Tasted: Bagatelle Dubai & its truffle pizza

We check out the new French place for Dubai’s sophisticated party people.

Robert Chilton February 22, 2016

It’s not every night that you can you have dinner with The Incredible Hulk, Muhammad Ali and Andy Warhol. But at Bagatelle, a smart new French restaurant at The Fairmont, these characters are on the walls in the form of bold Pop Art portraits.

The restaurant has come from New York’s Meatpacking district so it has plenty of cool points already. Inside, it’s a white space with blasts of colour coming from the artwork. The waiting staff were cool in their loafers with no socks and the sommelier had a rather nice bow tie on. It’s glamorous and dressy with chandeliers embedded in the ceiling and candelabras on the bar.

It reminded us of Dubai’s heavyweight French restaurants La Petite Maison and La Serre, probably the best two spots in the city, so in terms of atmosphere it’s on the right track. 

The food is Mediterranean and meant to be shared, which is fortunate because the portions were generous. We’ll come to our dessert later but it could have fed a family of four (our waiter laughed and insisted he could polish off one all on his own). 

Everyone in the restaurant was ordering the truffle pizza so we followed suit to see what all the fuss was about. The crispy crust was perfect, as was the fior de latte cheese. You can order a version with truffle puree for AED 125 or add shavings of fresh truffle for an extra AED 95. The shavings nearly bullied the cheese so we scraped most of them off but it’s a real showstopper of a dish. It’s also a sign that Bagatelle is an unpretentious place as you can feel free to pick up a slice with your fingers. 

Two salads (endive AED 90 and choux frises AED 55) were pretty and surprisingly substantial. The endive came with gorgeous slices of goose ham and pear but sadly, the crumbs of blue cheese had a feeble flavour. The other salad of baby kale had good cubes of pumpkin, pecans and parmesan. They were whipped away by an army of staff who were a little hasty at times – maybe they wanted to add to the energy with rapid service? 

Where Bagatalle really hit the bullseye was the meat. The plate of lamb (AED 185) was manly and massive: three, salty, juicy, tender chops plus three crispy ribs. Take our advice, the side dish to order with this is a mini pot of ratatouille (AED 40). The faux wagyu filet (AED 330) was also oozing with juice and buttery naughtiness. 

Talking of devilish dairy products, let’s return to the dessert we mentioned. It’s called Le Tipsy Cake (AED 75) and it’s a must-order. Two circles of mini bread puffs came to the table in the pan in which they had been cooked, ten in the outer ring, three on the inner. Tear one off and dip in either the salty caramel, almond cream, or dark chocolate. And then dip another one. And then another. Your trousers will be saying stop, but your stomach will be yelling for more. 

Rating 7.6 out of 10 

Bagatelle, The Fairmont, Sheikh Zayed Road. bagatelledubai.com