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REVIEW: Catch Dubai

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Catch is very American, in the best possible way. The first of these trendy restaurants opened in New York’s fashion forward Meatpacking District, where the young and the stylish hang out. Catch Dubai, in Fairmont Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, brings buckets of NYC personality to the desert.

The American staff are full of high fives, jokes and food recommendations (they really know their stuff). Best of all, though, is their ability to navigate their way around a smartphone – each time we’ve visited our waiter has taken snaps of the group, getting multiple angles to ensure we get the right shot for Instagram. It makes a change from the overexposed picture of half a head we get in many restaurants.This is the payoff that comes with having staff who are naturals at the job, rather than just being well trained.

The decor is very en vogue – the walls are brick making for a refurbished warehouse look, and the furniture could easily pass off as ‘upcycled’. This adds to the relaxed atmosphere. It’s fine-food for those who aren’t big fans of fine-dining.

It’s worth arriving at the restaurant before your reservation to make the most of cocktails in the lounge – one of their newer mixes is served inside a brass pineapple. Sometimes the cocktails take a while to come, but once your first has arrived the barstaff will make sure you don’t go thirsty.

As for the food, Catch has gained a bit of a reputation in the ShortList office. We’ve all been, and we all have our favourites. As with everything that professes to be either young or trendy these days, it’s a sharing concept. Being a seafood restaurant, there are plenty of sushi and sashimi options (we recommend the DXB roll, AED80) but those who prefer meat are also well taken care of. Wagyu on the rock (AED180) is served as strips of raw Wagu steak, with a hot slate to cook it on.

For us, the highlight of the mains was the whole roasted sea bass, served with turmeric silky potato and rocket (AED590). But where the American roots of the restaurant really shine through is the desserts. The dishes are massive (definitely to share) and very creative. Try the smores pizza – a sweet flatbread with chocolate and marshmallow on top (AED85), which is extremely sweet but worth every calorie.

Catch is the sort of place that you leave feeling as though you’ve had a night out. Relaxed yet vibrant, stylish without being pretentions, and definitely worth the hype, this is now one of our favourite restaurants in the city.

Open from 7pm, daily, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +971 04 357 1755, http://www.fairmont.com/dubai/dining/catch-dubai

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