Room for another Dubai steakhouse? The Rib Room at Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Dubai; Jumeirah Emirates Towers has relaunched its steakhouse restaurant yet again; now by the name of The Rib Room. Quite cleverly, the hotel’s Agency wine bar has relocated right next door which am sure helps pull in the punters.
Mustard satin seating, mahogany walls and a glass bottled centerpiece make for a slick, masculine feel. Gotta love a restaurant with plenty of banquettes, and The Rib Room has eight to be precise; perfect seating for our small group. Pretty buzzy for a mid-week dinner during Ramadan – but perhaps dimming the lights a tad will add to the atmosphere.
With Venezuelan lady Ana Maria Gasperi as head chef, who moved across from sister restaurant, Al Qasr’s MJ steakhouse, FooDiva’s culinary expectations were set high. Ribs, steaks and all things beef-like aside, the menu tempts with its diversity; plenty of fish and shellfish, chicken, lamb, veggie main courses, soups, salads and oh so many appetisers. Where does FooDiva start?
The traditionalist in me called for the prawn cocktail, which arrived as a timbale layered with prawns and sliced avocado doused in Marie Rose sauce (a rather scrumptious blend of mayo and ketchup harking back to the 70’s) on a slice of rye bread. Whilst the prawns were juicy, the avocados were a tad unripe. Personally I would have preferred the ingredients served in a coupe or cocktail glass, without the rye holding it together. The Australian Blue mussels meuniere and a foie gras duo (pan fried and terrine) were popular choices at our table.
The Rib Room imports its steak from Australia, US and Canada. I opted for the Australian Wagyu Stockyard cattle in a 200gm rib eye; the fattiest yet tastiest part of the cow, as my father has always preached. And I must admit, this cut was a beauty; not too thick, with the fat evenly spread thanks to being wagyu. And it was indeed served rare as confirmed by the potato crisp. A slither of butter was all it required, even though the menu comes armed with plenty of sauce options. I was tempted by the side order dish of tempura wasabi fries; basically French fries fried in a wasabi infused tempura batter. Could fries get any more unhealthy? So unbelievably moreish and hands down the table’s favourite dish of the night. The usual side order suspects of French beans, broccoli, and grilled asparagus, whilst not very innovative, were fresh and al dente. The cream crab sauce with a friend’s grilled dover sole main was too overpowering a choice; but you do have plenty of options for accompanying meat and fish sauces.
What better way to end the evening than by sharing a very appealing cheese platter from The Rib Room’s menu, but in the Agency, which the staff were more than happy to accommodate. You have a choice of five out of eight sheep, goat and cow artisanal cheeses from Italy, France, Spain and the UK, and good chunks too, including my favourite, a Colston Basset Stilton.
Whilst the waiters were obliging and smiley, they lacked authority that comes with a deep understanding of the menu, good command of the English language, and of course the proverbial training.
Dinner for two including wine and water AED 1,080. To-be-expected prices from a five star hotel establishment. I do think this reincarnation has the utmost potential, but to compete with Dubai’s multitude of steakhouses, Jumeirah’s included, The Rib Room, please focus on streamlining the service so we can really see value for money. Here’s to a three out of five FooDiva knife rating.
So tell me, do you have a Rib Room dining experience to share? Do you think it competes with Dubai’s other steakhouses?