Believe it or not, I’ve not made it back to Citywalk since my trip to Lima earlier in the year.
For a long overdue lunch with a friend, I decided to reach out to Demoiselle by Galvin (which had been on my ‘to dine’ list since before Ramadan). I then managed to park in the correct place (!), take the right elevator, and then promptly turn right when I should’ve gone left and completed an entire circle around Citywalk. Go me!
Fortunately, the service at Demoiselle quickly made me forget all about the heat and my innate misdirection. Like a sophisticated interior out of the Beverly Hills Hotel, I was immediately charmed by the green and white palate, complete with marble and gold accents. The interior is not restricted to one level, and, should you care to, there is an upper floor, reservable for meetings, parties, or afternoon tea. There is also a pastry counter, where, it was assured to me, that everything is made in house.
After a review of the menu, I decide that it’s Thursday, and therefore, what diet? To start, we order the Hot croquettes of Comté cheese with pickled walnut dressing (AED36). Is each croquette worth AED12? Well, that might be a bit of a stretch. While they are wonderfully gooey and crispy, the accompanying sauce does not add much. Carb happy as I want to be, I also opt for the Crispy Flatbread with smoked beef pancetta and creme fraiche (AED45), which is perfect for two people. This lighter version of a pizza would be delightful for sharing after a morning of shopping. Finally, because of course, I order the Steak tartare à la Maison (AED56). As we are all aware of my affinity for all things not completely cooked, I must admit that I’ve not had the ‘a la Maison’ version of tartare all that often (and therefore, am not even sure if my interpretation is correct). While I applaud the use of egg (all about that creamy, luxurious layer), I’m still on the fence about how much I liked the inclusion of capers and other tangy elements. I guess I’ll have to go back and order another plate…just to make sure. 😉
For main courses, my dining partner and I went back and forth over the options, before I decided on lighter fare, but surprisingly robust, Walnut, apple, celery & Roquefort cheese salad (AED54). Across the table, my friend opted for the Risotto of goat cheese, smoked tomato & basil (AED88). My salad was everything I wanted — crunchy, tart, sweet, and the right blend of dressing and bits of cheese. Even after my spin class in the morning, I found it quite filling. The risotto lived up to standards, although was perhaps a bit heavy for the middle of summer. My dining partner tried her best, but didn’t come close to finishing.
To finish the meal, we are (quite easily) talked into splitting the Galvin apple tarte Tatin, Normandy crème fraîche (AED38), a signature dessert at the venue. Not overly sweet and priced perfectly, this is one to share. I particularly loved the caramel sauce. Much like every dish we ordered, there was an excellent element of restraint across saucing, plating, and balance.
Would I go back? Although there are still many cafes to explore in the area, Demoiselle delivers on food and service. I’m also excited to see what the nearby main Galvin restaurant (located near Lima) will achieve when they open nearby later in the fall.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Citywalk?
A to Za’atar was a guest of Demoiselle by Galvin. Opinions are my own, just ask my husband.