To Stay or not to Stay…
Dubai; With a three-star Michelin chef at the helm (all-be-it all the way from Paris), Stay by Yannick Alléno at the One & Only The Palm Jumeirah Dubai was high on FooDiva’s wish list. So with a 7pm booking on a Tuesday night (word of warning they have two seatings 7 and 9pm), friend and I were ushered to our banquette table. Needless to say at that time, we were the only guests in the restaurant, but I am glad to report that a few more joined as the evening progressed. Decor impresses with high timber walls, vaulted ceilings and stunning black crystal chandeliers. For those not in the know, and believe me FooDiva included, Yannick Alléno is the French head chef at Paris’ famed Le Meurice hotel and restaurant.
Anyhow, more importantly how did the food fare? We were served an amuse bouche of potato and leek soup – beautifully creamy with a hint of lemon and egg – as my friend reminded me, a tad reminiscent of a traditional Greek avgolemono (egg and lemon) soup! Believe me both are delicious. Starter was duck foie gras with beetroot jelly, served with mini toasted brioche and garnished with baby gold leaves – spectacular to look at. Fois gras was exceptionally buttery – a good sign, but having quickly polished the four teeny portions of brioche, I was left to finish the remaining fois gras on its own. Stay, please serve more!
I opted for poached wild sea bass as my main with baby potatoes. The filleted fish was exceptionally melt-in-your-mouth, helped by the creamy lemon sauce. Nouvelle cuisine to the core, I could have definitely polished more than the three teeny potatoes. My friend’s black peppered wagyu beef fillet ‘Café de Paris’ style with pommes frites was deliciously tasty and tender she claimed. One thing’s for sure, the odd french fry went some way to mopping up my sauce.
The restaurant champions its so-called Pastry Library from the moment you walk in. One wall of the restaurant is completely dedicated to desserts, with the pastry chef finishing off the dishes in plain view. The Pimms chocolate and orange dessert caught our attention, and befittingly it resembled a huge jaffa cake. Given our love of chocolate (who doesn’t?), the waiter suggested a soft dark chocolate tart not on the menu. Brownie points there. With our expectations very high, both desserts unfortunately disappointed. The jaffa cake sponge could have been softer, and the tart would have benefitted from some hot ganache. Simply put, no ‘wow’ factor. A selection of numerous chocolate inspired and macaroon petit fours were served including our very own chocolate and nut lollipops – lovely touch.
What the desserts lacked, the staff made up for with exceptional service – from the moment we walked in, the waiters and sommelier were attentive, and more than happy to talk through the dishes and make recommendations. Price wise, as you will see below, it’s expensive. Would FooDiva return or stay I should say? If I was invited yes, but not out of choice – there are plenty of other excellent French restaurants in town to tickle my taste buds. Hence the 3 out of 5 star knife rating.
Stay by Yannick Alléno is open for dinner only. AED904 for two including a couple of glasses of vin rouge, and a bottle of Evian. Tel: +971 4 4404010.