Gary’s latest Dubai venture; Rhodes Twenty10
Dubai; Gary Rhodes’ latest addition to Dubai’s dining scene, Rhodes Twenty10, has been on my FooDiva wish list for a little while, so with a couple of avid family foodies in town (yes it runs in our blood) and a Saturday booking in tow, we descended on the Royal Meridien to see if the new venture lived up to our soaring expectations. First impressions are always telling they say, and one thing’s for sure the hotel desperately needs rejuvenating, made even more evident by the long trek to the Tower building where Rhodes Twenty10 sits. Anyhow once ensconced at our banquette table in the centre of the restaurant, we quickly forgot our initial trepidations.
The restaurant describes itself as ‘ a culinary grill with a twist, serving Euro-inspired cuisine infused with the elegance and flavour of Britain, France and Italy.’ Looking at the menu, it’s much simpler, a new take on a traditional steakhouse.
The concept is to share starters, whilst ordering your own main course, and dessert. So share and share alike we did on our ‘Lazy Susan’ centrepiece (just ban those cheesy Chinese dinner thoughts); warm sesame glazed duck with an orange and maple dressed salad, new potatoes, scallions and soft quails’ eggs with homemade salad cream, warm spicy aubergines with tomatoes, parsley and buttered spring onions. All three dishes impressed us with their light and flavoursome ingredients. We each picked a different favourite, with FooDiva’s, the new potatoes – firstly delightfully pretty to look at, and with plenty of quails eggs, you normally only get a couple thrown in. The salad cream really set off the taste of the other ingredients. One point though, the cutlery was too bulky, slipping away every time we turned the lazy Susan…
For mains, I shared a USDA Prime 16oz chateaubriand with king prawns, and our remaining dish was their signature, an 8oz fillet steak burger on roast confit potato with seared fois gras and a devilled sauce. We were assured there would be no burger bun in sight. Despite knowingly ordering a ‘surf and turf’ dish, the highlight by far was the three thick, tender and rare slices of beef accompanied by our choice of Cafe de Paris butter and also pepper sauce. The two king prawns were tough and frankly irrelevant to the dish – I would recommend Gary sticks to the chateaubriand only.
The burger meanwhile was certainly gourmet – I wish all restaurants would get rid of the buns. The dishes were served pre-plated, which works fine for the burger, but it would have been nice to see the chateaubriand carved at the table.
Our side dishes of thrice-cooked chunky chips were cooked to perfection, green beans al dente and the cauliflower cheese had the right mix of bechamel and cheese. The wine list is one of the largest I have seen in this country with something for all budgets…it took longer to select our wine than food.
For desserts we opted for baked chocolate and banana pudding with iced Irish cream and chocolate sauce, plus strawberries with lemon ice cream and homemade shortbread biscuits. Great to see a different take on the traditional chocolate fondant, with just the right mix of banana. The sliced strawberries were served separate to the juice so you could mix as much in as you’d like – with the lemon ice cream a good antidote. The shortbread whilst certainly homely, overcomplicated the dish.
We declined tea and coffee, but were still presented with petits fours in the shape of chocolate, and fruit and almond mini muffins – not quite the scones of his flagship Dubai restaurant Mezzanine, but a nice touch all the same. Service was excellent at all times with a very smiley accommodating waiter, whilst the restaurant manager took the time to talk us through some of the dishes. The restaurant was only half-full I would say, but it was a school night after all. There’s a pretty, intimate bar which makes for a lovely pre-dinner drink. We discovered at the end of the evening that Gary was in town for an ‘undercover’ visit – we begged to meet him but he was dining in the pizzeria, a favourite apparently!
Dinner per head was AED470 – with a little fine-tuning, the food is certainly worth every dirham. I would return, especially on a weekend when I’d hope it would be more buzzy – it’s just a shame I’d have to walk through the hotel lobby. Open dinner only (closed Monday’s).