Sitting in the shadows of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Opera – the hottest entertainment venue in town – now has the restaurant it deserves, Sean Connolly @ Dubai Opera.
Sean has jetted into town after setting the foodie scenes in Australia and New Zealand on FIRE with his gastronomic delights. Originally from the UK (he’s a Yorkshire lad in fact – the clue is in the accent), he has now opened in the glorious setting on the top floor of the Dubai Opera, in the world famous Downtown Dubai. After a swift valet, we hopped into the elevator and arrived to a warm welcome from the hostess. With a classy open plan layout, centered around a main bar in the middle, seafood counter at one end (we will be back for Oyster night) and open kitchen at the other – the neutral colours and modern furniture complemented the sleek setting. Whilst we opted for inside seats, the real crown jewel is the outside area, which provides framed views of the Burj reaching high into the sky – along with DJ Decks – we’re warned in winter this is also a place to party.
Being a Saturday, we tried their ‘Saturday Sesh’, which in short is a brunch – served from 12pm to 4pm. For those looking for a relaxing lunch accompanied by wine, beer and a selection of cocktails – then Retox is the one for you! Those feeling a little sorry for themselves from antics the night before (I’ll admit, I was in that category) can hit up the Detox package (and of course we all know that alcohol is never allowed in a detox).
After deciding what we were (in my case ‘Ginger Beer’) and weren’t drinking (‘Bloody Mary’, unlike my compadres), the food started arriving in an orderly fashion. Starters, then mains, then pud – with sharing the name of the game! A selection of house breads arrived with ricotta, honey and pine nuts – a lethally delicious combination – whilst other highlights from the starters included Green Pea Guacamole, served in lettuce boats and Lobster Rolls with creme fraiche, chives, salmon and caviar (so fwancy!). As great as they were, the show stopper was the Sashimi Fish Salad with chilli mayo and gem leaves (in fact, so good we reordered… TWICE).
Food arrived at a relaxing pace (who stresses on a Saturday?) and main courses followed in the form of juicy Lamb Chops, cooked to perfection and sensational Wagyu sliders, accompanied by the DUCK FAT chips – oh my word – in heaven! I must reserve special praise for the wood fired pizza, which was topped with the tastiest mushrooms.
Those with a sweet tooth will not be disappointed by dessert which offer some real classics. First up was Chocolate & Orange tart with creme fraiche (who doesn’t love that divine mix?), however the real hero of the day was the Beetroot & Raspberry Eton Mess, which was created by the waitress (a work of art infact) at our table – after 5 minutes it was devoured and there was no trace of any mess – whatsoever.
The staff were attentive throughout and we felt relaxed from start to finish, whilst soothing tunes were articulated superbly by the resident singer – he does requests too! All in all a cracking afternoon and we are certainly converts to this Saturday brunch malarky, if only we could control ourselves as well on a Friday🙂