Dubai food review: Carine, Emirates Golf Club
Sea bass carpaccio with peanuts and fine chili
Go for the seafood
REGARDLESS OF YOUR opinion of the actual game (what's that saying about a good walk ruined?), golf clubs guarantee two constants. The first is there will always be a handful or more Mercedes C-Classes parked out front and the second is the presence of a high-class eatery. While the restaurant's quality may vary from establishment to establishment, it is sure to possess the required pizzazz and perhaps even bear a famous culinary master's name. Think about it, when was the last time you heard of a country retreat not boasting about their Michelin stars? Carine at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai fits this particular bill and thankfully its standard is beyond reproach. Chef Izu's landmark city property; Carine's French Mediterranean menu and its premises fit the environment perfectly; perched overlooking one of the UAE's finest courses.
It was a busy Thursday afternoon when we made our way down to the beautifully appointed terrace. Umbrellas shielded the predominantly business and 'ladies/lads who lunch' set from the sun whilst they got a head start on the weekend. The smell of freshly cut grass danced up from the greens below; the atmosphere highlighted by the clinking of fine china and glassware. As we were led to our intimate table, freshly baked bread and sparkling water appeared almost immediately - always a good sign. The numerous staff continuously did the rounds, eyeing each table: attentive without overstepping the line. It was shaping up to be a decent couple of hours.
First up, a specialite de la maison: the recently added sea bass carpaccio with peanuts and fine chili accompanied by a thick citrus drizzle. Preferring carpaccio to the these-days more prevalent ceviche, the fish was delicious with its condiments providing the necessary zest demanded from a light dish of this nature. As a midday meal appetiser it was wonderful. Special mention also has to go to the beef tartare (we can never resist), which was creamy and satisfying and will please those who feel the recipe shouldn't contain any spice. We would have preferred a bit of a kick, but were nonetheless satiated.
For the main, there was only ever going to be one choice. Carine prides itself on its seafood and top of the carte sits 'grilled tiger prawns with apple and harissa relish.' The enormous gambas lay on the plate next to sautéed spinach, which dusted with rock salt was the best we have ever tasted, and some decent broccolini. Piled up on our fork, each element smeared in the tangy sauce - we could have eaten the dish three times over. Although attempting to get up from the meal was difficult enough as it was especially when you take into account the portion of cheesecake we devoured to finish off proceedings. An almost whipped cream consistency, the rich biscuit base and a tart passion fruit topping rounded of this superb treat a...well, treat.
. Where: Carine, Emirates Golf Club
. Best dish: Grilled tiger prawns
. Av. cost pp.: Dhs250