The tables are stunningly decorated, and the chairs are inviting and comfortable. There is a real homely feel about the restaurant. The open plan kitchen provides diners with the chance to watch the chefs at work.
With successful restaurants in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore, David Myers is the latest acclaimed chef hoping to make an impact in Dubai. The 43-year-old American has taken on the huge task of opening three new concepts inside the Renaissance Downtown Hotel; a Neapolitan pizzeria named Basta, an intimate speakeasy called Poppy and the Southern French farmhouse-inspired Bleu Blanc.
Handed the chance to test out the last on the list, it has to be said that it is one of the most inviting restaurants I have visited in a long time. Greeted by huge wooden blue doors and a wall of home-grown herbs, the large space has been well designed with whitewashed walls and wooden beams.
The tables are stunningly decorated, and the chairs are inviting and comfortable. There is a real homely feel about the restaurant thanks to its large bookcases and worn-look rugs. The open plan kitchen also exudes heat thanks to the wood burning ovens and provides diners with the chance to watch the chefs at work.
When the menu arrives it is simple but substantial with courses split into bread, raw, starters, wood-fired, mains and vegetables. Thankfully the staff are well informed and with some input from head chef Alex Szkaradkiewicz were able to recommend a wide selection for us to sample.
Very quickly we were treated to some amuse bouche and each was wonderfully presented and simply plated. The heirloom tomato tart could be devoured in just a couple of bites and was rich and creamy thanks to the goat’s cheese. The sturia caviar flatbread was also bitesize but packed a punch thanks to the mix of crème fraiche and the saltiness of the ample serving of caviar.
Almost as soon as these dishes disappeared, a selection of starters arrived in the form of a kale salad with toasted walnut oil and a king crab beignet. While the kale was perfectly crunchy, it was the crab that grabbed the attention. The succulent crab was coated in a light yet crunchy pastry, enhanced thanks to the heat of the horseradish and a slightly spicy cocktail sauce. With three rather large portions it is perfect for sharing amongst a group.
“A beautifully crafted restaurant, excellent service, reasonable prices and flavourful dishes, Blue Blanc will provide stiff competition to Dubai’s most popular French restaurants.”
We then moved onto two signature dishes, the first of which helped David Myers earn his first Michelin star. A butter poached lobster risotto with kaffir lemon emulsion, the dish is perfectly balanced with the rich creamy risotto paired with the slight bite and saltiness of the lobster. This is an absolute must order for anyone visiting the restaurant and is well worth the $20 price tag.
The same could be said for the basil pesto ravioli which chef Alex informed us was his grandmother’s recipe. We immediately appreciated why this dish had been passed down through generations with the lemon zest and sundried tomatoes enhancing the pesto and making for a wonderfully light, flavourful and substantial starter.
Then it was time for the main course of lamb shoulder which was paired with radicchio and Beaufort cheese. The lamb had been slow cooked and simply fell off the bone with some gentle help of the fork. This paired beautifully with the celeriac remoulade, while the chicory had lost much of its bitter taste thanks to being lightly grilled. Once again it was a large portion and for $39 it was very good value.
Finally, despite our pleas of being well and truly full, we were treated to black forest gateau. Served in a huge bowl and then portioned off by the waiting staff, there was rich dark chocolate, juicy cherries and no short supply of very decadent truffles. A very hearty dessert it was a great way to round off an exceptional meal.
Ultimately, thanks to a beautifully crafted restaurant, excellent service, reasonable prices and a wide array of well balanced and flavourful dishes, Blue Blanc may well provide stiff competition to Dubai’s most popular French restaurants.
WORDS: ADRIAN BACK.
IMAGES: BLEU BLANC; FOOD AND TRAVEL.