Located at: Financial Center Road, Downtown Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Visited on: 16 Nov, 2018
I remember having to queue to get a table for three at this very restaurant a couple of years ago. Alas, times have changed, economies have changed – Dubai has changed – and we were able to get a table for four quite easily on a Friday afternoon. This, in fact, is reflective of the current situation at most restaurants and hotels in the city. Anyway, getting back to the food…
We thought of having some soup to begin with. The Lobster Bisque Soup (AED 21 per cup) tasted nice and creamy – although it would have been nice to have a few chunks or even dices of lobster in it. However, I though the Wild Mushroom Soup (AED 19 per cup) had an edge over this one. Also creamy and with tiny bits of mushroom, a squeeze of lemon into the bowl made it quite appetising.
Lobster Bisque Soup (L) and Wild Mushroom Soup (R)
Next, we ordered a Seaside Sampler – a plate of lobster-crab-and seafood-stuffed mushrooms, parrot isle coconut shrimp and sweet chilli shrimp (AED 54). This turned out to be a delightful pick, with all the elements of the platter being fantastic. The thoroughly enjoyable stuffed mushrooms were deliciously hidden under a layer of melted parmesan, while the coconut shrimp was nice and crisp, with a slight sweet tinge. If I were to pick a favourite, I would (marginally) go with the chilli shrimp since they were beautifully crunchy with a mildly hot sauce perfectly balanced with a bit of sweetness. Wonderful.
By this time we were quite full, needless to say. So the mains proved to be a bit of a challenge. First up was the Wood-Grilled Lobster, Shrimp & Salmon – split Maine lobster tail, skewered jumbo shrimp and fresh Atlantic salmon brushed with brown butter, served over broccoli and baby gold potatoes (AED 129). The portion was of a substantial size, as promised, and looked good too. Perhaps a little more seasoning might have been good – but, of course, it came with a wedge of lemon and there was salt and pepper at the table. So I guess this balanced it out.
Next up, two orders of Lemon-Basil Salmon & Shrimp – wood-grilled fresh Atlantic salmon topped with a lemon basil cream sauce and tender roasted shrimp (AED 85). This and the next dish come with two sides which one can pick from a range of fresh broccoli, wild rice, saffron rice, vegetables, fries, mashed potato, baked potato or corn on the cob (otherwise priced at AED 23 each). Alternatively, there are a few other sides priced at AED 27 each which one can add on for an extra AED 15 – fresh asparagus, lobster mashed potato or creamy lobster baked potato. While both orders requested saffron rice, one opted for vegetables while the other went with corn on the cob for the second side. Visually, I wouldn’t say the presentation was too great – it looked a little hastily plated. But taste-wise, it was okay. The saffron rice did have a bit of flavour in it, and the creamy sauce was alright – though nothing spectacular. The cooking of the salmon and shrimps were fine, and obviously were the best part of the dishes.
Finally, there was a Parmesan-crusted Tilapia – tilapia topped with a creamy blend of parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, served with fresh broccoli and another choice of side (AED 69). The top of the fish was baked to a golden crisp, yes, but there certainly was no creamy parmesan. There was a layer of cheese between the breadcrumbs and the fish, but it was not molten and creamy as the menu suggested. In fact, I felt that the fish, as a whole, wasn’t moist enough – which made it difficult to eat a lot of it. It was on the verge of bland without the oozy cheese that I was expecting. Combined with this dry-ish texture, the lightly-boiled broccoli too felt a bit too hard to enjoy. However, the side that I picked – lobster mashed potato turned out to be something unique and enjoyable. Lavishly creamy and topped with a generous serving of crunchy lobster pieces, this was a good add-on to lift the otherwise dry-ish mains.
On the whole, we couldn’t help but wonder if we might have enjoyed our previous visits to Red Lobster more than this last one. Well, for the sake of seafood lovers like ourselves, I hope that this is just a passing thought / phase, and that our next experience would be more memorable – beyond the soup and starters.
Yummy Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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