I have never written a blog solely about food before but the restaurants we visited deserve their own blog (plus I wrote a lot in my last blog about things to do/things we did in Dubai and didn’t want to bore you all with one huge blog).
On our first night we visited the world’s tallest restaurant, At.mosphere, on the 124th floor in The Burj Khalifa. We were very lucky to get a place at all as you had to book weeks in advance and we called literally the day before. We couldn’t get a place in the grill restaurant but did get in to the lounge, the only difference being the menu, both restaurants are on the same floor.
With its own entrance located through a car park and having to pass two sets of security guards just to get in to the car park this place is definitely exclusive. Once out of our cab and in through the huge glass entrance we had one last security check before being shown to the lift that only has one stop, At.mosphere. We stepped in and hardly felt like we were moving, I looked over as the floors counted up,
they began to go faster and faster, at one point we must have gone 4-5 floors in a second and that is no exaggeration. Apart from our ears popping it was a very smooth journey and we got to the 124th floor in no time at all.
There are conditions on booking, you have to spend at least 200 dirhams per person (about £34), which isn’t that hard considering a glass of champagne is about £20. Nikki opted for the tempura prawn with sweet chilli and I, very boringly, opted for the burger. As I couldn’t drink due to being on antibiotics I had a fruit smoothie and Nikki thought as we were saving money on me not drinking it would balance out if she got the glass of champagne.
As you can imagine the view was amazing although I felt a little cheated as the restaurant is on the 124th floor and the building is 160 floors high. That feeling soon passed though as every time I got near a window I felt myself getting a little queasy, I’ve never had a fear of heights before, I suppose I’m beginning to value my life more as I’m
getting older lol.
It was nearly impossible to take a picture out of the window as the restaurant had such bright lights inside they reflected in the glass. Once our food arrived, as you can imagine with a fine dining restaurant the portions were miniscule, Nikki must have had 5 small prawns at most and I had 3 mouthful size burgers. When I go to such a posh restaurant I expect small portions and I anticipate that when I leave I’ll probably go straight to another restaurant to get something else to actually fill me up. I do however expect my small portions to be served by someone with the best manners ever and I expect that food to be AMAZING. The service was good, but not the best and the food was good but definitely not amazing. Our bill came to 555 dirhams (about £95 in total) which wasn’t too bad but I did go out after to a little shop in The Dubai Mall to buy something else to eat.
On Sunday 24th we had a table booked at The world’s only seven star hotel, The Bur j Al Arab, in the Al Mahara restaurant (Mahara
means Oyster). We had tried to book what is known as ‘The flight’. You have one meal in each of the restaurants so you can experience each one however as it was Easter and very busy they decided not to run the flight.
To enter Al Mahara you have to first go to the first floor inside Burj Al Arab to get a lift back down to the ground floor, the reason behind this is it is supposed to be similar to going down in a submarine. Once out of the lift the doorway to the actual restaurant is a round tube again adding to the ‘submarine’ feel. The restaurant looks absolutely amazing, the aquarium in the middle allows people to see in from 360 degrees., we got their early and got a table right next to the aquarium.
As you can imagine eating in a restaurant in a 7 star hotel means 7 star prices. You could get a single glass of champagne for about £35.....FOR A GLASS! There was a set menu for Easter which was 6 courses, it was a little bit more expensive than what we were going to order but we decided to
give it a go so we could try several different things.
Remember what I was saying about what we expect from a posh restaurant, small portions, and seeing as this was 6 courses I thought at least 3-4 of the courses would be a mouthful and nothing more, just enough to taste. How wrong could I be.
To start we had white Bavarian asparagus, confit Tasmanian salmon with caviar. When we saw the size of the portion we were both in shock, the size of the salmon alone is usually the size of Nikki’s entire dinner. Next up Norwegian langoustine mille feuilles again this was a huge langoustine. Our third course consisted of Atlantic wild turbot, seared petoncle and violet provencal artichokes.
At this point Nikki was full but was determined to eat some of her main. But course 4 was not the main, it was lobster bisque (and very nice lobster bisque too). I have to admit after that I was full too, Nikki had a few mouthfuls of hers but couldn’t eat the rest as she was full. This meal was the most expensive meal I had ever had in my life I was not
going to waste any. We swapped plates and I polished off her lobster bisque.
Now was the main course, Nikki had seabass, ratte potato-topinambur waffle and Thai baby leek. I had seared lamb loin, quinoa roulade and ratatouille tart. Nikki sticking to her word had half but couldn’t eat the rest, unfortunately I don’t like seabass so that did get wasted but my lamb was exquisite and I was practically licking the plate clean.
And finally my favourite part of the meal, for our last course we had guanaja mousse layer, easter nest (which turned out to be half an Easter egg) and extra virgin olive oil ice cream. I was struggling to fit anymore food in at this point but couldn’t see good sweets go to waste, I now saw finishing this meal as a challenge, one I was not going to lose.
I ate all of mine in a matter of mouthfuls, Nikki couldn’t even touch hers, so I worked my way through hers too. I’d finished, as I sat there bloated beyond belief the waiter bought out a try with four more sweets on, this was my final challenge and in four mouthfuls they
The food at Al Mahara was exceptional and the portion sizes were awesome, the service was fantastic and with a huge aquarium in the middle of the restaurant what more can I say about our view. This was one of our finest dining experiences ever and for a grand total of 1800 dirhams (about £315) I’d expect no less. I don’t mind spending money on experiences and I don’t mind spending money on food and although this was hugely expensive for a restaurant it was well worth the money.
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