Raclette, Fondue & Other Apres Ski Favourites At Publique
If you’re longing for a taste of the Alps and a ski holiday isn’t on the agenda this year then there’s a fabulous eatery right here in our desert city to transport you to the magic of the mountains. Dubai just got a whole lot more wintery – hooray!
A date night out with my husband where I was hoping to convince him of booking a ski holiday by setting the mood (it worked…I think).
Publique is a French owned and run homegrown concept in Souk Madinat Jumeirah that was set up to offer something unique (if you’ve eaten at Bistro Des Arts in Dubai Marina then this restaurant is owned by the same guys and is just as good). Relaxed and informal, Publique brings a touch of European style ski lodge chic to Dubai – think Chamonix without the flights (or snow).
Publique may overlook the Burj al Arab but this charming little ski themed restaurant is all about recreating an Alpine experience (albeit one surrounded by palm trees!). Cosy, cute and stuffed with ski memoribila, ski videos playing on screens, wooden chalet style décor, roaring ‘fires’ and a French crew, this is THE place to go for fondue, raclette and that ‘apres ski’ feel at the end of a day on the slopes. We sat on a huge chalet style terrace that’s so atmospheric that we almost expected a sprinkling of snow!
Publique combines a bistro style menu with specialities you’d typically find in European mountain resorts. Start with scrummy bites including calamari, escargots (yummy snails cooked in a heavenly garlic sauce that’s perfect for a bit of bread dunking afterwards), fish soup or foie gras Calamari, escargots, fish soup and foie gras or share a plate of charcuterie and cheeses before moving onto mains such as handcrafted burgers, pizzas and other comforting dishes (forget the diet for a night…). But it’s the speciality dishes which deserve all the attention – I’m talking cheese (and a lot of it). Raclette, fondue, pasta served up in a parmesan wheel – with forest mushrooms, garlic, herbs, truffle – AMAZING! There’s also a white base pizza with onion, bacon and potatoes and Reblochon cheese (one bite of which will instantly transport you to Europe) plus hot stone cooking options and a meat fondue if cheese isn’t your thing. But be sure to save room for the ‘you should not but you will’ dessert menu which includes churros with nutella and salted caramel, crepe suzette, apple thin tart, moelleux chocolat and other naughty treats just too good to pass up on (come on, it’s date night after all – even if you won’t be burning off all those calories down the black run tomorrow).
Room for improvement:
I’m a big believer in appropriate music for setting the tone and something a little more alpine would have made the atmosphere complete. I’m not talking full on yodeling but a bit of something mixed in with the modern tunes being spun by the DJ (in his gondola DJ booth no less) would have been the icing on the cake.
What we loved:
Loads of melted cheese – what’s not to love?! No but seriously – our date night really felt like an escape from the norm, a little culinary break in France, a prelude to a ski holiday (hopefully!) – without the need for dressing up or splashing out. Perfect.
Publique, Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Tel: +971 4 430 8550
All images sourced via Publique social media handles.