Time Out Says
The menu itself is not overly long, with a selection of fresh and Mediterranean-inspired appetisers, soups, a few dishes of pasta and gnocchi made in-house, more inventive sounding seafood dishes, a seafood platter, and a smattering of meat dishes using quail and rabbit, among other ingredients. While I appreciate the venue is quite literally ‘sur mer’ (on the sea) and guests on the attractive covered terrace (where laid back live music was playing) can appreciate this better, I did feel the menu didn’t quite fit the impression this name conjures up.
We ordered the carrot and fennel soup and sautéed octopus with hummus and roasted aubergine to start. We had intended to order the seafood platter to share as a main course, but the waitress came back to the table holding the menu looking confused and asking us if we realised it was Dhs195 per head, not in total. We took this as some unconscious attempt to warn us off this dish and opted instead for the home-made gnocchi with leek, prawn and pesto and the rabbit wrapped in vine leaves, stuffed with feta.
We enjoyed the bread basket, which was varied and tasted fairly fresh, warm and fluffy. The soup was good too – flavoursome with a clean, grown-up edge to it from the fennel and a nicely light yet creamy consistency. The octopus was simple but nicely presented, with hummus, roughly pureed roasted aubergine, pieces of octopus and plenty of fresh salad leaves layered on top. But the octopus tasted a little burnt and the aubergine lacked flavour.
While the gnocchi were pleasant enough, my friend gave up on this dish very quickly, put off by the intense fish flavour in the sauce. The rabbit dish felt a tiny bit old- fashioned in its presentation but it still looked attractive, elegant and colourful. The variety of vegetables around the plate had been cooked diligently to preserve that sense of freshness and the rabbit flesh itself was very well prepared with plenty of juice and flavour to it. However, the ‘feta’ cheese with which it was stuffed had a sweet and fatty texture to it that I would associate with a more processed cream cheese, and for me this ruined the dish. By this stage there was little interest in ordering another course and we skipped dessert.
Sadly, putting the decor entirely to one side momentarily, having explored Sur Mer as a dining option, on balance the prices really do not reflect the value or enjoyment of the food, just like Giannino before it.
The bill (for two)
1x sauteed octopus Dhs75
1x carrot soup Dh55
1x rabbit Dhs180
1x gnocchi Dhs95
2x lemonade Dhs70
1x large water Dhs30
Total (including service) Dhs505
By Time Out Dubai staff | 26 Nov 2013
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