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Relets par Pierre Gagniare

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November 15, 2015 / French / By

Recently, I wrote about tea at Choix, located in the vast lobby of Dubai's Intercontinental hotel. 

It is now time to introduce you to the parent restaurant – Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire. I have had the good fortune to dine here a couple of times. However, I feel that the opportunities are coming to an end as I prepare to retire. It is a very expensive choice, but you do get what you pay for.

Over the years that I have travelled and lived in various cities with my family, I have had some extraordinary experiences in restaurants and bars around the world. One that stands out was in a bar in the Hankyu International hotel in Osaka, a city my family and I lived for a few years. Osaka city is not beautiful, so we would occasionally take refuge in this particular hotel and treat the family. We had eaten there before, but always at the company’s expense. In fact, I had never seen a menu nor a bill. On the first occasion we went to the bar high up in the hotel with our three children, we were a little taken aback when the bill was presented to my husband by a beautifully coiffured young woman in a kimono, who proceeded to kneel beside him while he signed the credit card statement.

This comes to mind because I was equally taken aback when it came time to pay the bill at Reflets, not that there was a kimono in sight. It was the size of the bill. We stayed cool, signed, thanked the attentive waiter, probably did not tip nearly enough and left before admitting to each other that it had been fantastically expensive. The tasting menu tells it all.

But was it worth it? It depends. The luxurious interior transports you to Paris. There is plenty of plush, red velvet, and Italian chandeliers bounce light around the room. The tables are widely spaced, so that you cannot hear nor be overheard. This is an expensive option for a restaurant. It is far more cost effective to cram more tables in, but that is not acceptable in a high end restaurant. So the atmosphere is calm and sophisticated.

In addition, the waiters are attentive without being condescending – quite a skill when serving people from all parts of the globe, many of whom seldom opt for the fine dining option, and need gentle support through the menu or the wine list. We were only too happy to accept the waiter’s suggestion that he pair the drinks with the food as we are very familiar with New Zealand wines, know something about Italian wines, but have a less confident grasp of French wines apart from a few champagnes.

But the food – well there is no doubt that it is expertly crafted by the Michelin chefs using the finest ingredients. The waiter served each dish with a wealth of information about the ingredients. But, I am ashamed to admit that I was not able to taste all 16 different ingredients in the sauce whilst concentrating on the lobster tail. Luckily, at Reflets, there is no need to hunt for the lobster. It is clearly there before you on the plate.

In between the dishes you order come little amuse-bouche such as mouth cleansing sorbets. And then, of course, there are the desserts. On one occasion, there were so many desserts that I was overwhelmed. But, I must admit that I seldom order dessert at restaurants. I tend to find that most desserts are decorative concoctions of relatively cheap ingredients. I was not disabused of this idea at Reflets. Yes, sweets created by a great pastry chef are delectable, and if you like sweet pastries, this will be a great joy to you at Reflets. But they did not work for me. Eventually, I realized I had begun to talk about other dining experiences I had had, a sure sign that this one was not hitting the mark. I have accepted that I am all about clean tastes, robust meat dishes and top quality vegetables.

Reflets is an outstanding restaurant and probably the top fine dining experience available in Dubai. I am glad I have tried it.


Country: United Arab Emirates

Province/State: Dubayy

City: N/A

Address: InterContinental Dubai - Festival City, Festival Blvd - Dubai

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: 04 701 1111


Price Guide:$$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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