Hey mamas! I’m sure none of you need an introduction to Frankie Dettori and Marco Pierre White’s Bar and Grill do you? Well just in case, here’s a reminder… Frankie’s, an authentic Italian restaurant situated in the Oasis Beach Tower of Jumeirah Beach Residence was created by these 2 masterminds, a world famous jockey (and now presenter), and one of the youngest ever chefs to win three Michelin stars. The eatery was launched in 2007, it serves amazing Italian food and now offers a new surprise menu, which was what I was here to explore.
When I first arrived in Dubai (6 years ago!) we frequented this eatery on many occasions, always enjoying every visit for its fabulous food and fun atmosphere. I must admit to have not been to Frankie’s for over 2 years now (there have been so many new restaurants opening in Dubai and I moved to the other side of town) so I was looking forward to a trip down memory lane.
On entering Frankie’s I noticed the familiar setting – an old school interior with the very same seats and tables that I remembered from before. My initial thought was that the décor was dated and certainly needed a little refreshing; something that the general manager assured me was on the cards for the not too distant future. Despite this, I was happy to see the same fun and buzzy atmosphere, with guests enjoying live music, which was for once not intrusive in the slightest, but rather entertaining.
Our waiter seated us at the table and started to explain to us about Frankie’s Surprise Menu, a new and innovative concept, which launched in July of this year. It sits alongside the normal a la carte menu, and offers diners the option to choose between a 4 or 6 course meal without choosing the dishes themselves! The waiter explained the idea and then proceeded to ask us if we had an allergies, likes/dislikes, and what we felt like eating today in terms of fish or meat.
I’m actually a pretty unfussy eater so didn’t have much to say apart from a few small predilections, however my husband is a coeliac so this worked to his favour for sure as he explained his intolerances and looked forward to a healthy and delicious dinner. The Executive Head Chef, Fabio Nompleggio, was then duly informed of our preferences and went about designing unique menus for us both. We waited with baited breath, sipping on a chilled glass of dry white wine and enjoying the background music.
Our starter was a Sicilian red giant prawn with capers, cherry tomatoes and olives (from the North of Italy) in a delicious light tomato reduction sauce. This dish screamed Mediterranean and was an instant winner for us both; what a great start to the evening!
The second course looked spectacular. The dish combined slow cooked veal with raw tuna sashimi, which I must admit I would never have chosen from a menu, accompanied with a medley of celery, lettuce and pea shoots, and topped off with spoonfuls of homemade tuna and caper mayonnaise. The textures and tastes of this dish were close to heaven. The tender meat and raw fish were off set by the crunchy greens and radish, with the olives and capers adding the salt seasoning to the salad, and the dish completed with a smooth and creamy mayonnaise. Divine!
On to course 3 which was the main course. I chose to have meat and my husband chose fish. My plate arrived fueled with a beautifully cut beef fillet (showing its dark pink inside) served with giant smoked potatoes and radicchio. The fillet was cooked to perfection and I cannot fault any part of the dish. I also stole a taste of my husbands dish (well I was reviewing the place and needed to taste both so don’t judge me mamas!), presenting a delicate fillet of halibut in a swirl of artichoke cream, topped with a piece of decadent foie gras. The flavours were to die for!
To round off a rather perfect surprise menu, dessert arrived consisting of a cold coffee parfait topped with crunchy chopped hazelnuts and surrounded with a smooth double cream. What an indulgent treat!
After a delightful 4-course meal, I turned around to see that the place was really pretty full for a Tuesday night. My conclusion was that this haunt has and will always be a favourite amongst many diners. I really enjoyed the surprise menu, as I was able to experience dishes that I know I would not have chosen from an a la carte menu, and well if I’m being totally honest, every mouthful of each course was just heaven. As we left Frankie’s I was eager to remind those that have forgotten that this fabulous eatery still exists in its full glory and is doing better than ever. So whether you feel like being a bit adventurous and go with the new surprise menu, or whether you choose a la carte, remember mamas, Frankie’s is a really top quality restaurant and is a great date night choice. Ok lets be frank, its even more fun with a group of friends (Is that going to get me in trouble?).