Team shortlist20 Sep 2018 AT 11:07 AM

REVIEW: Intersect by Lexus

Gear up for a gimmick free dinner
Team shortlist20 Sep 2018 AT 11:07 AM
European, DIFC
European, DIFC

Remember that episode of Friends when Joey pretends to own a Porsche, dressing from head-to-toe in said company’s apparel? We feared that the Lexus equivalent may be found in DIFC – a tacky homage to the car manufacturer with staff in caps and racing jackets.Fortunately, Intersect by Lexus is heavy on tasteful design, not overt branding.

The automotive touches are there, but they are subtle. The leather on the seats is from Lexus (Lexii?) vehicles, there are tyre marks on the restaurant’s steps and, a little more obviously, there is a display of 1450 toy cars outside the washrooms. It is a concept that is clearly moving through the gears – Dubai was the second ‘Intersect by Lexus’ after Tokyo, and last month a third opened in New York City.

For a luxury car company, there is a surprising lack of pretension. The numerous bookcases and an open kitchen gives an impression more of someone’s home than a car showroom. The service is well-informed but relaxed.

The cuisine is distinctly Modern European, emphasising on organic ingredients. The handling of seafood is particularly impressive, with the Portuguese octopus cooked perfectly – soft and not at all chewy – and accompanied by a punchy Romesco sauce and heirloom tomatoes. The scallops follow suit, complemented well by a mellow, yellow pepper puree and pickled mushrooms. All courses are daintily presented but pleasingly it is a victory for both style and substance.

The seafood odyssey continues with Chilean sea bass, invitingly flaky and able to stand up to a sharp yuzu dressing and smoky onion puree. For those more keen on turf than surf, the short rib sees the chef put the brakes on to braise the beef; we can taste every one of those 36 hours of slow cooking as the meat just melts away.

Occupying a great spot in the DIFC Gate Village, Intersect is an obvious choice for relaxed business breakfasts and lunches but perhaps less so for an evening meal. A little quiet on the Thursday night we visit, though some summer slack should be cut.

Still, the concept is a welcome one – big on design but low on formality and with food that can match some of DIFC’s more high-brow eateries.

Intersect by Lexus
Where: DIFC Gate Village
Contact: +9714 355 9524, website