Iris - Dubai
In a city that boasts as majestic a skyline – or skylines, to be more precise – as Dubai, it’s not hard to find a place with a decent view. Iris, on the 27th floor of The Oberoi Dubai, though, has such a prime location that catching the sunset here might just be as appealing as the drinks, food and music on offer.
It has perhaps become defined as an after-work place, which is hardly surprising considering its Business Bay home, and the clientele is generally elegant and difficult to please – which is a reasonable barometer for the Iris’ consistent appeal. The ambience is set by lounge music ripplingover the outdoor venue during the sunset hours before it then progresses to a live jazz band or, at the weekend, a DJ, who will keep the mood sustained until its 2am closing time.
There’s a chance you won’t be here for the food but menu, while not particularly extensive, has a bias towards salads, light bites and what the establishment calls “The Easy to Eat”, and it’s certainly appropriate for a lounge-style eatery. The burgers, though, are juicy and succulent and the seafood prepared with sufficient skill to be more than bar food.
There are, though, some genuine highlights, such as Rock Prawn Tempura, the Seared Bluefin Tuna, the Angus Truffle Burger or the Scottish Salmon Tartare. As you’d expect from The Oberoi, there is a genuine focus on quality – even in a casual eatery.
The star attraction, though, is the venue itself. Enclosed in glass on all sides as well as the roof, there is an al fresco feeling despite still being in a room. And as Dubai’s lights start to fill the horizon under a darkening evening sky while the lit-up Burj Khalifa forms a brilliantly shiny backdrop, Iris does seem to be a great place to while the evening away with friends or a loved one as you sip on a Naranja Spritzer, a Drunken Flower or any of the other signature cocktails.
Three dishes to try:
Marinated Angus Medallion: Served with sautéed Bok Choy and Miso, the juliennes of prime beef are evenly done to the core and served in a creamy yet aromatic mushroom sauce. The accompaniments go brilliantly with the light tang of the sauce while the marinade infuses the meat with a piquant flavour.
Shrimp Canneloni: The tubes of pasta are stuffed with the freshest of shrimps, lightly tossed in a sauce that surprisingly uses avocados as a base. The contrast, though unusual, is rather pleasing to the palate.
Grilled Basil Crusted Scottish Salmon: A mandarin oil-based sauce is drizzled over the fish, which has its natural flavours sealed in over a light grill. Served on a bed of crushed potatoes, the aroma and mild tang of the sauce perfectly complements the succulent North Sea salmon.