Restaurant Review: The Cavendish, JLT
The Irish restaurant's menu has had an Italian makeover
Previously serving Irish fare, The Cavendish has devised a new ‘Taste of Italy’ à la carte evening menu, which is set to run for six months.
With Dubai’s easily bored clientele, transient menus may be a good idea, and the quality of food and the service at The Cavendish remain top notch. New dishes include heirloom tomato and burrata, simply dressed with cracked black pepper, rock salt and olive oil, for Dhs50, and a wilted radicchio salad with Italian blue veined cheese, roasted walnuts, apple sticks and balsamic, also Dhs50. The standout starter, however, was the charcuterie platter for two: a towering forest of bread sticks and toast over a board of deli meats, rich and creamy paté, fresh figs and tart pickles, at Dhs120 for two.
Sadly, there aren’t any fish mains, but there’s a pasta selection (open celeriac and oxtail lasagne piqued my interest), and a ‘terra’, or land selection, as well as classic Italian desserts. I went for the chargrilled sirloin, at Dhs220. Served with deep-fried mushrooms and onion rings, the ensemble was more American than Italian, but it was perfectly cooked with the light and crispy breadcrumbs and batter adding crunch to every bite.
The Cavendish still struggles with its ambience; the ceiling opens to the lobby level, creating an issue with noise pollution that the easy-listening piano doesn’t combat, the lighting fails to evoke intimacy and the embossed satin tablecloths brought out at night seem a little stuffy, and don’t co-ordinate with the casual terrace seating – a recent addition that’s given this venue way more potential.
Based on the chefs’ considerable meat-cooking skills, I’d convert this place to a steak house, replace the piano with a clever sound system, throw away the tablecloths, add some candlelight and inject some colour into the walls with bespoke artwork from Ruben Sanchez who’s responsible for colouring-in several of Dubai coolest restaurants. Then it’ll be 10 out of 10! INFO: Bonnington Hotel, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, 04 356 0533, bonningtontower.com