High on top the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa is a special place: At.mosphere. Recently opened but a few months prior, the restaurant has already awed Dubai residents and travelers to the region. Atmosphere’s sumptuously decorated interiors by renowned hotel designer Adam Tihany feature warm mahogany walls and ceilings with a high gloss finishing, Tihany furniture, hand-tufted carpet and floors of cafe au lait colored limestone. Such rich decor echoes the divine nature of this epitome of gourmet heaven.
We were served from the Summer Menu, a list of dishes specifically tailored to the season. Our meal began with a refreshing starter entitled Watermelon made with Persian feta cheese and heirloom tomatoes and Langoustines featuring steamed courgette flower and baby peas. The restaurant’s knowledgeable sommelier paired our first few dishes with a 2009 Pascal Jolivet Sancerrre Rosé from the Loire Valley, a rare and distinct rosé made from Pinot Noire and featuring a delicate strawberry and fruit aroma.
As each dish was served we marveled at the presentation and dainty size. Delectably concocted to be sure, what we didn’t expect was such an artistic presentation; colors and forms were arranged in such a way as if it to represent an artistic still-life. The Foies Gras was an immediate hit. Featuring smoked spelt risotto, sweet wine jelly, and ginger bread, the plate’s small size was made up through an explosion of rich tastes further heightened through the coupling of different hot and cold ingredients. The cool texture of the sweet wine jelly was juxtaposed against the warm risotto uniquely enlivened the palette to a wonder of flavors.
For the main dish we opted for the catch of the day which we were told had been specially flown in and prepared in order to maintain freshness. A delicate sea bass arrived served with pureed peas and coupled with a light 2008 Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume from Burgundy, France. The Chablis featured an enticing creamy nose with clean mineral notes and a muted palate which was juxtaposed nicely with the fresh and decadently simple nature of the fish. We were explained that the restaurant uses what is called a Josper Oven. Originating in Spain, this wood stove charcoal broiler oven doesn’t use gas and therefore guarantees a product’s freshness.
On to the dessert, we were served a 2007 Chateau Batailley 5eme cru classé from Bordeaux, France alongside a beautifully sculpted chocolate mousse with thyme ice cream. The Jivara, as it was called, was served in such a precise form with thin squares of chocolate positioned in box-like formation complete with a long string of caramel balancing on the top, that it almost appeared to be a maquette for an architectural construction. Enraptured by its creation, we were hesitant to eat what appeared to be such a meticulously crafted sweet. The taste was heavenly. Rich, smooth, and creamy; the richness of the mousse was further heightened by the earthy taste of the thyme and the nutty nose of the Chateau Batailley. Divine. A final treat were petite madeleines served fresh from the oven.
The sophisticated ambiance and regal nature of the cuisine seemed to have transported us to another place and time. We had dined in the world’s highest restaurant, a fact which certainly added to our wonderment.
The At.mosphere Grill goes beyond it’s altitude. It is in a class of its own.
For reservations call 04 888 3828