Aug 25, 2013

Studio Du Chefs Serves Up Modern French on The Palm

It's safe to say Dubai has become a culinary and tourism destination for the GCC , South Asian-subcontinent, and beyond.  When I heard about the opening of the new Sofitel Hotel, I was all ears, because I knew a brand of such caliber would have to deliver some good quality food.  After taking a tour of the property and understanding the ethos of the establishment, it was evident that F&B was a focal point for this hotel resort on The Palm.  From modern French cuisine to classic Chinese, they had tapped into a variety of popular concepts that are sure to attract not only hotel guests, but local residents as well.

The first on my list of restaurants to try at this Polynesian French designed venue was actually the French outlet named Studio Du Chefs.  Constructed with state of the art equipment as well as display screens throughout the restaurant, guests can watch their food being prepared by the highly skilled staff in the open kitchen concept. 
My guest and I chose a seat that was directly in front of the action.  We made ourselves comfortable and familiarized with the area as the service staff brought us cold towels and water to begin..  The outlet manager came over and gave us a brief introduction to the menu and restaurant, followed by our waiter, then the chef.  They were beyond excited to share their recommendations and were purely there to enhance our experience of the modern French meal.  Pictured below is the sea bass ceviche with shaved fennel, radish, caviar,  grapefruit, and orange segments. The citrus burst really paired well with the dish, and the crunch of the fennel was the right amount of texture to compliment the fish.  Overall a refreshingly light composure for the start to the evening.
 The middle course pictured below consisted of a seared scallop served with a sweet potato croquette and puree.  A combination that was such a surprise to the palette, and a disappointment because I had never tried it before! The light aromatic cinnamon spice in the puree along with the buttery scallops and savory croquette presented a harmonious  ballad all on one little plate.  We only received the tasting portion, but had it been a larger entree size serving, I could easily have enjoyed this as a main meal any day of the week. 
Speaking of mains, we moved along through the evening with much anticipation of the last course.  The staff had mentioned several times the Tuna Rossini was not to be missed!  A sesame crusted tuna loin topped with the pan seared foie gras and caramelized shallots, this dish was a flavor overload to all my senses.  The tuna itself was cooked to a perfect medium temperature and the mouth watering fillet of foie gras seeped all its fatty deliciousness right into the hearty fish.  Savory and sweet, this well balanced dish had it all.  Not only does something like this require the technical skill to execute, but it also taps into the creativity of the chef.  The traditional Tournedos Rossini is served with beef, therefore substituting the seafood makes it a completely original item, as the accompaniments and sauce need to be modified.  Memorable and modern, no doubt this is one dish you will go back for!
This next item was another modern interpretation of a classic French dish.  The beef medallions cooked to an exact medium temperature were accompanied by a "Bourguignon" sauce served with a caramelized onion tart topped with pickled radish, tomato, artichoke, and asparagus.  Let's start with the beef, because to me, the gorgeous pink center was the highlight of the plate.  You're eyes are drawn to the coloring and excellent quality of the meat, which was just slightly seared on the outside and roasted to perfection.  Sprinkled with the famously French smoked fleur de sel, tasty doesn't even begin to describe this. 
The beef dish was also accompanied by the elegant geometrically perfect chickpea fries pictured below.   Crispy on the outside, soft and delicate on the inside and seasoned all around, I was in heaven with every bite of this savory side.   It tasted like a combination in chickpea flour and seasoning, a technique similar to making polenta fries. Even though they are highly addictive, I am going to ask Chef De Cusine of Studio Du Chefs,  Alain Rion for the recipe. Expect a kitchen experiment on my blog with these little guys soon, I don't think I can make it to the end of the week without another taste!

At this point I was completely content with our meal, as we had attacked every item on our table with success.  Although we had turned downed the notion of dessert, our waiter did insist on showing us the cheese trolley.  Now if there ever was a French way to end a meal, it would have to be this.  A gorgeous selection of cheese was presented along with an assortment of freshly made jams and compotes ranging from sour cherry to pineapple, apricot, and raspberry.  We both tried a bite of the goat's cheese paired with the sour cherry jam, and that was literally the icing on the cake. Leaving comfortably full and proud that we had managed to make it through most of the menu, I promised the chef I would be back for dessert! 
The sleek design and spacious interior lends itself to a lively ambiance.  The concept for the restaurant is interactive, which means the more action the better.  It actually adds a lot of character to the environment, because it removes the element of pretentiousness, and adds a trendy touch.  The Sofitel property is brand new to Dubai, having only just opened this past July 2013. They are currently in the soft launch phase, but are planning for the Grand Opening event November 2013.  Until then, the restaurants are open to the public, and they are working meticulously to perfect those fine details that make this 5 star resort shine above the rest.  I am looking forward to my return to Sofitel on The Palm, and the next culinary adventure they have in store for me.    

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject!
    experience in dubai