Cavalli Club Restaurant & Lounge
Roberto Cavalli is not a man famed for his minimalist aesthetic preferences. If it’s animal skin, crystal studded and neon lit with golden tassels, however, it’s right up his street. So, it will come as no surprise that the same goes for his feelings about food. If it doesn’t inspire the Italian designer’s finely attuned taste buds to have a celebratory flamenco dance of delight the moment a morsel arrives in his mouth, the flamboyant fash supreme simply won’t let it darken the dinner plates of his restaurant. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll realise that dining at the Cavalli Club Restaurant and Lounge is in fact the gastronomic equivalent of getting dressed in haute couture every day (ie, ridiculously fabulous.)
Aside from the incredible décor – think leopard print floors topped with zebra striped chairs and glossy black tables resting beneath huge, gleaming crystal chandeliers – the Italian and international gourmet cuisine at Cavalli is beyond stunning. And while indulging in the regular menu that’s packed with divine dishes that’ll ensure you won’t fit into any of Roberto’s foxy catwalk creations, it’s almost impossible to resist sampling the food on offer at the special theme nights the club hosts every month.
Take, for example, the Australian Wine Tour Dinner Menu, a four-course gastro extravaganza paired with the perfect grape matches, that had us bouncing up and down like hyperactive kangeroos, such was its unbelievable yumminess.
To start, there’s lobster and leek pappardelle with chive butter, paired with Koonunga Hill chardonnay. Chunks of fresh lobster and fresh pasta tossed in an utterly delish creamy leek sauce has suddenly shot to the top of my last-meal-on-earth list, should I ever happen to find myself on death row. Next up was the lamb moussaka with cherry tomatoes – packed with flavour and not in the least bit greasy, it’s the best moussaka I’ve ever had – which was followed by the highlight of the menu, Beef Wellington with mushroom and duck liver duxelle. The beef fillet was velvety soft and perfectly pink, the stuffing rocked my world, and the pastry would make my mother weep with envy. And as for the Magill Estate shiraz – there’s been no better pairing since Paul McCartney hooked up with John Lennon. Topped off with pecan pie and poached pears, with a glass of port, and the decision is made – Cavalli Club’s amazing head chef is my new favourite person in Dubai. Ciao, bella!
Location 1st floor, The Fairmont Dubai Tel 04 332 9260
Tasty Australian trio
Location Al Manzil Hotel,Downtown Dubai
Timing Sunday to Thursday, 6pm-2am; Friday to Saturday 12pm-2am
Tel 04 428 5888
Nezesaussi is fast getting a name for itself as one of the best grill restaurants in the region. The New Zealand, South African and Australian chain (see where the name comes from now?) is a popular haunt for Dubai’s trendy eatery hunters, so don’t be put off by the ‘sports bar’ label. The food speaks for itself with the Antipodean Glory the ultimate in patriotic eats.
Location Le Méridien Dubai
Timing Wednesday to Monday, 7pm-10pm; Tuesday 8pm-11pm
Tel 04 702 2455
Now a Dubai brunching institution, Yalumba mixes great Australian food, with a typically laid-back Aussie attitude, which makes it well worth a visit. Their notoriously delicious food aside, they also run themed evenings, ranging from seafood Thursday to an Australian BBQ and wine night on Wednesdays. Take our advice and don’t skip pudding, the chocolate mocha tart is well worth the cab fare by anyone’s standards.
Ribs and Rumps
Location The Dubai Mall
Timing Daily, 12pm-12am
Tel 04 434 0468
If you’re looking to satisfy your cravings for hearty fare cooked just the way you like it, look no further than Ribs and Rumps. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the Dubai Mall location means this Australian chain serves up fast food-alike meals, as a visit to R’n’R will see you choosing from a carnivorous wealth of platters and racks – with plate sizes to satisfy the biggest of appetites. Plus, the restaurant has great views of the ice rink, so you can enjoy a laugh at those not-so-Torvill-and-Dean types below.