boost Seran’s credentials enormously. The topping was also a little too greasy, making the pizza perhaps the weakest of the three mains. Much like the mussels that preceded them, the king prawns that my date had ordered were doused in an excellent aioli sauce – the chilli and parsley were invigoratingly fresh, though still couldn’t disguise the fact that the prawns weren’t as fresh as they could have been.

Our overall dining experience at Seran was positive, but the whole thing slipped from our minds as soon as we’d paid the bill and left the restaurant. The food and ambience, while good, failed to capture the imagination; it’s unlikely I’d go out of my way for a repeat visit. This said, residents in the area could do worse than having Seran around the corner as a delivery option.

The bill for two
1x Mussels symphony Dhs38
1x Seran’s spaghetti Dhs44
1x Pepperoni pizza Dhs44
1x Gambas aioli Dhs69
Total (excluding service) Dhs195

By Oliver Robinson  | 27 Sep 2010

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FacilitiesOpen late
Payment OptionsCash
Show number 04 447 5504
Dubai, Dubai Marina, opp. Dubai Marina Yacht Club - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

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