When it comes to world cuisine, Dubai has it all but strangely one country that, we feel, is grossly under-represented on the culinary map is Spain. Other than a few regular tapas bars and restaurants, there hasn’t been many exciting additions to the scene. Thankfully, Bebemos, joining the portfolio of 18 restaurants at Le Meridien Dubai, comes to the rescue.
When you think of Spain, you think colour, vibrancy and buzz – all of which Bebemos has in oodles. The rustic, raw brick walls with lively artwork, the fluid arches, high stools and the vivid bar are sure to bring a smile to your face. The only downer: it’s just way too noisy, especially when the bar is full. The idea may be to give a feel of a typical rumbustious Spanish tapas bar with socialising and chatter at its core but the pitch needed to be toned down to enable a conversation.
Of course, everything is forgivable if the food is great. The sangria pitcher sets the mood for a great menu that boasts of signature tapas, starters, paella, mains and desserts. So far so good. Since tapas are the stars of the show, we recommend giving it the maximum chance. Our top pick: Octopus Galician style with potatoes and pimento. Outstanding, the robust flavors leave you asking for more. The ever-popular Padron peppers were good in taste but too large in size. The Prawn Al Ajillo was fab too, perfectly cooked and the brown sauce blending in perfectly.
But the paellas, were surprisingly, disappointing – there are five varieties with the black rice one touted as the specialty. But it was not rice at all – it was fried noodles. Did it work? Not really. Even the Seafood paella was little too dry compared to the moist, fresh paellas we have eaten off the streets of Barcelona. Moreover, the skillet in which it was served wasn’t the heavy-bottomed pan used for Paellas that we are used to. Next came dessert and while the churros were good, their curled shape took away its authenticity a bit.
Having that said, Bebemos oozes warmth and has a very welcoming vibe. A recommendation: it would be absolutely great to have live music (hopefully the management is thinking about it!) to bring a bit of the verve of Barcelona and Madrid to the streets of dry, dusty Dubai. We can easily see it becoming our go-to for fun chatter, a platterful of tapas and some great Spanish grape.
INFO: Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud