La Residence at Raffles Hotel
It’s rare to walk into a modern restaurant and find long stemmed candles burning in gold candelabras. But La Residence, the newly opened restaurant in Raffles Dubai, is a throwback to the good old days. Dark wood, panelling, starched-white table cloths and art deco finishes hint at the retro cuisine found on the menu.
This is Frédéric Vardon’s first restaurant opening outside France, and he hasn’t done things by half. His Paris eatery, 39V, already has the Michelin stamp of approval, and judging by the attention detail at La Residence, he has similar standards for Dubai. Despite being fresh off the press, the place has atmosphere – much like the vintage surroundings it comes across as well-established and comfortable. Best of all for Frédéric, they’re already filling tables.
The French 1920s vibe is apparent in the menu, with dishes like duck foie gras, beef tartare and shellfish platters. With all these French culinary masterpieces, it’s surprising that the waiting staff highly recommend the macaroni cheese. This, however, is not the mac and cheese of American roadside diners, it’s a vintage compte with truffle ragout.
Disappointingly, much on the menu was unavailable, and specials sold out fast. Again, music to Frédéric’s ears, but slightly disappointing for diners. No doubt teething problems with a new restaurant that’s set to become a jewel in Dubai’s fine dining crow.
Soft-boiled egg with Royal Gold caviar
The colour and frothiness of this dish is strange, but it’s delicious. Each ingredient is a 101 in high-quality French cuisine.
Sea Bass ‘Grenobloise’
The sea bass is served with green and white Swiss chard and, although one of the simpler options on the menu, it’s no less appetising.
This classic French dessert is a raspberry and lime meringue with whipped crème. It’s so sweet you can almost feel the sugar rush, but it’s made with fruit so it’s basically a health food… right?!