Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Struggling on in Dubai....

We sat just to the left...
Unless you've been living under a rock the last few weeks, you will have heard the excitement, nay hysteria, that followed the opening of The Ivy in Dubai.  If you're me, you will have been thoroughly swept up in aforementioned excitement.

If you're a Brit, The Ivy needs no introduction.  It was always a favourite haunt when visiting London, especially when entertaining media, who at one point in my early career, we allowed to choose their own lunch or dinner venues.  Now, I think they take what they're given..

I can even remember the days when you called The Ivy to book a table and spoke to a real person, rather than the automated system they were forced to bring in when their popularity skyrocketed.  Everyone has a story of a great meal there, which would never be complete without a celebrity sighting.  My favourite remains Dale Winton and Barbara Windsor: at the same table!  A friend also saw Posh, David and Gordon one night.  Good times.

So when The Ivy opened here, we were all over it like a rat up a palm tree, natch.  There's been so many reviews about it that I won't spend too much time waxing lyrical, suffice to say: it was good.  Everything from decor, ambience, food (top notch), service, it ticked all the boxes.  I always find that brand new high-profile restaurants have a palpable zing about them when they first open, there's just something in the air - The Ivy Dubai was no different, and a thoroughly great time was had by all.  I'll definitely be heading back. 

The Ivy is from the same Le Caprice stable as The Rivington Grill, in Souk Al Bahar.  Those who know me will know that this is a real favourite of ours: great British food served in light, bright, airy surroundings, with a fabulous atmosphere.  It overlooks the Dubai Fountains and is in the shade of the beautiful Burj Khalifa.  In the few years it's been open I've never had anything less than a fabulous meal and experience there, and I've eaten there A LOT.

In recent weeks we've started a slightly naughty habit: Saturday lunch.  What started as a pit stop on the way home from shopping one afternoon has become a regular diary fixture.  Whilst much of Dubai swills beer and behaves outrageously at a Friday brunch, there's something decadent and civilised about perching at the bar and setting the world to rights with a glass of chilled rose and salad, created by one of the city's best chefs, just because we can. 

And this brings me onto my final thought: Love The Ivy.  But also love The Riv.  And if I absolutely had to choose...well....I think that the Riv has the edge.  Dinner there (again) on Wednesday evening.  Well, a girl has to keep up to date with the cities beast eateries, yes?


Mrs Dubai said...

I agree totally, The Riv has the edge - the location of The Ivy is also weird.

expatmammy said...

I love the Riv too especially as im just across the road to stumble home