Recently we went on our dream trip to Dubai on the back of our family holiday to Mauritius in August and the boys and I had longed to visit this much hyped place for so long, I hadn’t really planned anything beyond our iconic hotel, the Atlantis.
We only touched down in Dubai for 4 precious days so wanted to make the most of our breathtaking surroundings but I was keen to see more of the place, after all, I had no idea when we would be back!
A fantastic opportunity to do just that came in the shape of an invitation from none other than Gary Rhodes’ acclaimed W1 restaurant, to come along with the fam-a-lam and check it out.
To be honest, they’d have been just as happy to stay in the hotel – well it was the Atlantis! – and go for the interminable international buffet, the proportions of which we’ve never seen the like!
However, we didn’t travel 9,206 miles (london-mauritius-mauritius-dubai) with me strapped up to my elbows in travel sickness bands for nowt so I insisted we finish up at the pool at a reasonable time for once and get our glad rags on for a lovely night out seeing the sights in this magical destination before a slap up meal, courtesy of a typical English gent in this desert paradise.
Co-incidentally, Rhodes’ Greenhouse restaurant was the first restaurant in London I ever ate – no surprise it earned him his second Michelin star as even now, 20-something years on, I can still remember every morsel of that meal. Famed for his love of English classic dishes, I felt a familiarity in my expectations of the evening’s cuisine and it was a welcome feeling after nigh on three weeks of Mauritian and International dishes.
We went on a reasonably lengthy cab ride of around 20 minutes from the Atlantis. With it being at the tip of The Palm, getting around and into town is no five minute job. The benefit of this was the opportunity to see the sights which come alive of an evening with dazzling lighting and breathtaking examples of modern architecture on every corner.
Situated in the Marina area, Rhodes W1 is nestled inside the Grosvenor Hotel, Dubai Riverside and the arrival there is exciting enough, with luxury supercars lined up outside, yachts as big as our home and buildings surrounding us as high as your neck can crane.
Once inside, the kids were in their element and I was thrilled to be gifted an Insta perfect backdrop for pics. Flower walls. Standard.
The restaurant was quiet, it was 7.30 pm on a weeknight when most of the locals had flown the coop as it was school holiday season for them too. We welcomed this, as the boys were high on sunshine and slushies so I didn’t want too many people around to see a potential meltdown!
The staff were quietly attentive, just the way we like it. We started off sombre as we thought it might be a bit stuffy being so fancy and all, but soon warmed to the welcoming atmosphere and I enjoyed a glass or two of the finest champagne as the boys worked their way through the mocktail menu. The hubby doesn’t drink, in fact he isn’t good with alcohol at all so menu wise, we were definitely in the right place as they had a specialist food menu completely alcohol free for anyone who fancies it. That would not be the menu for me.
Kicking off with, for me, the amuse bouche of dreams, Gary’s infamous signature white tomato soup was a unicorn in a cup for me. I adored the fluffy, light lick of this fruity little number. It wasn’t to the taste of the kids nor my husband but they are all tomato phobes anyway which saddens me greatly. Anyway, their loss as I polished off everyone else’s. I often hanker after this taste but it’s a long way to go for a repeat performance.
Harry, being the ripe old age of eleven now, can’t be doing with a kids menu. Nope. Full price all the way for this one now so he is not a cheap date anymore! He was delighted however, to find a perfectly H sized steak on the Rhodes’ mini menu which I hadn’t found online but was eagerly produced for us upon seating.
Dominic opted for a bold choice – not really! – with fish fingers (celeb chef style) with chunky chips and peas. Bless him I don’t think he had seen a bit of plain veg in a few weeks so he was happy!
Most times we eat out, which is probably far too many, I’m a red meat kinda girl and tonight was never going to be any exception. I asked for a steak and boy did I get one! A juicy 120+ day prime fillet which made my mouth water.
Absolute perfection! Succulent , lean and delicious.
The hubby opted for calves liver and bacon and informed me it was among one of the best dishes he has ever eaten. Praise indeed.
As our mains were cleared away, we were offerred dessert and with our mains at such a high standard, we could only hope to equal with puds. Boy were we in for a treat!
We ordered, with much dithering and many mind-changes but finally settled on our most tempting choices from the menu. I must admit, we got a bit antsy waiting for the dishes as the kids were getting really tired and the mocktails had kicked in.
When the staff ushered over the plates of delight, it was evident what had caused the perceived delay.
The craftsmanship that had gone into those desserts was amazing! Twenty year old memories of Rhodes then signature bread and butter pudding evaporated as I got my taste buds round the delectable whole lemon and almond pudding with fresh strawberries, as did my old man as even my insistence could not put him off ordering the same as me.
The children made their own bespoke puds with Dominic in his element adding his own gummy bears to his plethora of ice cream.
Harry went large and ordered the iced pineapple chiboust and whilst he didn’t devour the lot, he declared it as ‘awesome’ and only left John the scraps.
We lingered there for around two hours, the staff could not have been more attentive and we had a meal to remember! This one truly is a must-visit when in Dubai.
Where do you eat in Dubai? Have you ever been? Is it on your must-do list?