Take the elevator up 45 floors at Grosvenor House’s recently opened Tower Two Hotel and discover Embassy’s Kitchen 45, a swanky new restaurant in the city’s first supper club concept. I’d been to Embassy a few times before to visit the subdued lounge area on the second floor with abstract artworks hung from the walls and the dance floor on the first level. But this was the first time I journeyed up to the top floor of the club to be seated in an exclusive dining area. Decked out in rich tones of red and black with soft touches of light beige on the furnishings, the restaurant makes up for its small size through its regal decor and innovative Provencal cuisine.
Quite full for a Tuesday night, my guest and I were seated at a table by the window with a glittering panorama of Dubai Marina. The ambiance was heightened by the steady beats of the DJ revving up the dance floor below – a slight yet mostly pleasant distraction when it comes to eating, we were in a supper club, after all. A range of innovative Provencal dishes filled the menu. Many might be surprised to know, that while the region of Provence is located in France, its gastronomy is distinct from the rest of French cooking. Situated in the southeastern region of France on the Mediterranean and bordered by Italy on the east, Provence was originally a Greek colony and was then incorporated into the Roman Empire until the 15th century when it was made part of France. Its food is therefore highly Mediterranean in taste with a strong influence of Italian culinary concoctions, herbs and condiments.
We started our meal began with a pre-starter of Chilled Pistou Soup made with tomato consomme, mixed vegetables, pistou and parmesan shavings. Light and fresh, one could make out the distinct taste of basil which refreshingly cleansed the palette in preparation for the rest of our meal. For the starters, we ordered a rich Foie Gras Terrine with Dried Fruits & Nuts accompanied by orange wine jelly and date chutney and think slices of tasted bread; a zesty Plancha of Cuttlefish, Roasted Salsify & Curried Ink Sauce in addition to a fresh herbs salad, pomegranate & fresh figs and a Prawn Cocktail made with avocado, lettuce and Marie Rose Sauce. Crisp and slightly sweet, the Plancha of Cuttlefish was an immediate favorite. Rich and succulent, the curried ink sauce provided a nice variation from the typical Venetian specialty.
The meal was paired with a crisp and slightly fruity Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc – a taste which paired well with the rustic flavor of the fish dishes we opted for. For the main course, we chose a very creamy Smoked Pumpkin Risotto with truffle shavings and pecorino cheese. Albeit rich and satisfying, the risotto was a bit on the mushy side. Also served was the Roasted Artichoke and Wild Mushroom made with dried porcini dressing, wild rocket, parmesan shavings and artichoke crisp – an absolute score on the artichoke which was deliciously flavored as well as perfectly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Pleasantly satisfied without feeling overfed, an assortment of small desserts was brought out featuring the restaurant’s specialties of Chocolate Fondant made with clove ice cream and ginger and caramel sauce — we ate in utter silence. Moroccan mint tea and a glass of Orange Muscadet sweet wine from California concluded our meal with a sophisticated touch.
Delicious cuisine and uber cool subdued surroundings, Kitchen 45 is a nevertheless best categorized as a high-end pre-club restaurant. Turn the music down a switch and the ambiance will go up in class. Yet all gregarious and enjoying their diner, the crowd seemed eager to make a quick move downstairs to dance away to the catchy beats. It’s hard to beat that.
Kitchen 45, Grosvenor House Tower Two. For reservations call +9714 3176000.