A meal at Verre by Gordon Ramsay, at the Hilton Dubai Creek, comes with the huge burden of elevated expectations. After all, the venerable Michelin-starred chef's first restaurant outside the UK has always remained one of Dubai's top culinary choices ever since it opened almost a decade ago.
I realised why it continues to hold such a high place in every gourmet's list, when I went there for dinner the other day. The minimalist white dcor spelled pure class; it is indeed a place tailor-made for a special occassion with a certain special someone. Adding to the ambience were the friendly and attentive staff who explained the menu in detail, making our choice really easy.
We started with the canaps. The prawn crackers with green chilli dip were delicious as were the pastry balls with cheese dips. Being a cheese-o-holic, I simply relished them all.
The pre-starter, mushroom mousse with foam, was a pleasant surprise too – light and really yummy! Next came the elaborate starters – pressed terrine of foie gras des Landes, spiced pineapple and toasted brioche, roast ballotine of Vende quail with home-cured pancetta and my favourite –sweetcorn and tarragon ecrass.
The anticipation only built up more after that spectacular start. The two items we ordered for the mains – Cannon of Mulwarra lamb, parmesan boulangre potato blushed tomatoes, baby spinach and a natural jus, and castaing duck breast with port braised turnips, Shiitake mushrooms, pak choi and duck wontons – took us straight to culinary heaven. Could there be anything to surpass what we just had? Yes there was! The pre-dessert surprise was an utterly lovely strawberry cheesecake.
Just when I felt I couldn't have anything more, came the dessert. The famous caramelised apple tarte Tatin with anise ice-cream that was prepared right in front us provided the perfect end to a very special treat.
The final word? Food-wise, Verre By Gordon Ramsay was easily the best restaurant I have been to in Dubai. Think perfect presentation, warm service and the most exotic culinary delicacies – what more could one ask for?
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