Bread Street Kitchen is the latest eatery to open at the luxurious Atlantis resort. Situated on the man-made Palm Jumeirah, The Atlantis is the glittering jewel in the crown of Dubai’s modern five star marvels and the perfect spot for celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay to open an international brach of his renowned restaurant Bread Street Kitchen.
Now it must be noted that this is not Ramsay’s first venture into the Dubai dining scene. The celebrity chef previously opened Verre, at the Hilton Dubai Creek back in 2001. This was the chef’s first international outlet and one that closed after ten years with little fanfare. Presumably due to the global financial crisis and the fact that the epicentre of Dubai’s nightlife and fine dining scene, has moved South from the creek over the past decade.
The fiery tempered, potty-mouthed British chef returns to Dubai with a bang! Bread Street Kitchen is located in The Avenue’s, the busy tourist filled shopping district beneath the Atlantis hotel. Here lies the traditionally British eatery, a cavernous open-plan dining space of brown leather, checkered black and white floors and an over-reliance on polished wood.
We visited BSK during a relatively quiet lunchtime service, to find that every table was immaculately laid with the finest silverware and sparkling glasses. The vibe is part upmarket gastro-pub and part school dining hall. Decor is muted, relying on a scattering of brass table lamps and vibrant yellow light fixtures, a simplicity that we found to be a refreshing change from the one-upmanship of quirky decor that is seemingly spread throughout every restaurant in Dubai at the moment.
Hoping to make the most of the current cool weather, we opted to dine outside in the garden. A tranquil space full of lush greenery and the sound of birdsong. Surrounded by twisted frangipani trees and the infrequent buzz of the monorail, this outside garden provides the perfect respite from the hectic Dubai lifestyle.
Lunch began with a complimentary basket of breads… well this is Bread Street Kitchen after all! The selection offered a light and airy focaccia drenched in a beautifully flavoursome olive oil. This Italian offering was contrasted by something altogether different, in the form of a potato bread, a slightly heavier loaf but just as delightful on the palate.
The menu at BSK is not the most extensive or inventive on the Dubai dining scene, but offers a good selection of British classics at reasonable prices. After some deliberation, we opted for the fish and chips and the shepherds pie, both staples of British cuisine and being British expats, we hoped for the best.
We were slightly perturbed to find that the shepherds pie is served without any accompaniments (a frustratingly common trend in the UAE dining scene at the moment). Vegetables had to be ordered separately and thankfully this turned out to be the only negative of our entire dining experience at BSK.
The presentation of the food is flawless. Our battered fish was golden brown and placed upon a bed of chunky chips that looked more akin to roast potatoes. The rich golden colours of the fried goods were contrasted with the fresh green of the pea puree and the dark browns of the ‘chippy sauce’ (a cool fruity gravy). The fish had a nice crispness on the outside, revealing the tender white flesh hidden underneath. While chips were of the ‘British’ variety and were the best interpretation we have sampled in the UAE.
Shepherds pie arrived in its own metal skillet, served upon a wooden board and with a side of fresh long stem broccoli. What separates this shepherds pie from the countless other versions, is that it doesn’t use mince. Instead opting for prime lamb cuts that are well-seasoned, transferring their flavour to all components of the dish – from the roughly chopped vegetables to the cheesy mashed potato topping.
Both dishes were fantastic versions of British classics that didn’t try to break the mould and re-interpret. This is what makes Bread Street Kitchen such a delight, the team offer homely British classics cooked remarkably well.
Having eaten at one of Gordon Ramsay’s London eateries many years ago, we had found the dinner to be somewhat stifling in both pretentiousness and the stifling service. Thankfully BSK is a far more casual and relaxed dining experience, with service throughout the meal being prompt and polite. All dishes were fully explained and mixed in with a bit of friendly banter. Staff appeared to be predominantly British, which adds to the whole thematic of the establishment and as you would expect from a British gastro-pub, the grapes and hops selection is vast.
Unfortunately Chef Ramsay was not present during our visit, though he regularly returns to oversee the running of the kitchen and has recently launched ‘Paint The City Bread.’ A Friday brunch concept that includes appetiser and dessert buffets, plus main courses served to the table.
We will definitely return, if only for ‘Beef Wellington Wednesday’ – offering the signature dish with mushroom packed chunks of meat and served with a truffle mash that we cannot wait to try. We inevitable skipped the dish during our lunchtime outing purely due to its hefty price tag of 500 AED (for two people!). Fortunately on a Wednesday the sharing Wellington is far more reasonably priced.
Location: The Avenue’s, Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Hours: 12:30pm – 11:30pm
Phone: 04 426 2626
All views within this blog are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE, unless otherwise stated.