A date night with seafood, cocktails and a fabulous atmosphere
As I gaze out of my window dreaming of escaping to somewhere cooler with cool sea-air and delicious fresh seafood, it’s hard not to get bogged down by the heat and quietness of Dubai’s summer. But the good news is if that’s what you’re after, there’s an answer – and a pretty tasty one too. Okay, so the fresh sea air isn’t guaranteed (sorry mamas, the Middle Eastern climate is out of our control) but the delicious fresh food is guaranteed. The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill has become a summer saviour, and here’s why…
Hidden away at the back of The DoubleTree by Hilton’s car park, it’s clear from the moment you clock its door that this place isn’t about frills and fuss. No pretentious hostesses there to greet you, no fancy glass doors you have to use all your might to open – this is low-key and cool to the max. Stepping inside to a bustling brasserie with its exposed brick walls, oyster shell chandeliers, and bistro style table settings, the atmosphere is alive with diners delving into platters of oysters and sipping on cocktails, with not one empty table to be seen.
Taking a seat at the bar for a pre-dinner tipple, it’s hard not to notice that the staff here are seriously hip and mega trendy, but without being too cool for school. Bearded barmen shake up refreshing cocktails like the ‘Rose Tattoo’ (Hendrick’s, rose tea, fig syrup, rose petals) and the ‘100 Mile Wilderness’ (Ketel One vodka, rhubarb liqueur, and pomegranate syrup) to get your taste buds flowing ready for a fresh feast.
When it comes to the menu, there’s everything from hot and cold smaller sharing plates (the crispy fish tacos and the mushroom and truffle pizza can only be described with one word, YUM), a raw seafood bar, steak and chops, and mains that range from fish and chips to mushroom and zucchini tagliatelle. This is great in terms of variety, but not so great when everything sounds so good you want to eat it all. Don’t worry, we tried our best…
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Seafood lovers, you’ll be in heaven here, because this is clearly what The Maine does best. The chargrilled octopus melts in your mouth and is perfectly complemented by a buttery Puttanesca sauce with sun-choke puree, and the Fisherman’s Catch of the day comes chargrilled on live charcoal with just a touch of lemon and olive oil, because it’s so fresh and so good that’s all it needs. If you’re more of a meat fan, then go for the Australian Angus filet Mignon with a big old side of chips, you won’t be disappointed.
But the main(e) event (excuse the pun) had to be the freshly shucked oysters. The wall-board boasted three different types available that night (they change according to the season) and they arrive perfectly presented on an iced platter with a selection of mignonettes, lemon, Tabasco, and fresh horseradish. Heaven.
Of course no meal is complete without dessert (hey, it’s date-night mamas, you deserve it), so after a big helping of sticky toffee pudding with fresh English cream and a generous slice of key lime pie, our bellies were bursting. That didn’t mean we didn’t start choosing our next dinner meal at The Maine (because obviously we’re coming back), and after spotting another table tucking into a huge bowl of spicy shrimp linguini followed by the rocky road brownie, the choice was made pretty quickly…
The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill, The DoubleTree By Hilton, JBR, Tel: +971 4 457 6719, www.themaine.ae
Featured image via Pinterest