Tag Archives: Atlantis the Palm

Atlantis Reviewed (part 4: Ronda Locatelli)

The very final restaurant. Now pizza really is my thing… I mean GOD I love pizza. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time (calories and money) sampling the different pizza offerings in Dubai… which don’t always impress.

For me the no. 1 pizza place in Dubai is 800-pizza. I also love Bussola. So where does Ronda Locatelli stand? Well, confession, one I am a fan of Giorgio Locatelli and two, I did go back this Friday and have lunch at Ronda Locatelli so I can judge based on actual restaurant experience, food, and bill.

I guess the first thing is that Ronda Locatelli impressed enough for me to want to go back (or that could just be my pizza obsession talking).

My favourite part of the pizza was the crust. It was crunchy and yet soft (fluffy despite being a thin crust). There was the right amount of oil in the dough that the taste and texture was just scrumptious. So much so that when I went back on Friday, I actually ate the crust of one of the pizza slices I left because I was too full to finish. It was so good I preferred it over the actual pizza and toppings.

The toppings were expected and on par with 800-pizza, Urbano, Bussola, etc. As expected (and possibly even a little lacking given this is a Locatelli restaurant, and thus I would expect it to blow the socks off the competitors. But rather it’s on par.)

The sauce again was really nice. Very fresh. I could really taste the acidity of the tomatoes. Now my friend on Friday wasn’t as much of a fan because of the acidity / tanginess… but I loved it because I love when you can taste the ingredients, especially when they are good. I really did enjoy the sauce.

Of the three pizzas I tasted… I liked them all. They were really good. We tried: a pepperoni pizza, a bufala pizza (raw cherry tomatoes and raw buffalo mozzarella) and a melty buffalo mozzarella pizza. The desserts were also nice.

The restaurant itself was warm and inviting. On Friday we went to lunch with a little devil… erm I mean five year old (actually he’s not that bad!) and they had placemats he could draw on which was nice. It’s great that he was catered for. Also the open pizza kitchen, with a chef twirling his “pies” is pretty cool to watch. The spectacle also inspired our little guest to decide he wants to be a cook (at least for 5 minutes!).

Over all, Ronda Locatelli on first try impressed me enough to go back again. The pizza crust may just be the best one in Dubai (for me at least) and the sauce is super fresh tasting. It’s definitely a nice place to head to for pizza. They have other non-pizza items on the menu but since I didn’t try, I can’t comment. Overall, I’ve already been back once and I would probably go again if the need for a nice pizza place comes up!


Atlantis Reviewed (part 3: Rostang)

Gotta say was not a major fan of Rostang. Now I’m probably being a little unfair to them because: 1. the sommelier (or maybe restaurant manager) gave me a seriously dirty look (lol) because I wasn’t particularly graceful picking up at my cheese (Tete de Moine), which by the way was suuuuper yummy. Ah well.And, the second reason: because I didn’t actually get to try much “food.”

Anyways: Rostang had laid out a lovely spread… lots of mini desserts, french onion soup, oysters, and a cheese board + wine.

I had the French Onion Soup and while it was a little sweet for me, it was authentic, and more impressively not “greasy” which a lot of French Onion Soups can be. Definitely gets points for authenticity of taste. The Oysters had a major scrum going so I avoided mainly because I know what good oysters taste like. Oysters have everything to do with quality of ingredient (rather than cooking), now the accompaniments do take skill… skill to balance flavours and skill to complement the oysters. From what I heard everyone who did have the oysters seemed pretty happy. The cheese board was nice but again that is about ingredients not kitchen skill (which I am sure is really high… but how am I to judge?! lol)

On to the desserts… I had two: the chocolate mousse and a blackberry something or the other (above)…. these two were llllluuuuuuvveeelyyy. Especially together. To the patissier: yum! Lovely display of different cakes… and again from the noises other people were making… they were all good.

Overall what I can say is they clearly have beautiful ingredients and very nice (plus beautiful) cakes. For a night of wine and cheese it would be nice, but being 26 (at least for a few more weeks!) I have to admit this isn’t a restaurant  I would go to myself. Maybe for a pastry breakfast… because their breads looked amazing. I’d also probably go back for cake…


Atlantis Reviewed (part 2: The Burger Joint)

The Burger Joint was the next place we visited and it couldn’t have been more different. We went from “fancy steakhouse” to super-casual diner. The place itself was small and cosy and the menu (left) was also pretty limited. Which I like. I love restaurants (diners?) that focus on a small menu and doing a few things right.

Atlantis being the sort-of all encompassing family resort that it is… it makes sense that you mix the uber-posh (Nobu and Ossiano — sadly did not get to visit 😦 ) and the more chilled… after all after a day of lazily lounging in my raft at Aquaventure I’m hardly going to want to get dressed up and eat somewhere nice. I’m guessing this is what that is for… the legions of families with little kids and visitors who have just visited Aquaventure, The Lost Chambers, or the dolphin park. And as a burger joint it’s good enough. I’ve recently had the good fortune of eating a few different burgers (mmmm) and the very best I had recently was at the Dubai Desert Palm hotel. Okay so it was a grownup and posh burger but it was also really really good. Of the kind of burgers that don’t cost 100 dirhams… I usually eat at GBK (which is lovely) and I recently tried Burger Fuel (also lovely). I’d like to try Shake Shack… but that’s not the point of this review: the point is… The Burger Joint is perfectly serviceable but not exactly memorable. Which is fine… it doesn’t have to be.

Due to the “scrum” of people and the very very small space… I have to admit I was a bit slack and only tried one burger. It was nice. The sauce was “tangy” and I think that is the grand sum of my experience. It was nice. I wouldn’t necessarily “kick it of bed” but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way for it either. The fries, which I think were triple-fried (or at least double) were also okay. There was a definite taste of oil over potato and I’d have liked more seasoning (i.e. salt — but I am also a salt fiend so maybe for others it was seasoned well). I’d pass on the fries but that is just me… other people in the group seemed to like them.

The one thing I did really enjoy about The Burger Joint was the tiled wall which people were invited to write on. I did. It was fun. lol. The decor was definitely cute. The Burgers were nice and the fries were ok. Of the two sips I had of a chocolate milkshake… that was lovely not too sweet and deliciously cold.

I think like I said above… as a restaurant catering to the various visitors that Atlantis receives it does well. Little kids will like it, bigger kids “tired” after a “hard day” of lying out in the sun will like it… because it is a nice burger but I wasn’t blown away by any means.

 


A break from the norm: Atlantis Reviewed (part 1: Seafire)

So usually when I blog it’s to post my own recipes BUT today (and only over a week later) I’m changing it up with a review of four different restaurants at Atlantis. Why? Well, because I was lucky enough to go on a safari (thanks Atlantis and Sally Prosser) of the following four restaurants:

Seafire

The Burger Joint

Rostang

Ronda Locatelli

Anyways… on to the reviews (my first ever! :-))

 Seafire was the first restaurant we visited and I have to say, for me, it was one of the more impressive restaurants and experiences. Putting it first raised expectations and I’m not sure that I wouldn’t have left it for the last. But anyways. At Seafire, I got to taste the following: beef tartare, beef carpaccio, JD marinated short ribs, and three types of steak: ribeye, striploin, and fillet.

The tartare for me was too big. I had to eat it in two bites and because the quail’s egg was poached very cleverly at a low temperature for quite some time… the shape looked cooked but it was indeed very very runny which means I ended up literally with yolk all over my face. I think if it had been a little smaller I would have enjoyed it more, but given I’m not a huge fan of raw beef or egg yolk, it was better than expected.

The beef carpaccio on the other hand… I really liked. I think the crouton was a little too overpowering but the “crunch” was a really nice contrast in my mouth to the silkiness of the beef. Again, I wish the crouton had been smaller so that the beef and herbs were able to come across a bit more. It was yummy though and I could easily easily have had another one. Which again, not being the biggest fan of raw beef is an indication of both the quality of the beef and the accompanying taste.

The ribs… okay these were amazing. The softest, most tender ribs I have had in Dubai bar none. Really truly melty. I can’t really say anymore other than I would happily have had more and more.

The steaks. This is what Seafire is about, after all it IS a steakhouse, and they did not fail to impress either. Atlantis goes through a lot of effort to source very high quality beef. Their chefs and manager did explain the full process but I was too busy taking photos and eating the food to pay much attention. However, whatever they are doing, is working because each different cut tasted unique and tasted goooooood. The rib-eye was my favourite. Perfectly cooked, with a very flavorful “crust” and no need for any marinading at all due to the quality of the beef. The striploin had melty and salty fat, which was nice but it was my least favourite, and the fillet was really tender. I like the clear amount of respect they were showing the meat and I liked how I could taste the differences in each cut. The rib-eye was really really good and overall I would say Seafire would be a really nice place to go and have a steak. Especially because the atmosphere and interior of the restaurant are also really pretty. Very soft and romantic, but still with an edge. My favourites design wise have to be the: wine cellar, the “open” kitchen where you can see the chefs at work and the flames running up to the ceiling, and the huge random tree  stump they have in their lobby! lol.

The few dishes I tried at Seafire were enough to make me think I’d like to go again.. which I guess means in restaurant reviewer terms that I really enjoyed it!