Having been to the absolute treat that was Coya, I made plans to return to the Four Seasons resort over the weekend. While first stopping into Hendrick’s for a pre-dinner cocktail (an option I would definitely recommend — they had me at ‘build your own Gin & Tonic’ — so many options!), we finished our bespoke drinks and walked down the grand lobby staircase to the beach level.
Escorted to a golf cart (on a nicer night we would’ve been happy to walk), Sea Fu is clearly designed to take the best of the resort, namely views of the Arabian Gulf (now partially involving that ultimate standard of the Dubai skyline, construction). With high ceilings and lots of glass, you get the feeling of an almost Balinese style experience.
Just me? OK cool. For those interested, there is an outdoor bar (which was a bit too warm for our visit, but should you come back in cooler weather, has its own menu).
Although I thought the layout of the menu was a bit strange (starting with rolls, sushi, and raw bites rather than starters), I don’t believe there is any ‘wrong’ way to attack the menu. The design seems to be very much an order at your own pace, which is exactly what we did (and what I would recommend). Simply put, come hungry and ready for seafood (in a variety of preparations).
We started the night with a recommended roll, the Volcano, and were certainly not disappointed. With the perfect amount of creamy ‘volcano sauce’ and a crispy finish, this is a roll I would happily have consumed on my own. If the roll itself had been 20% bigger, I also wouldn’t have minded.
Next, we went to the ‘Nawa’ or ‘raw’ portion of the menu, in which we ordered Akami Tuna Carpaccio. From the ‘starters’ category, we opted for Gurma Ebi Prawn, Crispy Soft Shelled Crab (not pictured) and, just for Hubs, a half portion of Oysters. The presentation of the prawns was stunning, and while I liked the sour bite of the daikon, Hubs was not as impressed. We both enjoyed the carpaccio (which offered equally beautiful plating), but for the size, I’m not sure it is worth AED95. If I had any note for either of these dishes, it would be that while we were able to share a few bites, these are certainly not meant to be for any more than two diners. The soft shelled crabs took Hubs back to his days growing up in Savannah, but I wouldn’t say they were a particular hit for me. If anything, I thought the accompanying black pepper honey sauce was the real star of the dish. I can’t speak to the oysters, but I did have a taste of the sauce, which was a simple, but quite memorable orange ponzu vinaigrette.
For the mains, we debated (I was originally interested in a tofu gnocchi dish), but ultimately decided to test Sea Fu’s take on Seared Black Cod. Our second main was the Lobster Wonton. We ordered Komatsuma Spinach and, with assurance from our server that it was quite good, Seaweed mashed potatoes as our side dishes.
For all the hype black cod gets, I do have to put Sea Fu’s offering near the very top of the list. Marinated for 24 hours, this Dubai classic easily gets the job done. Having had black cod at probably ten different restaurants in the city, Sea Fu’s places in the top three. The taste was sublime, and the texture of the fish was just shy of melting in your mouth. Unfortunately, my lobster dish didn’t particularly deliver as advertised.
While the server arrived with what looked like lobster ravioli (completed with foam, a blend of lemongrass and coconut), he then added a rich broth to the bowl. While all of this sounds nice on paper, in reality, the lobster in the dish was none of the parts I actually like about lobster. Rather than the sweetness I usually think of with this protein, it was rather fishy. I thought the wonton/ravioli didn’t add much in the way of texture, and honestly, would have just preferred a lobster risotto instead.
As for the sides, we both thought the spinach to be quite one note (to the point it was almost bland) and of all things, difficult to cut/eat (!). Fortunately, the seaweed mashed potatoes saved the day. While it was a bit strange to have a starch with all the seafood (not the usual combination), in reality they were absolutely delicious! While I can’t say the seaweed flavor was particularly strong, the creamy blend of the potatoes was spot on, and I would definitely order them again.
While we didn’t really have room for dessert, we decided why not? The Caramel (one of the signature dishes) is a treat within itself. If you like a little razzle dazzle in your sweets, this pudding delivers. With banana, cashew nuts, dacquoise sponge, salted caramel sauce, passion fruit mango sorbet, and Sichuan pepper, there’s a lot going on. While I found the mango sorbet a bit unnecessary (the tartness of the fruit was in direct competition with the flavors of the caramel), this is a ‘wow’ dish that is fun to look at and even better to taste.
The price for the meal would’ve been upwards of AED500 per person, which I think is a bit high (even for Dubai standards). A look at the Entertainer app shows that there is a Buy 1, Get 1 free offer in the Fine Dining guide, which I think would help offset things by a touch. Or, you could plan on stopping by the bar for just a drink or two. I believe there is also a brunch or special weekend offer. However, if you’re ready to flash some cash, this is a location for a special night out. With so much of the menu left to try, I’ll have to figure out some fancy occasion soon. 🙂