If you’re a Marina dweller, heading over to the Palazzo Versace for anything from a spa day to an evening of live jazz might seem like a little bit of a mission. But whether you’re making the journey from the other side of Dubai or hopping over from DIFC, the trip is only made more worthy by Persian eatery Enigma. On our visit, we sit inside rather than overlooking the
Here Enigma echoes the opulent, somewhat regal spirit of the hotel but with a softer, more authentic Arabian feel. Spot the mosaic-tiled floor, patterned plush cushions and the brass vases and vessels decorating the restaurant.
On to the food, we order a selection of starters, which are catergorised into hot and cold dishes, yoghurt-based delights and mini coned dishes. It all soon arrives, including a chupan featuring watermelon, cress, candied olives, walnuts and home-made cheese, a selection of olives and pickles and the masto laboo dish of yogurt with a red beetroot cloud and cumin . But wait, there’s another surprise. What looks like a mini herb garden arrives, and it features fresh greens that serve as a palate cleanser. Adding to the theatrics that have already unfolded – we must have forgotten to mention the bread being served in a toaster – our waiter pours water over the sabzi khordan (as the greenery is titled). The dry ice effect goes into motion and we’re excited for what else is to come, especially given the ntriguing, impressive flavours so far.
For mains, we order the baby chicken and a veggie take on the khoresht karafs stew. The first is served with barberry (a spiny shrub) chutney, offering a sweet, almost caramelised poultry dish that’s been slowly cooked for eight hours. As for the traditional stew, the veggie alternative of large butter beans is infused with the same saffron, parsley and lime flavour. While each are different in texture and taste sensations, both are a delight. While it might not have been the first place that sprung to mind for an authentic yet quirky dining experience, dinner at Enigma is both without compromising on quality.
Three to try
The sweet elements to this salad make it an unusual combination. But it’s healthy, light and refreshing.
Not often is a small portion of chicken laboured over for such a long time, and the reward is sweet.
Whether you stick to the original lamb flavour or switch it out for the veggie option, this dish is a hearty favourite.
Where: Enigma, Palazzo Versace
Contact: +971 4 556 8830