Sublime cuisine and sumptuous elegance – Palazzo Versace Dubai offers an iconic dining experience
If you are looking for that somewhere special to enjoy a romantic meal, a sophisticated business lunch, the best breakfast in town or perhaps the cool vibes of a laid-back jazz club with that added touch of chic style then the neo-classical grace and palatial grandeur of Palazzo Versace is for you; not only a designer ambiance but gourmet cuisine too. Located in the heart of the Culture Village, less than 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport and a short ride from Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai, Palazzo Versace, the hotel is set amidst beautifully manicured grounds, palm trees and flowers; which enjoy unobstructed views of Dubai Creek and the Dubai skyline.
The hotel’s diverse collection of restaurants and bars each have a terrace for that quintessential al fresco experience; from an exquisite re-interpretation of Turkish cuisine in the intimate setting of Enigma and authentic Italian culinary offerings in the chic elegance of Vanitas to Mosaico, with its traditional hand-laid mosaic floor, at the heart of the lobby and the cool vibes from the showcased talents at music legend Quincy Jones’ “Q Bar”. And for those of you who enjoy your breakfast then Giardino is a must; probably one of the best breakfast buffets I have enjoyed in a very long time.
Vanitas – Italian chic
A worthy winner of the best Casual Chic restaurant at the 2017 Food and Travel GCC Awards, Vanitas merges authentic, rustic, and traditional Italian cuisine with the elegance and finesse of fine-dining. The veritable talents of chef Andrea Gaia and his brigade at Veritas have created a menu that takes you on a culinary voyage that stimulates your palate with exciting flavours and seductive aromas.
Our gastronomic journey started with Gamberi e Caponata; a medley of delicately cooked and diced green and yellow courgettes, aubergine, celery, and onion, served al dente, drizzled with a light olive oil dressing, topped with steamed and marinated prawns and then crowned with a mixed leaves salad dressed with more of the light olive oil dressing, it looked like a picture. The crunch of the Caponata salad and fresh leaves provided the perfect foil for the sweetness of the deliciously plump prawns; providing the ideal overture for our meal.
For the main event, we decided to follow the Italian classics and selected the Lasagna alla Bolognese, made with chef’s homemade Bolognese sauce and served with a Parmigiano fondue. Even before the beautiful designer Versace plate was placed before me, the rich beguiling complex aromas telegraphed something special. Never has a portion of Lasagna appeared so inviting, layers of pasta and Bolognese sitting in a creamy Parmigiano sauce, simply pleading for attention. Not only were the flavours sublime but the meat still retained its texture, the pasta was fresh and cooked to perfection, and the sauces were rich but not oily – a dish that elevated the humble Lasagna to gourmet heights.
To end this tribute to Italian cuisine we decided to stay with yet another classic and chose Tiramisu; the coffee-soaked sponge was a delight, the coffee flavour was strong yet not bitter or overpowering and the cream was rich without being heavy. A decadent dessert, that was beautifully-balanced – a rare treat.
A delightful meal, served in a beautiful setting by attentive staff; the attention detail was second-to-none; a must for any lover of authentic Italian food.
“Savour the epicurean delights and modern interpretation of Turkish cuisine at Enigma.”
Enigma – Turkish delight
Savour the epicurean delights and modern interpretation of Turkish cuisine from the creative skills of chef Yunus Aydin; whether you dine amidst the elegant décor of Enigma’s main dining salon or eat alfresco as you enjoy the beautiful views of the main pool and across Dubai Creek.
Not wanting to make the choice we decided to opt for the tasting menu and let Enigma’s renowned chef tempt our palates. The meal started with Morel Mushrooms, served with shaved white and green asparagus, and a Morel mushroom foam, the flavour of the mushroom shone through, with the asparagus adding just the right level of texture to a delightful dish. This was followed by Tutsulenmis Patlican Corbasi, a lightly smoked creamy Aubergine Soup, served with fresh thyme and goat cheese, that \ had just the right level of consistency without being too thick. Our next dish was a cold appetizer, Bodrum Mandalinali Karides, mandarin marinated Aegean shrimps, served with lemon cream, a delicious Parmesan crisp with basil seeds, and a delicate green apple sorbet. This was followed by one of the highlights of the evening, Ahtapot; 8 Hours cooked octopus, with citrus sauce and avocado cream; the dish was beautifully presented and the octopus was sweet and tender, and ideally complemented by the avocado cream. The first of the main dishes (and another star dish) was pulled beef-cheek, served over a barley risotto, with shavings of celeriac and baby carrot, the rich flavour of the tender beef combined dreamily with the barley as the enticing aromas drew our taste buds back for more. Next was Seabass Saslik, served with avocado, confit tomato, fennel, celery and a grape juice reduction. Upon my first bite, I wasn’t sure about this dish, but fresh sweetness of the grape reduction and firmness of the courgette added the necessary texture to be the perfect foil for the fish, won me over, and is certainly a dish I would order again. The third highlight of the menu was 7 Baharatli Kuzu Gerdan, 7 Spices Lamb Neck, cooked for 36 hours and served with fondant potatoes. The lamb was unctuous and packed with flavour, and melted in my mouth, the fondant potatoes were a delight, and the lamb jus brought the simple elements of the dish together – a treasure. To complete this journey of delicious culinary excess we had Visne, a freshly baked chocolate biscuit dome, that encased sour cherries, accompanied by a creamy almond ice cream that perfectly complemented the tartness of the cherries and sweetness of the chocolate.
The portions were the ideal size, not too small, but just enough, so that you could enjoy each course to the full without spoiling your appetite for the next treat, a masterpiece of flavours and texture and a truly outstanding reflection of chef Yunus and his talented kitchen brigade, matched equally by the exemplary service from the entire Enigma team.
Q’s Bar & Lounge
The intimate venue is home to music legend Quincy Jones’s first ever bar and features a fast-changing bill of incredible jazz stars selected by Quincy Jones. Enjoy the talents of your jazz pianist Justin Kauflin who is headlining at Q’s through to 28 October. Enjoy an evening of live music paired with rare beverages and the finest cigars.
Palazzo Versace offers a diverse selection of dining options from a stunning breakfast buffet and afternoon tea to fine dining Italian chic and gourmet Turkish delights; not only a culinary destination of some distinction but also exceptional value too.