Café Rouge: Jumeirah’s answer to your corner Parisian eatery

Café Rouge: Jumeirah’s answer to your corner Parisian eatery

The Madinat’s Café Rouge is Jumeirah’s answer to your corner Parisian eatery.

By David Light - Senior Reporter

Published: Wed 10 Jun 2015, 10:03 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:52 PM

Well, it's almost your typical French establishment. Café Rouge may have originated in London in the late eighties, but any thought the cuisine may reflect the English capital is ill-founded. It was the owners’ intention to bring traditional Gallic fare to Britain (and succeeded) and now it’s Dubai’s turn.

 Perched near the Souk Madinat’s main entrance, Café Rouge has that air of authenticity about it. You can’t quite put your finger on why this is the case, but the unassuming exterior and straight-forward interior plays to the restaurant’s advantage as you can’t help but concentrate on the food. Yes, there are a few mementos of France on the walls and the way the tables are set up you could be in any number of Parisian boltholes, but it is the carte, however, upon which our focus must centre.

 There is a temptation to somewhat overdo the “Frenchiness” when entering a place like Café Rouge. By this I mean, you look at everything on the menu and pick out the most stereotypical dish you can see, stopping short of donning a beret and faux little beard in the process. The temptation on this occasion was too much. We may as well have been wearing stripy shirts and a string of onions round our necks because, despite there being a variety of options, we went straight for the pate, cheese, mussels and steak.

 That’s correct. For starters came the Bresse Bleu or warm Burgundy blue cheese with a sourdough baguette and apple along with duck liver and porte pate on chargrilled rye bread and chutney. The cheese was the winner – runny, warm and delicious. Mixed with the apple it was magnificent. The addition of the chutney to the pate took it from average to good.

Up next was my favourite – mussels. Steamed in a cream, garlic and celery broth, the enormous pot of shellfish was delicious. It’s sometimes difficult to find decent mussels around here, but these are definitely worth a try. Simple, hearty and full of texture and flavour when they’re cooked well, they are magnificent. And these were cooked very well.

 The steak-frites was another decent order. Again it was the accompanying peppercorn sauce and truffle mayonnaise which elevated its rating, so make sure to fork out the extra few dirhams for these condiments.

 There was only ever going to be one choice for dessert and that was of course the chocolate fondant which came with raspberry sorbet. Magnifique!

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