What becomes abundantly clear as soon as you step foot in Asado, is how homely the place feels. The Palace Downtown’s Argentinean steakhouse oozes warmth with its gorgeous wooden interior and delectable chargrilled aromas lulling you into a state of relaxation. It’s no surprise, then, that Asado is the first name on everyone’s lips when discussing incredible steaks. You may not have been yet, but we’re almost certain you’ve heard someone sing its praises.
With expectations higher than the Burj Khalifa – of which Asado’s beautiful terrace offers unrestricted views – we can safely say it exceeds them. And then some.
We arrive during the day to sample the new Grape and Harvest lunch. The theme of this daytime offering is built around the rustic charms of a Latin American street food market. Think light and delicious bites that’ll satisfy your hunger, but give you enough energy to carry on with that Dubai Mall shopping spree.
Though many places simply claim to be able to deliver the Latin flavours, you’re in very safe hands here as Chef de Cuisine Josefinna Vallve expertly curates a menu packed with lip-smacking flavours and eye-catching presentation.
We head straight to the taco stations to indulge in the Tacos Al Pastor. With a choice of prawns or chicken, these soft tacos are lovingly prepared to order by a chef who’s manning the area. With just the right amount of meat tucked inside, the taco is then garnished with jalapenos, tomatoes and lettuce before being topped with sour cream and guacamole for a superb package. The temptation to simply stuff ourselves with these tacos filled with perfectly charred meat was almost too much, and would’ve made this article much shorter. Yes, they were that good.
Soldiering on, we also plumped for a variety of dishes that includes Coxinha de Frango (mashed potato and minced beef), an incredibly moreish minced chicken tamale that came wrapped like a gift in banana leaf and a pomegranate and quinoa salad that proved an impeccable side to all the meat. Three small separate dishes, yet all delivered with the care and attention of a main meal.
We’re drawn to the centrepiece of Asado next, an impressive barbecue pit situated in a glass chamber right in the middle of the restaurant. The smoky aromas coming from inside has us salivating. Chunks of goat are being cooked flawlessly at that moment, joining a selection of wonderfully charred BBQ fare that includes cuts of beef, lamb chops, veal ribs, king prawns and an incredible beef chorizo sausage that we’re still recalling over as we type.
Through all the meaty goodness, we almost – almost – forgot about the well-stocked cheese station. In a tight battle for our taste buds, a smoky soft cheese came out victorious here, and although we wanted to eat the lot, there were desserts to be had.
Sugary churros, Nutella-filled pancakes and chocolate tart that made a late charge for our favourite piece of the lunch, rounded off the meal extremely well.
When restaurants go off-piste in an attempt to draw in a new type of customer, the temptation to go with crowd-pleasing gimmicks can destroy a reputation. Thankfully, Asado has pitched its lunchtime menu with the same care, attention and deliciousness you’ve almost certainly heard of by now.
When: 12.30pm-3.30pm, Every Friday and Saturday
Where: Palace Downtown
Price: AED200 per person, food only, AED230 inclusive of unlimited soft beverages, AED350 inclusive of unlimited house grape and specialised beverages
Contact: 800 DINING, website