It’s been awhile since I made my way to the Four Seasons Jumeirah (still one of my favorite properties in the city), but I was delighted to be invited to taste the upcoming new menu at Jean-Georges Kitchen. Walking downstairs, I loved the romantic lighting on the outdoor patio (a bit of a different vibe from the seating at upstairs Coya). The interior is also tastefully modern but did not particularly wow me in any capacity (other venues do this style a bit better — Quattro Passi and Roberto’s both come to mind). I did, however, enjoy the live music, played at a volume where everyone could still understand each other (I’m old!). Service was a highlight here, although the wait staff seemed to be in a race to get us through the menu as fast as possible (such that we had to ask to hold both the mains and desserts back).
As with many fine dining establishments, a trend towards changing the menu in a seasonal pattern is the norm, and the Jean-Georges Kitchen in Dubai is no different. As we were mainly previewing the new options, my dining partner and I were first given the outgoing menus to review (plenty of interesting plates), before we were presented a series of the next dishes.
For our starters, we received smoked octopus, carrot and avocado salad, and a Foie gras dish (with black olive seasoning and lychee). As I am probably the world’s smallest fan of Foie gras, in the interest of trying everything, I did sample it and confirmed that I still do not like the texture or taste. I also thought the dish was a bit, er, busy for my liking. As a fan of more composed dishes, I found the plating too unnecessarily complicated (my dining partner — a fan of foie — assured me the introduction of the lychee was a welcome surprise and overall the taste of the dish was nice). Moving on, the salad easily let the vegetables shine, and the addition of beetroot and Creme Fraiche were great additions. Not to mention, I’m always happy to see food that is vegetarian-friendly. Finally, my overall favorite dish of the evening was the octopus. Served with a brilliant aioli (smoked paprika FTW), the protein was perfectly tender, and the tiny crunchy croutons added just the right amount of texture. This plate had the most depth of flavor, as it finished with a hint of lemon, providing a note of acid to cut through the fat of the rest of the dish. Of the above, I would definitely order the octopus again.
I don’t have any of the specific prices for what we sampled, but a look at the previous menu appear to be about what you would expect at an establishment of this nature (that is, slightly overpriced, but not too outrageous, at least for Dubai standards). For our mains, we received a white fish (sorry gang, still waiting on the menu for the exact variety) and Short Ribs. The white fish, unfortunately, was completely one note, with no depth whatsoever. Although the garlic mash was a nice touch and the fish was cooked brilliantly, there was a definite lack of flavor, and I wouldn’t order it again. Fortunately, the short ribs (complete with weirdly phallic mashed potatoes) were equal parts tender, sweet, and savory. The addition of the potato sticks and crunchy pea pods were quite welcome on a plate full of food that required little to no chewing. Given the size of the portion, it was easily split between two people.
And without much prompting, we had a look at the dessert menu. Twist our arms, we were happy to say yes. I’m delighted to announce that the Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae is currently on my very short list for favorite desserts in Dubai. Full stop. It has everything you could want — popcorn, luscious ice cream, and delicious chocolate sauce. Get it to split (but then keep most of it for yourself). The Strawberry Pavlova was pretty enough — I loved the freshness of the berries, however, the pavlova itself was quite chewy and a bit difficult to eat.
Would I go back? Don’t get me wrong, the food is perfectly lovely, and the venue hits all the marks, I just believe between the three properties I’ve visited at the Four Seasons that all things considered, Coya is the best option (food, vibe, interior, etc). I think this could also be because I don’t consider myself in the right demographic for Jean-Georges Kitchen. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Still, it would be a perfect place to start an evening — the patio is certainly a romantic place to have a drink.
Have you visited any of the Jean-Georges properties around the world?