Restaurant review: Bread Street Kitchen
We check out Gordon Ramsay's laid-back Atlantis The Palm restaurant ahead of his visit to Dubai.Robert Chilton January 18, 2016
Walking into Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant is like walking into a big cuddle of sunshine. The lighting at Bread Street Kitchen is gorgeous. Ambers, yellows and oranges make everyone look beautiful and happy. We were almost tempted to ask where they got their light bulbs – probably not Ace Hardware.
Bread Street Kitchen doesn’t look any other Dubai restaurant because it looks like it’s been designed by a design team from London. If you’re looking for a casual brasserie that you’ll find on most streets in London, this is the place to come. Gordon himself described the restaurant to EDGAR recently as “a little bit of London and the cool Britannia vibe.”
The floor is tiny white tiles. The tables are big, chunky and wooden, with pieces of chicken wire creating a cage effect on some. The chairs are a bit 1960s Mad Men in luxurious brown. We loved the dozens of anglepoise lamps lined up around the place – what a classic piece of design they are.
Don’t be intimidated by the name Ramsay and its fine dining connotations. The menu at Bread Street Kitchen is a long way from fiddly Michelin starred nonsense. Instead, this is very good, simple, hearty food. Calling it posh pub grub feels a bit naughty (please, Gordon, don’t hurt us) but that pretty much sums it up. There’s fish and chips, a short rib burger, beef Wellington, chips, mashed potato and macaroni cheese. A notch higher on the poshness scale are dishes such as king crab and apple cocktail, stone bass carpaccio, and tuna tartare.
We began with the potted salt beef brisket (AED 65) – a cylindrical tower of shredded beef with a spoonful of piccalili . Eaten together they were spot on, but the crackers on the side were too thin and didn’t have enough crunch. Tamarind-spiced chicken wings (AED 50) were stupidly sticky and made a mess of the nice white napkin, but the laundry bill is worth it for the flavour. Please order the ridiculously healthy salad of kale, fennel and red cabbage (AED 45), which gently held hands with a superb citrus dressing. Very tasty, and very good for you.
Inspired by the cool Britannia vibe Gordon mentioned, the Shepherd’s Pie seemed a sensible choice. Warning: this is the hottest thing we have ever put in our mouth. Seriously, we’re talking molten lava levels of temperature. Let it cool for several minutes, have a chat, enjoy the lighting, perhaps sketch one of the anglepoise lamps, and then tackle the pie. It was a rich meaty mixture underneath a layer of tangy, cheesy potato. Not cheap at AED 120, and a little on the dry side. It needed some honey glazed carrots to help out (AED 20) which were beautifully spiced and tasted of Christmas.
A wagyu sirloin (AED 205), meanwhile, was one of the best cuts of meat we’ve had in a while. For dessert, an Eton Mess (AED 45) continued the cool Britannia theme, the whipped cream, berries and meringue were given a lift with a delicate waft of rose flavouring.
It was a shame to leave this charming and cosy restaurant but, with full bellies and good memories, we departed as Gordon Ramsay’s sunshine set behind us.
Gordon Ramsay will be appearing at Bread Street Kitchen, Atlantis The Palm, from January 20-22. The star is in town to launch three new weekly theme nights and events. For more information, visit atlantisthepalm.com/breadstreetkitchen