Dec 19, 2012

Eclectic bites at Rhodes Twenty10

Hmmmmm, where to begin? The meal at Rhodes Twenty10 was highly anticipated.  After meeting with the man, Gary Rhodes several times, and learning about his food philosophy as well as his innovative approach to modern British fair, I had high expectation of this restaurant.  After meeting the head chef Lee Frederick at the International Fine Food Festival in Dubai, the deal was sealed! I made my way down to Le Meridien hotel in Dubai's Marina area and entered another world as I set foot into this funky space.  We enjoyed the ambiance for a bit before sitting down for our meal.  The menu was eclectic, but it all seemed to make sense.  Elegant comfort foods from all over the world, presented in one modern and chic menu.  

We ordered a couple of  starters and the first to arrive at the table were these Crispy Duck Pastillas. A pastilla is a traditional Berber Moroccan dish, along the lines of an elaborate meat pie. The true Moroccan way is with a pigeon stuffing, however chicken is a common substitute. Chef Lee did justice to the Gary Rhodes version with tender and seasoned succulent duck with a mix of sweet and savory spices.  These were the perfect combination of flavors and textures and a warm welcome to our meal at Rhodes Twenty10. 

Next up were these Napoleon like stacks of some of my most favorite ingredients in the world, from Avocado, to Crab, and even Sesame Phyllo, how could you go wrong! The texture of the avocado was light and airy and the taste had a salty citrus hint to it.  The crab underneath was sweet and creamy, and when you took that perfect bite along with the buttery phyllo wafer, its was a wonderful balance of flavors and textures. 
Chef Lee really spoiled us and sent out the Rhodes Twenty10 signature starter, a chicken and prawn satay with a spicy peanut sauce.  The chicken and shrimp were cooked and seasoned perfectly and even along with the peanut sauce, it was a treat to enjoy something so Asian in such a unique setting. 
The star of the show however was this burger.Not just any burger, the Rhodes Twenty10 Burger.  Made with hand cut fillet, on a roasted confit potato with a perfect seared foie gras on top, this goes down as one of the most delicious burgers I've ever tasted.  It could be considered sacrilege to serve a burger without a bun, but once you bite into this juicy piece of meat with the rich foie gras juices infusing into it, you forget all about those silly little carbs, and tuck into something much more magnificent. 

Now after being served such hearty portions of food, it was difficult to even think about dessert, but Chef Lee was not going to let us leave without a taste of all of the signature sweets on offer at the restaurant.  He served us this tasting platter consisting of Sticky Toffee Pudding, Strawberry Shortcake, and Banoffee Cheesecake.  It's giving me a sugar rush just thinking about it.  They were all flavorful and delicious, however, I am partial to sticky toffee puddings, but the banoffee cheesecake and strawberry shortcake were a close second. 
The presentation was sublime and I have to say Chef Lee really did out do himself.  My expectations were very high going into this dinner, and they delivered some seriously good grub.  I look forward to my next visit, and will have to workout intensely for a week prior so I don't feel guilty about indulging in the elegant comfort food prepared with passion by the talented Rhodes Twenty10 team. 

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