Welcome to our 4th Fine Dining For Less installment where we bring you gastronomic experiences without astronomic prices.
Dubai is no stranger to Fine Dining, which usually means fine pricing. Through the summer we’ve seen a change in this philosophy with fabulous establishments offering incredible culinary bargains.
Lima Dubai and the JW Marriott Marquis’ exquisite Prime 68 steakhouse are 2 of these. Let’s see what’s on the plate!
Lima Dubai: World Class Dining in City Walk!
Virgilio Martìnez, chef, and owner of Central in Lima, Peru is well known to foodies. Collecting the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Chef’s Choice Award 2017, he is humble, quick with a smile and, let’s face it, he’s hot!
As comfortable in the kitchen as he is on a skateboard, his passion is a “vertical” menu derived from the natural growth of indigenous ingredients through the Andes Mountains.
Combining traditional, contemporary and some ancient Peruvian cooking methods, Virgilio Martìnez has created an experience at Central that has placed it in the number 5 spot on the World’s 50 Best List.
Virgilio, in partnership with Gabriel & José-Luis Gonzalez, developed “Lima”. In London, Lima Fitzrovia came first, then Lima Floral and late 2016 saw Lima Dubai open. Having previously enjoyed an a la carte dinner service at Lima Dubai, I was curious to see how the menu would be adapted to a Business Lunch. It did not disappoint.
Course 1 is vegetarian with the choice of Pumpkin Soup and Solterito, a salad of beetroot, corn, fava beans, Halloumi cheese & olive lime dressing. I have no doubt there would have been something special about the soup but we both decided on the Solterito and were pleased we did.
Course 2 offered a choice of Traditional Ceviche (Catch of the day, Red onions, Cancha Corn & Traditional tiger’s milk), Hot Chicken Ceviche (Sweet potatoes & Hot rocoto tiger’s milk) and Salmon Causa (Yellow potato, Fig preserve & Italian Grana Padano)
As much as we love traditional ceviche, the Salmon Causa for him was as good as it was when I was last at Lima Dubai and the Hot Chicken Ceviche was exactly that. It was hot with a rich sauce and distinct crunch from the sweet potato. The Causa is just delicious, so it won this round but I’d order the chicken again.
Course 3 options were Lomo Saltado (Tenderloin, Tomato, Red onions, Soy & Oyster sauces), Chifa Chicken Rice Chinese style (Asparagus, Spring onions, Broccoli, Soy sauce, Ginger & Garlic) or Salmon Nikkei (Hot sweet potato & Seaweed tempura)
European, Japanese and Chinese immigrants had a hand in developing Peruvian Cuisine. Our choices were Europe & Japan over China with the Tenderloin and Salmon. His tenderloin, so incredibly tender, was delicious but this time the salmon won. The seaweed tempura wafers a wonderful textural addition.
Our arms were twisted for dessert (not included in the Business lunch) and we are so glad they were. The San Martin Chocolate for him presented with 4 kinds of chocolate in ice cream, mousse, brownie, and wafer format. Rich & decadent, exactly how 4 chocolates should be, this is a chocolate lover’s dream.
Her’s, a delicate avocado mousse inside a dark chocolate “skin” sprinkled with rocoto chilli, was almost healthy. 😉
The Business Lunch at Lima Dubai begins with house-baked bread, your choice of a glass of red or white wine, beer, soft drink or tea/ coffee and 1 choice per course (not including dessert).
This Fine Dining For Less menu will set you back just AED 120. That’s just over USD $30!!
JW Marriott Marquis: Prime 68 James Bond Brunch.
If you’ve experienced Dubai on a Friday then you’ll know brunch is an institution. Far from a simple eggs benny & a bloody mary, Dubai’s brunches are monumental events and none more so than Prime 68’s James Bond Brunch.
Located on the 68th floor of the iconic JW Marriott Marquis, Prime 68’s views are superb. Overlooking the Dubai Canal to the west, the marina to the south, Meydan Race Track to the east and the Burj Khalifa in its world tallest glory to the north.
Intimate booths and window seating are separated successfully from larger group tables so, on a date or with a crew, everyone can enjoy the day.
While you’re admiring the view, French or Prosecco (depending on your package) is poured. A selection of bread varieties, tapenade, butter, sweet potato crisps and roasted almonds are already waiting for you to begin nibbling.
Chef Brent Devlin left his Florida beaches in 2016 for a different kind of sand in Dubai. Heading up the Prime 68 kitchen, he and his team have created a brunch to “Live & Let Die” for.
As you peruse the 10-course menu it’s clear this is no ordinary brunch. There’s no buffet in sight and the attentive service is already impeccable. As each course has a number of selections it’s time to begin choosing. But wait, there’s no such anxiety at this brunch. You get it all!!!
So let’s begin.
DIAMONDS ARE FOR EVERYBODY – Beef Tartar with Arugula, Parmesan & Truffle Aioli in a tortilla-style cone.
FROM ITALY WITH LOVE – A charcuterie platter with salamis, cheeses, organic mustards, marinated olives, cornichons and other morsels.
GOLDEN-FORK – the salad course with not 1 but 3 vibrant salads. Waldorf, Caprese & Wedge with Blue Cheese.
THE BOND CLASSICS – A Foie Gras combo of parfait, lollipops, and terrine.
SECRET INTERMEDIATE SERVICE – prepared and served table-side is a magnificent Ahi Tuna Tartar.
It’s getting serious now so pace yourself.
QUANTUM OF SATISFACTION – Wagyu Meatballs, New Orleans-style Crab Cakes, Mushroom Soup Martinis, and stuffed Pretzel Bites with Shortrib Mousse & crispy veal bacon.
At any time, signal your waiter and take a rest, review what’s yet to come and start being selective, call it quits completely, or tough it out and power through.
Steak plates with cast iron heated centres arrive and you know what’s next.
THE WORLD IS NOT ALL BEOUF – There’s grilled Australian Tenderloin, Whole roasted Aussie Rib Eye, US Shortribs, and Pan Seared Sea Bass with marinated Shrimps.
FOR YOUR MOUTH ONLY – the sides – green beans, asparagus, creamy mash, truffled mac & cheese, roasted mushrooms and steakhouse fries.
Now it’s time for dessert!
THE 068 ROYALE – Citrus Cheese Cake, Carrot Cake, Salted Caramel Brownie, Chocolate Mousse, Crunchy Opera Cake, Honey Financier, Peanut Butter Mousse, Pecan Nut Cake, and Strawberry Tartlet with Sliced Fruit. Phew!
068 SECRET DESSERT SERVICE – prepared and served tableside – the most divine churros.
As if that isn’t enough, through this 3-hour performance you have 8 cocktails and 4 mocktails to over indulge in, World class red and white wines, and the aforementioned bubbles.
What would you spend on this Fine Dining For Less extravaganza?
- ‘For Your Eyes Only’: AED 495 per person with house beverages. (USD $135)
- ‘Goldfinger’: AED 595 per person, including Prosecco. (USD $160)
- ‘Diamonds are Forever’: AED 695 per person, including Champagne. (USD $190)
The quality, not to mention the quantity, of this brunch has topped our list of the best in Dubai (so far!)
An added bonus for Emirates Platinum Card holders is the 2 for 1 offer availed for the card holder and up to 4 guests.
Fine Dining For Less in #mydubai: it’s a thing we love….