I love to eat and I love to write, so combining two passions through work and play is making for one very happy expat recently. And Thursday night was a combination of both. I was invited by a fantastic friend to join her at the menu tasting of a new restaurant/bar in the heart of Dubai Marina and of course, I jumped at the invitation.
The Scene is a new British food concept which recently opened in Pier 7 and after a couple of hours there on Thursday, I think it's a winner. Now since I have only been here for 2 months (yeh time flies right) I have tried just a handful of what the city has to offer, but I think the decor, the location and the food combined, will make this a very popular hangout for British expats living in Dubai.
Serving up some delicious British dishes with a twist, the traditional menu covers some serious ground and caters for veggies and meat lovers alike. And the drinks menu is just as enticing with reasonably priced wines and bottles including Kopperberg, you can indulge in a drink with your dinner without the hefty price tag we all know and loathe.
None of those on Thursday night though since their alcohol license doesn't come into effect until September. But they made up for it with a pretty delicious range of mocktails from a fresh yet bitter G&T remake called the Regal Refresher with heaps of cucumber ribbons exploding from the jar, to a Blackberry Nojito which was crammed full of fresh blackberries and had a gentle sweet undertone without being sickly.
The best way I can describe the decor is cosy granny with a touch of chic. The soft tartan carpet in mellow blues and oranges, the exposed brick wall adorned with antique looking frames and paintings, the fringed floral print lampshades hanging from the ceiling and the strong wooden tables and berry coloured, soft seating sound like a jumble, but it works. The space is inviting and casual and the soft lighting makes for a perfect venue for dinner with your other half or drinks with friends.
And the eclectic mix of seating from leather arm chairs to half bath lounge seats to wooden and metal dinning chairs, makes the terrace a place to investigate for sure. You may wander out there for some interior inspiration but you will certainly be captured by the stunning view that this mid-marina venue takes full advantage of. As soon as the temperatures die down and the alcohol license kicks in, it will be the perfect place for early evening drinks. As long as they don't ramp up the commercial factor and introduce a ladies night.
Right the food. That's why we were there. Erm...... It's delicious. We had the Pan Fried Fish Cake and Chicken Pistachio roll and both were packed with flavour and presented well. We also tucked into the Burger, which was a little overcooked since the waiting staff hadn't asked how we wanted it done, a bit of a no no but something that i'm sure will be worked on. And we tried out a British classic, the Shepherds Pie; the lamb mince was delicious and the cauliflower cheese topping was a nice twist.
One thing I will say is the portion sizes are generous and we only managed about half of our mains before we admitted defeat. Plus we wanted to leave room for desert; we opted to share the Honeycomb Cheesecake and I can definitely recommend it. Creamy and light, with a nice crunchy base, the cheesecake was topped with honeycomb and came with a raspberry sauce which added a little zesty kick and balanced out the sweet honeycomb. The menu also has a great variety of liquid deserts, think grown up milkshakes which we didn't try because we were stuffed, but would definitely be on my "to try" list during my next visit.
The service was great and the waiting staff were attentive and knowledgeable when quizzed about the dishes and their ingredients, but it was a menu tasting so you would expect that. The real test will come when the restaurant is packed and the terrace is full. The Scene at Pier 7 will definitely be one for all you British expats in Dubai, craving some home comfort food.