RESTAURANT REVIEW: Weslodge, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
The new Canadian restaurant at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai has scored a hat trick. With ambience, food and drinks all being ranked highly by the critics, I’m not surprised the place is packed when I turn up to review it.
It’s rare to create a venue where the restaurant and bar achieve equal footing. Often, the lounge becomes a waiting room for a dinner table, or the restaurant is overshadowed by the buzzing bar. Not so at Weslodge. You enter via the bar area and are greeted by real Canadian bartenders (picture hipster beards on the guys, vintage updos on the gals, tattoo sleeves and cheeky smiles on both). They have the sort of banter that’ll make you want to hang around for a drink or three, or even stay all night, but you really have to try the food.
I wasn’t bowled over by the Canadian favourite poutine, served here with admittedly delicious lobster and tarragon Hollandaise sauce covering a mound of fries, purely because the fries were a little dry. But some special touches caught my attention, like the moreish black sesame crackers, which added an extra nutty crunchy dimension to the tasty ahi tuna ceviche spiked with yuzu hot sauce (Dhs55). The show-stopper was the Southern fried chicken; a favourite of Oprah’s, I’ve never understood the appeal – until now. Done well, this is a gift of soft succulent white meat wrapped in a crisp, light coat of satisfying seasoning – and Weslodge have nailed it.
Weslodge offers fancy desserts, of course, and I defy anyone not to fall in deep and meaningful love with a caramel and hazelnut mille feuille (Dhs40), but you have to try the pie. There’s something just so comforting, so North American, about serving up a slice of pie, it’s almost as if it could make all your problems go away, and this therapy comes in four enticing flavours: key lime, banoffee, apple and cheddar, and salted caramel and dark chocolate. If you haven’t already picked up the phone to book your table, you need to check your taste buds are still working.
INFO: Weslodge, 6pm-2am, JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay, Dubai, 04 560 1700, weslodge.ae
BUDGET = Dhs135
STARTER: Crisp quail egg with merguez and truffle red onion jam, Dhs35
MAIN: Southern fried chicken with tabasco honey and brussels sprouts slaw, Dhs75
DESSERT: Pie, Dhs25 per slice
BLOW-OUT = Dhs750
STARTER: Lobster roll with celery and truffle mornay sauce, Dhs115
MAIN: 32oz Porterhouse USDA Prime steak, Dhs590
DESSERT: Gianduja chocolate tart with yuzu, meringue and yogurt sorbet, Dhs45