There are a few basic issues with Pots, Pans & Boards: the hard wood seating is uncomfortable, there are no mirrors in the bathrooms, and the menu lacks descriptions. With few words, a dearth of soft furnishings and nowhere to check your make-up, it’s easy to see that a man is behind this venture and, if you haven’t already heard, that man is none other than Tom Aitkens.
Lauded for being the youngest chef to ever earn two Michelin stars when he was just 26, working at Pied à Terre in London, Pots, Pans & Boards is one of Tom’s more casual concepts, where everything is served to share in or on... you guessed it... pots, pans or boards.
The vibe is rustic, with mismatched tiles on the walls, battered wood flooring, and shelves stacked with rows and rows of jars. The menu is original – you can order a burger, but not one made of beef. How about an oxtail burger, or a lamb burger or even a soft shell crab burger, hey?
I started with the shrimps, lemon and aioli (Dhs60). The menu of few words failed to mention that these were shrimps in their shells, and I wasn’t in the mood to peel my own food. I moved onto the black tempura squid with chilli, coriander and aioli. It’s a striking dish – the dark squid ink batter really makes the red chilli pop, but it was a tad greasy.
The meat dishes were the real heroes, like the 30-hour Spanish milk-fed lamb with rosemary polenta or the glazed short rib with crisp onion and celeriac truffle. The desserts, from classic crème brûlée to chocolate fondant, are also bankers.
All this place needs is cushions, bathroom mirrors and some informative, tempting descriptions on the menu and it would be well worth the visit. INFO: Pots, Pans & Boards, Beach Mall, JBR Walk, Dubai Marina, 04 456 1959