Restaurant Review: Yuan, Atlantis
INFO: 6pm-11.30pm Sat-Wed, 6pm-12.30am Thu-Fri, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, 04 426 2626, www.atlantisthepalm.com
With its own entrance from The Avenue’s restaurant and retail zone, Yuan is one of the most impressively designed spaces I’ve walked into this year. It has glam written all over it, with intricate lighting features, lush upholstery and a glossy cocktail bar you’ll want to be seen at.
Straight off the bat, service is notably good, with knowledgeable and hospitable staff providing well informed advice on the menu and guidance on food and drink pairings. Take their advice (and ours) and ease into the evening with one of Yuan’s elaborately presented Martinis – it sets the tone perfectly.
The menu traverses China’s diverse culinary landscape to bring diners the fieriness of the Szechuan region, famous classics such as Peking duck and technique-specific Cantonese creations like dim sum.
The appetisers section of the menu is dim sum heavy but, as I’m not a fan of dumplings, I head for the deep-fried tiger prawns with wasabi mayo and tobiko. There is not the slightest smear of oiliness and the batter is a mere crispy whisper across the succulent flesh of the prawns. Not a brand-new invention, but executed perfectly.
I have a soft spot for anything and everything barbecue and as Oriental barbecue is not hugely represented in the UAE I dived right in to the combo platter featuring roast duck, crispy roast chicken and 26-hour braised beef cheek with soya paste. Each variety of meat is well seasoned, crispy where it needs to be and soft and juicy in all the right places. Once you have your first bite you’ll instantly regret your previous offer to “share”.
If I close my eyes and reminisce about the seafood clay pot, I can smell the aromas of the undersea gems luxuriating in a pool of XO sauce. Cooking each of the components of the clay pot to perfection requires skill, which the chefs at Yuan obviously have in abundance as every bite is spot on, not over or under-cooked.
For a high-end eatery in a tourist oriented resort, it’s also good to see generous and not fiddly portions relative to the price. With this new addition Atlantis retains its rep as a hotel with some serious culinary prowess.
Splurge: BBQ Meat Combination Dhs195
Steal: Seafood Fried Rice Dhs80