Rhodes W1

Rhodes W1

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Grosvenor House Dubai · Al Sufouh road, P O Box 118500, Dubai
Visit the Website +971 4 317 6000
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Area: Dubai Marina

Rhodes W1 is the new flagship restaurant at Grosvenor House hotel in Dubai, replacing favourite Rhodes Mezzanine. Mezzanine was such a long standing favourite of mine that W1 had a hard act to follow!

In a bold move away from fine dining, Rhodes W1 features classic British favourites. Expect hearty, wholesome dishes such as melting cheese and onion potato cake, braised beef faggots, welsh rarebit, dove sole, and shepherd’s pie with desserts including steamed jam roly-poly and apple and bramble pie. Of course Michelin starred chef Gary Rhodes, is renowned the world over for his tireless attention to detail so don’t expect the steak and kidney pudding to be like the one you get down the local pub back home! The shepherd’s pie takes two days to create with the shoulder of lamb being braised for eight hours, not quite the 45 minutes it would take you and I to throw some mince and mash together. These dishes have been cleverly designed to transport you back to your childhood but are presented with Rhodes usual finesse and sophisticated style.

The restaurant itself is yellow. Yellow and white really. But yellow was the lasting impression we got. Airy and fresh with light wooden tables, plenty of space, delicate butterfly chandeliers, grass walls and a small grassy terrace outside to enjoy a Pimms – so far so rural English summertime. We began with some delicious cocktails at the bar where a bowl of Quavers was quickly devoured (more yellow) – rather a nice change from a bowl of nuts and pretty English I suppose.

The culinary journey really began with crispy oysters which was like a kind of tempura oysters. Totally unique – and totally brilliant. Light and crispy and accompanied by bright green mushy peas and a fishy oyster gravy. The Montgomery’s potato cake was big enough to share. Heavy but heartwarming. Perhaps not the ideal dish for a summer’s day (of which we get plenty in Dubai!) but the melting farmhouse cheddar with fried onions and potatoes was so more-ish that it was quickly devoured.

For main the only vegetarian option was a rather disappointing goat’s cheese tart. So run-of-the-mill and unimaginative and exactly what us veggies have to suffer in so many restaurants. Bring back the Mezzanine of old with its extensive and modern vegetarian options. The tart was good – flaky pastry and accompanied by warm green veg with wild mushrooms. But it’s a goat’s cheese tart – what more can I say. The only two vegetarian starters were the cheesey potato cake and a tomato cake with goat’s cheese cream. So rather heavy on the cheese and goats cheese for vegetarians. But the slow roast belly of pork was a gift from the gods. Beneath the perfectly taut crackling and ribbons of melting fat was the moist and sweet meat. Accompanied by velvety fondant potatoes, cabbage and onions with Cashel blue cheese cream, gravy and a wonderfully chunky honey apple sauce. This is definitely the kind of dish that makes you want to go back again and again.

For pudding we found what is possibly the best ever baked egg custard tart ever made. Sweet and light and so incredibly more-ish and just indescribably good. The After-Eight slice also proved irresistible and tasted – surprise surprise, exactly like an After Eight. There’s a reason After Eights are the size they are – this was a large slice and too sickly for me. A mere mouthful or two was enough – but my husband proved that it was just a boy sized portion and polished it off in no time. Just when we thought we were finished and waiting for the bill, out came a plate of freshly made lemon drizzle cakes and chocolates. Delicious as they were, we simply didn’t have room – and although Mezzanine used to serve Scones with clotted cream at the end of the meal, I’m still not convinced that a classic high-tea dish has a place at the end of a full English meal. Certainly most diners seemed too full to devour these niceties which is rather a shame. The prices were surprisingly reasonable, more so than Mezzanine, and although it won’t leave your wallet without a small dent, you certainly won’t be eating beans on toast for the next four weeks to pay for it as long as you go easy on the wine list.

Without doubt, one of the best meals to be found in Dubai.

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British
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