June 17, 2016 / Leave a Comment
Ahh Grosvenor house….full of so many of my favourite eateries, yet so hard to pronounce. My love for GH brought me here to test out a dining venue that was new to me yet not new to Dubai….Rhodes W1.
Short on time? Read a summary review here…
One of Gary Rhodes’ eponymous restaurants, this is a Dubai establishment that has celeb chef cred attached and prices to match. Not knowing much about Gary Rhodes himself, apart from the fact that he’s British, we strolled into the stunning foyer of Rhodes W1 with high hopes and fairly open minds, save for sneaking a peek at the online menu. Now let me get back to that stunning foyer for a moment – it’s like the gates of heaven. I’m guessing, having not been there of course (heaven that is). But if a foodie heaven were to exist, I imagine it would look something like the entrance way to Rhodes W1.
This ethereal decor doesn’t stop at the foyer – the entire restaurant is one to marvel at. Bright white, lush green fauna, sunny yellow and plenty of birds flying free from their birdcages…that’s Rhodes W1 in a nutshell. I feel like I’m on a peacefully perfect Parisian balcony.
Sat at our table, the most popular in the house apparently (though for me that would be the semi-private large table nestled in verdant surrounds under the chandelier of butterflies – yes, the decor is THAT poetically pretty), we are mostly alone in the inside dining room, other diners choosing to enjoy the outdoors and the mild-yet-warm spring Dubai climes. Our waiter for the night, when asked if he will be looking after us, gives us a ‘well, I guess I could, I suppose’ which left us a tad perplexed I must say. Felt like he got a little lost on the way here perhaps.
Anyway, onwards to the bread. As you might know, I use breads as a bit of a barometer of what’s to come. Well, they were pretty good, and accompanied by some assorted butters – but we didn’t get an explanation of what they were so we got to sleuthing ourselves. We declined the kind offer of more breads, attempting to save as much room as possible for what was to come.
My biggest confusion with Rhodes W1 is that the setting doesn’t match the food. I didn’t expect this in the slightest. At all. But reality hit me hard once the dishes started arriving. The food is not bad per se…but it belongs in a different restaurant. I feel like we’re living in a restaurant face-swap of sorts, and we’ve been served dishes from another place entirely – Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen perhaps? The Scene maybe? They felt altogether much too harsh for the delicate and beautiful environment we were seated in. This setting deserves an attention to detail, an elevation of classic flavours to a place that pleases the eye as much as the palate…but it just wasn’t forthcoming. Flavours much too brash, plating much too simple…there’s a massive sense of dischord here.