You may have already seen numerous posts of Dubai socialites posing under a huge 'SHUCK ME' painted across a whitewashed wall. Tongue-in-cheek and a bit edgy, it announces the vibe at The Maine as well as the star of the menu - freshly shucked oysters.
It's hard to find, hidden at the back of DoubleTree by Hilton on JBR, accessed via a car park. Some might say it lacks curb appeal; others enjoy its semi-secret location
Inside, it's hipster central - chefs and barmen with Shoreditch beards and tattoos, seaside stripes and checks, wood panelling, plastic chairs, glam chandeliers and specials chalked up on a blackboard - collectively easily embodying 'shabby chic'. The open-plan bar and restaurant are vaguely divided ny high-back benches, and there's an outdoor terrace facing the beach.
There are four varieties of oyster on offer - you'll be advised on the best catch of the day. The clam chowder is pure comfort food and the seafood towers make healthy and impressive centrepieces on any table. There's plenty for the fish-adverse, too - steak tartare, foie gras terrine, and burrata with tomato, basil, interestingly, honey, to name but a few starters. The mushroom and truffle pizza has been a big hit, as have the crispy cod tacos with lemon aioli.
For the mains there's a selection of steaks, chops and fresh fish at market prices, plus classic ensembles from fish and chips and burgers to halibut in Bearnaise and moules mariniere. Charred Brussels sprouts deserve a mention for breaking with tradition to appear among the list of sides - see, they're not just for Christmas.
INFO: 12noon-12midnight Sat-Wed, 12noon-1am Thu-Fri, Ground Floor, The DoubleTree by Hilton, JBR, 04 457 6719, themaine.ae