Restaurant Review: Titanic Cocktail Bar & Grill Room

As the portholes open in Bur Dubai, does Marco weave his magic?
Monday , 09 July 2012
Titanic Cocktail Bar & Grill Room
Titanic Cocktail Bar & Grill Room
Titanic Cocktail Bar & Grill Room
Titanic Cocktail Bar & Grill Room
Titanic Cocktail Bar & Grill Room
Titanic Cocktail Bar & Grill Room

Titanic Cocktail Bar & Grill Room by Marco Pierre White
Address: Meliá Dubai, Port Rashid, Bur Dubai
Times: Currently open daily for dinner (7pm to 11pm), and for lunch after Ramadan
Tel: 04 386 8111
Web: www.melia-dubai.com.

We’ve all heard of the ill-fated RMS Titanic, so it comes as a surprise to see Brit celebrity chef-turned-restaurateur Marco Pierre White transplant his original London restaurant concept (which succumbed to its namesake’s fate, closing its portholes many moons ago) to Dubai. However, despite his openly hands-off attitude, hanging up his chef’s whites in 1999, he did weave plenty of Marco magic when we interviewed him last month. But does that magic translate to the dining experience?

The boutique Meliá Hotel may be located in dusty Bur Dubai, but Titanic oozes sexy intimacy and informality with an impressive cocktail bar. The lounge area, leading onto the main dining room, is complete with many a cosy banquette alcove, white linen tablecloths and neutral Armani-esque soft furnishings. Marco was right, “Titanic is much more casual – you can sit and have your dinner here in the bar lounge. I like casual dining. I don’t want to dress up. I like simplicity. It’s all about lifestyle, about enjoying yourself, sitting with your friends and loved ones and having a nice dinner.”

A strongly European-influenced menu entices with plenty of dishes to tickle anyone’s palate. Or if you’re after smaller and lighter snacks, opt for the lounge menu. One starter stood out immediately: a panaché of warm foie gras – in this case duck – topped with a fried egg, all on lightly toasted brioche (Dhs120). It’s a must-try dish for any diner – so much so, we wish Titanic was open for breakfast. The vibrant, freshly shredded crab encased in lightly fried filo pastry and dipped in fresh mango chutney (Dhs55) makes a great alternative to traditional Chinese spring rolls. If we had one quibble, it would be that the melt-in-your-mouth carpaccio of fresh scallops in a perky ginger and coriander dressing (Dhs75) had a drizzle too much olive oil.

As for mains, an order of risotto is always bound to test a chef’s calibre – and the asparagus and parmesan combination did not disappoint (Dhs65) – al dente yet creamy enough, with plenty of crunchy seasonal spears. A Titanic signature dish, the magret of duck Marco Polo (Dhs130) could have been a tad more rosy, but the peach and Sauternes roasting juices helped liven it up – as did a perfectly crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside, potato fondant.

In addition to the foie gras, if there’s one dish that we would return for it would not be, surprisingly, the traditional British Eton mess (Dhs40)but rather the heavenly, hot raspberry soufflé (Dhs60) that is so perfectly executed you’ll never opt for its dark chocolate sibling again.
With food so exquisite and wonderfully wallet-friendly, it’s a real shame Titanic was eerily quiet. Despite the location, we hope business picks up after the summer so we can return for a magical journey.

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