FOOD REVIEW - Queen's Grill at QE 2
AFTER 10 YEARS of renovation, British ocean liner the Queen Elizabeth 2 opened to the public at its new home in Mina Rashid, Dubai, early this year. Named by Queen Elizabeth II after her mother, in its four decades of service the boat completed countless tours around the world and retired in 2008 to be stationed in the UAE. Now instantly one of Dubai's most historic hotels and prestigious dining destinations, we recently had the opportunity to visit the Queen's Grill - originally the ship's five-star fine dining eatery, which is a tradition the management has continued to this day. In celebration of its longevity at the pinnacle of maritime opulence, the Queen's Grill offers a nine-course heritage tasting menu complete with dishes you would have found when the QE2 first set sail in 1969. We had to go for that, didn't we?
To begin with, the setting of the restaurant is such that it makes you feel nostalgic for times gone by. The signs intimating Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket, the vintage fabrics, antique furniture pieces and the silver-service energy of the ship is an experience that we highly recommend you try. We were a group of four - two non-vegetarians, one pescatarian and the fourth, a vegetarian, and we were all well-catered for.
It was a joy to experience delicacies including Welsh rarebit, foie gras parfait, sous vide of Dover sole, butter roasted halibut, and malt chocolate tart. Most of the ingredients are sourced from the UK, which only contributed to the unique nature of the event.
Welsh rarebit was our favourite, adorned with cheddar cheese, caramelised onion and fruit bread along with Worcestershire sauce. Pan-seared scallops were our another highlight, arriving along with cauliflower puree, bacon crumbs, and Parmesan bubbles. A further notable aspect of the evening was a dish comprising a 'study of peas' and rosemary sweet potato. The pea sauce turned out to be the stellar condiment and a recipe for which we are desperately Googling.
Since it is a tasting menu, the chefs are very mindful and considerate with the quantities. Even though some of our friends, the small eaters of the bunch, were full right after the fourth innings, most of us made sure to enjoy every morsel.
We really think this is the perfect place to go for a romantic date. We advise you not to get too overwhelmed as you might get tempted to eat those gorgeous dishes too fast. Instead, take your time - enjoy the beauty of the food in front of you, and savour every bite of the ingredients.
Of course, the food is amazing, but it is the whole venue that should be experienced for a vintage feel that beautifully captures the essence of years gone by while taking you on a culinary journey of the QE2's maiden voyage.
Price-wise, it's on the higher side, starting from Dhs875 onwards, but we feel it's worth it.
Where: QE2, Mina Rashid
Best dish: 'study of peas'
Price: From Dhs875