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Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria DIFC review

Words by Nathan Irvine

You can't beat a bit of bully.

Not to be confused with the clothing store of almost the same name, Bull & Bear is a steakhouse with a twist. Located in a lofty position in the impressive Waldorf Astoria DIFC. The original concept was based in Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria, and though its long since closed its legend lives on in Dubai.

We’re greeted by brass statues of the titular bull and bear. They stand front centre of a moodily lit restaurant that takes its aesthetic from classy US eateries in the 1960’s. The vast space is a mix of blue leathers, white marble and gold flourishes that spread to the lighting and more. It smells deliciously smoky, with charred meats wafting from the open kitchen.

Our table is located next to one of the huge floor to ceilings windows, which offers the twinkling lights of Downtown Dubai and Burj Khalifa. An ideal backdrop to the feast ahead.

Starters, we’re informed, are on the large side so we should order one to share. We’d been eyeing up the intriguing Alligator Pear on the menu since we were seated. As we said, this may be prominently a steakhouse but it does things differently.

Fluffy clouds

Alligator pear is half a pitted avocado that has been pureed, pickled and then used to refill the fruit. It’s topped with pomegranate seeds and gazpacho jelly droplets. You use the black kalamata rice crackers to scoop out the smooth concoction.

Does it taste as good as it looks? Sort of. The gazpacho has punch, but it feels like overkill to a dish that already has so much flavour.

Australian lamb and Westholme wagyu striploin are up for mains. Both are cooked using Bull & Bears josper grills and are packed with enough juicy flavours to go down perfectly without the need for any sauces.

Although sides, by their very name, are often left out of these types of reviews, it’d be remiss of us not to talk about them. Especially since they were a highlight of the meal. Bull & Bear steak fries are magical.

These triple-cooked chunky chips are crispy on the outside and fantastically fluffy on the inside. They’re verging on potato croquette territory, which is a good thing. We’re confident you won’t find better steak fries in Dubai.

To finish we shared Ring The Bell – a chocolate orb that contains dulce crispy pearls and toasted marshmallows, and is melted tableside with hot chocolate sauce. It’s rich like kings, but still a worthy finish for what is an outstanding meal.

Bull & Bear is in a tricky position in DIFC as there are so many similar restaurants around. But in terms of service, ambience and original menu, it’s certainly it’s certainly equipped to outlast its rivals.

 

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