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Hillhouse Brasserie: Escape the city for hearty food

Words by Gareth Kurt Warren

If it weren’t for the fine dining promotions during Dubai Restaurant Week, we would have never discovered Hillhouse Brasserie.

For those who don’t know, Dubai’s finest restaurants are offering gourmet three-course meals for just AED 199 per person during Dubai Restaurant Week – a part of the Dubai Food Festival. This runs until March 2, 2019.

There are several restaurants participating during the week, and I, being a creature of habit, opted for Gaucho or Beefbar – two places that never fail to disappoint. However the missus, who wears the chef’s hat in the relationship, choose the one restaurant with the most diverse and random menu we’ve ever seen.

Japanese eel and foie gras, chorizo and jam, milk bread and pears. Why not?

Hillhouse Brasserie is located in Dubai Hills Golf Club. Dubai Hills (not to be confused with Damac Hills that’s about 20 minutes away), is the new Emaar development that’s still being handed over. It’s so new that there are a few spots around the community that’s still being built.

While its address sounds like it’s miles away. The Dubai Hills Golf Club is quite accessible. If you look at the map east to west – the venue is opposite Kite Beach, across Jumeirah Beach Road, Wasl Road, Sheikh Zayed road and just off Al Khail Road. It’s about 15 minutes from Business Bay and Downtown Dubai – and 15 minutes away from Marina and Barsha Heights too.

Hillhouse Brasserie

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Braised and Grilled Spanish Octopus (L) and Unagi Foie Gras (R)

Starters were a choice between Braised and Grilled Spanish Octopus, Truffle Burrata and Unagi Foie Gras. Since we could choose two, we opted to turn our backs to the Truffle Burrata. Yes it was a difficult decision.

The Octopus was a symphony of flavours. It was plated together with baby squid, chorizo, tomato jam, artichoke, and drizzled with green bean and caper vinaigrette. It was very interesting as to how those flavours merged together.

Portions were generous. The starters could easily pass off as mains. The Unagi Foie Gras featured caramelized pears, pickled ginger, apple balsamic, toasted milk bread, smoked Japanese eel and seared foie gras. Every single ingredient shared similar consistency with the toasted bread adding an underlying crunch to every mouthful. Smoked, seared and fresh elements merged together in a truly unforgettable dish. Thank you Chef.

If you thought the starters were delicious, wait till you get to the mains. You can choose between Oven-Roasted Grimsby Hake, Wild Mushroom and Chestnut Risotto and Roast Rump of Australian Lamb.

The lamb and risotto made the cut – and they were well worth it. The risotto was topped with Parmesan and a tarragon crisp, drizzled with shaved winter truffle, which was exactly as delicious as it sounds. The truffle was not as overpowering as I expected and naturally complemented the Parmesan while the chestnuts were the, umm, chestnuts on the risotto.

Hillhouse Brasserie

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Chocolate and peanut butter molten cake

At this stage we were stuffed. Though dessert was on its way. Enter the chocolate and peanut butter molten cake and Yuzu and Yamamomo Pavlova.

Similar to the courses that preceded the sweet treats, dessert portions were large and generous. The molten was by far the best iteration of the dessert I’ve had in Dubai while the Pavlova was light and instantly refreshing. It had to be refreshing mainly because it was packed with Asian citrus fruit, wild mountain peaches and caramelized Fuji apple engulfed in light crème patisserie and fresh cream.

For AED 199 per person for a three-course meal – it’s an absolute steal. Please make sure you go there with your appetite somewhere between hungry and starving, as the portions are massive.

For those reading this after Dubai Food Festival and Restaurant Week, Hillhouse Brasserie is an all day eatery serving hearty and homemade international comfort food from breakfast through to dinner. The family-friendly venue extends out onto a wrap-around terrace with a beautiful view of Downtown Dubai. There’s a dedicated kids’ play area and most importantly, a dog-friendly policy and a solid happy hour.

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