Restaurant Review: The Cavendish, Bonnington Jumeirah Lake Towers

06 Dec 2011

Picture-perfect presentation and a bizarre but wonderful interpretation of the classic BLT awaits...

The Cavendish
Address: Bonnington Jumeirah Lake Towers
: 04 356 0600
Dress code: Smart casual (no shorts or sandals after 6pm)
Prices: $$$$

The Cavendish is the Bonnington’s fine dining option, the upmarket neighbour to the increasingly popular McGettigan’s. Inside you’ll find a glossy grand piano, white table cloths and deep mezzanine windows.

Service is faultless. If there’s a more sincere host in Dubai than restaurant manager Giacomo Puntel, we haven’t met them. As for the food, its photogenic presentation is guaranteed to elicit “oohs” and “ahhs”. Among its picturesque starters there are iron-seared sea scallops with sweet pea puree, browned butter and black salt (Dhs68), perfectly decorated with pretty wisps of watercress.

Another culinary stunner is the Cavendish’s take on the classic BLT: pork belly en sous vide (translation: vacuum packed and cooked in a water bath), skewered with gem lettuce and baby tomatoes, served with cubes of white bread gel and mayonnaise dust (Dhs60). If you’re thinking about the regular BLT you’re miles off course. The only thing this unusual starter shares in common with the king of sandwiches is basic ingredients, the preparation couldn’t be more different presenting pork and salad on a stick with a scattering of dice-sized white cubes that dissolve into a kind of bread sauce on the tongue. The mayo dust is a sprinkling of powered egg, and together the ensemble works beautifully.

For our main course we tried Maine red lobster ravioli (Dhs144). More like cannelloni dressed with charred pumpkin puree, roasted  garlic, shallots, shiitake mushrooms, peas, roasted red capsicum, ricotta and parmesan cream, these huge parcels of well packed pasta almost ruled out any desire for dessert. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it wasn’t for the hybrid pudding that is cheesecake crème brulee (Dhs36).

For the girl who can’t decide between the cheesecake and the crème brulee, this is the dessert for you. Combining both flavours with a bowl of brulee, a finger of rich, crunchy biscuit and a little nest of spun sugar, a piece of each makes the perfect mouthful.

Warning: The Valrhona chocolate fudge cake with raspberry coulis and chantily cream (Dhs34), is not for the faint-hearted. This rich, super-sized slab of a chocolate ganache-style cake is more suited to romantics happy to share a serving.

Though the prices are on the tall side for JLT and the restaurant can be a little too quiet, particularly during the week, the food and the hospitality make The Cavendish worthy of a weekend visit with the other half.

Signature dishes: There is no set signature dish, but the BLT and cheesecake crème brulee could be prime contenders.

FYI: The Cavendish offers regular culinary flights of fancy - such as salt-tasting nights. Gourmands should keep an eye on the website for upcoming events.