A few moons ago, two very talented young Chefs really wowed me with their skills at Verre by Gordon Ramsay, and then again later when heading up Table 9. Branching out to go it alone, they’re now at the helm of Taste Kitchen, an amazing bistro style eatery in Mercato Mall. Meeting with two other mamas for a long overdue catch up (ladies lunch, no kids in tow – a rare occasion!), we decided to give Nick & Scott’s new venture a try. And we loved it.
I can sum up our dining experience in one word – that after which the restaurant is named. Taste, taste and more taste – the food is so good that it’s hard to believe you’re sitting in a mall and not in a super swanky location – but of course, this has its advantages. This is honest food at honest prices, bringing quality and style to everyday dining without breaking the bank.
Chefs Nick and Scott have assembled a stellar team – including restaurant manager Viktorija from Table 9, the brains behind their amazing fresh juices and flavoured waters – and a whole gang of friendly wait staff and seriously competent chefs. On the ground floor of Mercato Mall (tucked in between Spinneys and Bobbi Brown) Taste Kitchen’s open plan dining area makes you feel as though you’re dining al fresco – the beautiful glass domed ceiling lets in the blue sky while dark green benches, bunches of herbs, mini plants in little hessian pots add to the outdoor feel and wait staff in blue jeans, white tees and coloured converse sneakers pass off for park goers taking a walk in the fresh air.
While deciding on our order, we sipped water infused with fruits and herbs (a genius idea to make the clear stuff more appealing) and unique freshly blended smoothies including mint, apple and lime, mango and marjoram and tomato, basil and wasabi – seriously worthy of a visit alone mamas – fresh tasting and delicious and served in gorgeous little jars and glass bottles with cute retro straws.
The Taste menu shines – every single dish sounds so appealing that it’s almost impossible to choose! So we chose almost everything (no joke) – these mamas were hungry (or greedy, but either way the menu was far too inspiring to be conservative).
Their ethos is to use the very best ingredients and to cook to order. Nothing sits around getting sad and tired: the food is comforting, clean and wholesome – not overly righteous or ridiculously decadent. We started with a board of fresh focaccia, baked in-house and served with a delicious dipping oil (and had to keep ourselves from devouring the entire thing in seconds , purely because we wanted room to taste everything else on the menu). Chicken liver pate with chutney and crab & green apple mayonnaise arrived beautifully presented in little jars on wooden boards with homemade toasted bread – the pate smooth and light as air and the crab as fresh and summery as a day by the sea.
Main courses included a tempura style crispy egg on a bed of salad – the soft warm runny yolk tasted delicious with the earthy mushrooms and sweet caramel drizzled around the plate, a simple but perfect tomato, basil and mozzarella pizza, hearty and aromatic beef short rib with greens, ginger and star anise and a pour-over Asian style gravy and possibly the best fish and chips this city has to offer!
Never one to say no to dessert (particularly if the menu is as good as this), we found a little extra space for an apple crumble and homemade custard Taste Kitchen style – served chilled and layered in a glass bowl – totally delicious and the perfect end to our meal.
Taste Kitchen had delivered everything we had wanted and more during our one precious hour in-between chores and school pick up. A relaxed space, excellent food, super friendly staff and seriously good value. We’ve got a taste for Taste Kitchen now mamas, definitely one of our favourite new spots in Dubai – and with an awesome sounding breakfast menu (available from 8am for all us early risers) and refreshingly different kiddie options, we can’t wait to return en-famille and with our mini critics in tow.
pssst….mamas in Silicon Oasis and Karama, watch this space, Taste Kitchen is coming to you soon!
Taste Kitchen, Mercato Mall, Beach Road, Dubai,
Tel: (+971)(0)43 854 380,