Pescatarians, vegetarians, vegans – look away now. Beefbar, it may not surprise you to learn, is one for the carnivores. This new DIFC restaurant is all about the meat. Mostly from the humble the cow.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the restaurant is its entrance, which sees customers greeted by a huge glass cabinet, filled with assorted hanging cuts of meat. It looks part abattoir, part Lady Gaga wardrobe – but strangely appealing.
Beefbar is the brainchild of F1 supremo Flavio Briatore, the former team principal of Benetton and Renault. He opened the original in Monte Carlo and Beefbar Dubai is equally glamorous – an upmarket establishment with lots of marble surfaces and more than a few splashes of gold.
We start with the trio of steak tartare. Three small, finely diced blocks are seasoned with salt to give an unadulterated glimpse at the different breeds. The Black Angus and veal are delicious, but the Kobe is king – living up to its billing as beef’s best in class. A portion of fries is a surprising, but welcome, accompaniment – though much willpower is required to not polish them off.
The 'Dubai street food' starters are also a nice localised touch, with options like Kobe shawarma and hummus with minced Kobe. The Kobe kefta (because who doesn’t love degustation alliteration) are a particular highlight, and are a blend of Kobe and Black Angus, the meatballs are lightly spiced and incredibly juicy – offering a decadent version of the Middle Eastern staple.
Many people wince at the prospect of eating veal but we reassure ourselves that it’s “young male” rather than “baby” cow and plough ahead with ordering it as a main course. Veal doesn’t pack the same flavours as beef but there is a delicious subtlety and smooth texture to our tenderloin.
For a slightly more familiar steak experience, the Tuscan Tagliata is an excellent option. Served with aged Parmesan and tomatoes, the Black Angus Beef, from Creekstone Farms in the U.S., is cut into perfect, pink slices and delivers a successful nod to owner Briatore’s Italian heritage.
To accompany the main courses there are 11 (ELEVEN!) types of mashed potato to choose from. We try the ‘jus de viande and sel’ (read: gravy and salt) which is ridiculously creamy, stopping just on the right side of the boundary between mash and puree.
There is no physical dessert menu at Beefbar but our waiter reels off a few options. The passion fruit soufflé is a bit of a damp squib as it’s raw in the middle, but the French toast is everything we hoped – soft and dripping in caramel sauce.
Beefbar is rather expensive, but you don’t have to be on Lewis Hamilton’s salary to enjoy it. For a meaty treat with quality produce and cooking to match, it may be time to try life in the fast lane.
Three dishes to try...
Why have one pile of beef tartare when you can have three.
Filetto di vitello
Veal isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this is one succulent tenderloin.
French toast with lashings of caramel sauce. Need we say more?
Where: Al Fattan Currency House
Contact: +971 4 352 2223, website