Two Michelin Stars, curious illusions, and a cutting-edge take on historic British cuisine dating back to the 1300s. We step into the industrial-chic setting of DINNER by Heston Blumenthal at the newly opened Atlantis Royal.
The restaurant offers diners a cutting-edge take on historic British cuisine dating back to the 1300s, described as a ‘rare gem for seasoned gastronomes’ the experience transports you through the kitchens of medieval Britain in the most contemporary manner imaginable.
As you enter the space, the dining room is incredibly chic, refined, and masculine. With darker tones, rich leathers, and brushed metals; it’s like a beautifully tailored suit; sharp and exuding quiet confidence; that of a true gentleman. There’s no denying the attention to detail.
After you’ve passed the wooden Victorian emblems and mysterious sliding door, you are enrobed with subtle frankincense, wood smoke, and leather scents diffused through the space. As the entry door closes, a concealed automatic sliding door opens to reveal the restaurant, the show kitchen, and a magnificent mechanical pineapple.
Featuring a pulley system based on a 16th-century design used for the British Royal Court, the two-metre-high Pineapple clock is inspired by the watchmakers of Greenwich and the royal kitchen of Tudor England, and the system powers a clockwork spit roast located in the kitchen that cooks the pineapples.
FUN FACT: In the late 1800s, pineapples were regarded as the height of luxury, an exotic accessory that only graced the table at the very richest aristocrats’ social gatherings, with a single fruit worth thousands of pounds.
The kitchen is well-lit and immaculately set for an evening of wow-factor moments. As an army of well-seasoned Chefs delve into preparation and plating, we took a moment to enjoy the reimagined music, a contemporary playlist of lounge tracks with delicate baroque undertones. You wouldn’t know you’re listening to classical music, but again it’s one of the magical unseens that makes DINNER the ultimate Dubai dining experience.
MICHELIN-star chef Heston Blumenthal embarked on a journey to create a menu that transports historical discoveries and fascinations into a new and evolving modern dining experience. He surely succeeded in his mission.
To start, a pristine pearl appeared. In the spirit of Henry VIII and ‘fooling’ his guests in court, the pearl was, in fact, white chocolate filled with caviar; quite the match surprisingly. The pearl also pays homage to the legacy of pearls in the UAE and region, as one of the earliest trade industries. A welcome local touch to commence the storytelling.
Another simple pleasure was the best butter you’ve ever tasted. Brought all the way from a British dairy farm in Cheshire, England, this show-stopping churned butter paired perfectly with (phenomenal) bread to set the scene for what was to follow.
The first course presented Hay Smoked Salmon with caviar. The wildly-talented team explained the process (involving blanching garlic four times with separate servings of milk and adding just the right level of acidity) to create such a melodic pairing.
Followed by what appeared to be a whole black Truffle. It was another iconic creation formed of mushrooms and truffle to create the perfect spread, served with a hunk of toasted sourdough. Perfection.
Now, before we head to the mains, we’d like to take a moment to express the incomparable storytelling and charm of the front-of-house team, the supervisors, and the Head Chef Tom Allen. For one of the city’s most desirable venues, there was such a modest and hospitable nature. Each course was presented with knowledge and often witty candor, keeping it conversational but light and playful. It was the perfect combination of carrying the guest on the journey, whilst allowing one to be ‘present’ and enjoy each moment. The entire team was dedicated to the story and worked in complete unity. A true pleasure to experience.
Moving back to the dishes, one of our favorites of the night was the Roast Halibut and Green Sauce. With delicate but memorable flavours, the side of triple-cooked chips made this the ultimate ‘fish and chips’.
A signature that is beautiful to both eye and palate, was the powdered duck breast. Served with delicious jus, jelly, and cherries, each tender morsel was heartily enjoyed. Side note: during our evening we explored a whole plethora of non-alcoholic beverages, curated especially for each dish. For the duck, a divine cranberry concoction with five spices gave an air of festivity and tartness. Highly recommended!
For the final course of the evening, we couldn’t miss the jovially named Tipsy Cake, a spit roast pineapple dessert circa 1810, at the center of the restaurant’s spirit and mechanism. It didn’t disappoint and deserves to be hailed as Dubai’s best pudding. It was spectacular.
Given the absolutely impeccable experience, this has to be one of our Top 5 Recommended dining experiences in the GCC. Perfect for date nights, special occasions, or business liaisons. The table awaits and DINNER is served.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is open daily from 6pm – 11pm. www.Dinnerbyhbdubai.com + 971 4 426 2444 @dinnerbyhbdubai