Pulling myself out of a week long funk, I decided to treat myself to lunch on Thursday afternoon. In my never ending list of restaurants to try in Dubai, I had three contenders, and no, don’t ask, because I won’t reveal the other two (mostly, because I hope to make it to the other venues in the coming weeks). Pulling up to the tiny (!) Four Seasons valet area, I hopped out and took the lift up to the second (?) lobby, to walk through the hotel, hang a right and find the golden entrance of Laluz. Which, if I’m translating (sort of) correctly, is a play on ‘the light.’
What was I in for?
Presenting distinctive and innovative Mediterranean cuisine in an exclusive and upscale setting, LALUZ Restaurant, at the Four Seasons Hotel in DIFC, is set to excite the imaginations and palates of Dubai fine dining aficianados.
Created by Grupo Tragaluz it is lavishly appointed, with a sophisticated and urbane ambience, LALUZ which sprawls over an expansive 10,000 sq ft area, with separate lounge, bar and dining areas, is one of the city’s largest upscale restaurant and lounges.
When asked if I would like to dine in the lounge or the dining room, I opted for the lounge (immediately off to the right, just down from the chic bar). As usual, I thought patrons would not appreciate me leaning in strange angles attempting to get decent food photography. A note to those with more sensitive noses, the lounge is NOT smoke-free, so be prepared for other diners lighting up.
The hostess asked for my business card, which I was happy to share and even more delighted when the manager Albert came to personally greet me. It wasn’t being a food blogger that got me additional attention; I saw Albert and the entire staff taking equal care of everyone (in a very genuine manner — always appreciated).
The business menu (priced at AED130) is what got me out of the house and I quickly made my selections: patatas bravas, salmon tartare (with guacamole), piquillo peppers and churros with a chocolate dipping sauce
like I was going to order anything but fried bread and chocolate. To drink, everyone’s favorite overpriced beverage, Voss water, and a Green Fairy cocktail (I was trying to cheer myself up, after all). As a bonus from the generous Albert, I was able to try the house special, spherical olives.
The drink arrived first and did not disappoint. It was sweet and refreshing — everything you want on a hot summer day. Priced at AED65, I could (in no uncertain circumstances) see a few of these disappearing quite quickly. Shortly after, the ‘olive’ was delivered. Blended out of olives, but having a much softer consistency, this unique gastronomic treat disappeared in a flash. I love when creativity pays off and this dish delivered the perfect punch of olive flavor. At AED7 per olive, well…probably one try would be enough.
My starters arrived together. The salmon tartare was not only beautifully plated, but included my two favorite ingredients on planet Earth. I thought the fried plantain was nice enough, but other than a bit of crunch, didn’t do anything specifically for the dish. Overall, my love of salmon and avocado won the day, and I would happily order this appetizer again.
While I first considered the serving of patatas bravas (I can’t help but think of them as ‘brave potatoes’
no, my Spanish is better than that, I promise) to be a bit small, in the context of the entire meal, it was the perfect sized portion. While I am by no means an expert on this dish, I immediately want to compare this plate to experiences in Barcelona and while the accompanying sauce had a nice sweet burn, I wanted the potatoes to be just a touch crispier. (Please feel free to correct me if this is the traditional preparation).
Because I did not have my trusty dining companion with me, I neglected to take a photo of the menu, and therefore did not get the full name of my main dish. I will simply tell you my main was a traditional Spanish dish consisting of stuffed peppers, smothered in a creamy tomato sauce and stuffed with cheese. The filling of the peppers (in this case) was a siphoned cheese and finely chopped fish mixture. It was heavenly and quite filling, not too salty and the perfect temperature. As a note, I suggested that the plate could use a touch of texture (perhaps toasted pine nuts or almonds?), but according to Albert, this is the chef’s preference of preparation, so I’ll defer to him.
For the dessert, I’m sure I don’t have to say much more than the churro was delicious, the chocolate divine and the serving size perfect. 10/10 would order again. I’m not sure why people would even look at the other sweets on the menu. #justsayingThe bill (with cocktail and water and ‘DIFC tax’) totaled at AED225, which I think is spot on for the level of service and quality of dishes.
I have no problem recommending this restaurant as a lunch venue and am very tempted to come back and experience more of the menu for dinner. Laluz also offers a number of weekly specials, which is going to make it super easy to return.