Tasted: Geales, Le Royal Meridien, Dubai Marina

October 10, 2014

VENUE.

Although it's only just opened, word of the first overseas outpost of London’s famous seafood restaurant, Geales, is spreading quickly. The mix of elegant whites, blues and dark woods around the dining area make for a trendy, upmarket vibe, with booths and tables arranged around a large fresh fish and seafood counter. It’s obvious that a good deal of thought has gone into its British and seafood themes – the white hexagonal scale patterns on the ceiling; copious use of Union Jacks; and black and white portraits of London – but it avoids making the place look and feel too twee.

ATMOSPHERE.

With its London-based namesakes based in very well-to-do areas, it is no surprise that there is a strong, gastro-pub type feel to Geales. Classy, elegant and unpretentious – it is the ideal place to impress guests without wanting to make too much of a splash. [gallery link="none" ids="9207,9208,9206"]

FOOD.

While it is known for its “posh fish ‘n’ chips” – the menu has been given a very Dubai-style, five-star makeover. The huge chunks of crispy battered cod with generous portions of steak fries with homemade mushy peas wrapped up in faux newspaper is still very much the kitchen’s signature dish, but Geales’ centrepiece is its Seafood Market. The fresh fish counter in the middle of the dining area is a made-to-order station serving a range perfectly cooked seafood including cockles, muscles, octopus carpaccio, tangy tuna tartar, cured tuna, smoked mackerel and some crispy, fried calamari in homemade tartar sauce. If you haven’t had your fill from that, a small – but broad – range of mains offer everything from a creamy seafood gnocchi (soft and incredibly more-ish), to roasted baby chicken with root vegetables, to a classic US prime rib-eye steak. [gallery link="none" ids="9210,9211,9209"] While the dessert menu had not yet been entirely finalised when we went, the talented team have put together two cleverly deconstructed British favourites - apple crumble and blueberry pie - to round off the evening. Simple and delicious.

COME BECAUSE.

It’s classic British seafood with a five-star twist. Details: Le Royal Meridien, Dubai Marina. For more visit geales-dubai.com