We try new Dubai beach hangout, HQ's 459
By David Light
Published: Tue 16 Jan 2018, 5:52 PM
Last updated: Sun 28 Jan 2018, 1:39 PM
EARLY MORNINGS. THERE'S something about surfing that screams, 'early mornings'. We're not sure if it's a result of watching too many Australian soap operas when we were kids and seeing all those bronzed boardies head out to catch waves before school, or if there is an actual meteorological reason, but as far as we can tell the sport appears to rely on hitting the beach around sunrise. The 2017 version of us would baulk at the idea, letting out a Dracula-esque hiss in reaction to even a glimmer of light breaking through the curtains before 10am on a Friday. This, however, is 2018 and, with an inexplicably invigorated frontier spirit, it's the year of being healthier and more productive. This means making the most of the weekend and, at this time of year, taking advantage of the perfect beach weather for the next few months.
Often crisp yet sunny, our early morning escapades may not always end up with "hanging ten", such are Dubai's relatively calm waters, but simply enjoying the sea, whether surfing, paddle-boarding or just swimming, is enough to satisfy the craving for a little adventure, satiate that nagging voice always admonishing us for allowing time to slip by and, most importantly for these pages, build up an appetite.
Whether you own a wave-hugger or not, Dubai has its fair share of beach-bum, surfie hangouts often serving up large yet health-conscious meals (most of the time focusing on breakfast) attracting hungry outdoors-people or those who enjoy the image. This week, after a run and swim on the shores of new premium beachfront installation, La Mer, we spotted the interestingly labeled eatery, HQ'S 459. Its breakfast menu looked staggering. Eggs Benedict, omelettes, waffles, French toast, you couldn't want for much more. Alas, there wasn't enough time right there and then to sit down - gluttonously we had big lunch plans - so we resolved to head back for dinner. Arriving around 8pm, it was astonishing to see how busy not just the restaurant was, but the whole La Mer boardwalk set-up. Thankfully we were able to scare up a table on the restaurant's deck to watch the world go by and enjoy the food.
To start, lightly battered calamari and octopus, the quality of which we have not experienced in Dubai for quite some time. The accompanying aioli was equally superb offering a tart edge to the flaky and tender dishes. The enormous jumbo prawns were equally delectable - reminiscent of the grilled seafood served in any Aegean resort.
Already fit to burst, a staggeringly large Wagyu burger and steak frites, provided the red meat. The steak was standard fare, enjoyable yet not outstanding, but the burger would please the burliest extreme sports enthusiast. All washed down with coconut water from a HQ's branded seed, we topped the meal off with an unusual milk cake dessert - a dulce de leche and cereal milk ice. In a word: narly.
Where: HQ'S 459, La Mer
Cost for two: Dhs300
Best dish: Fried octopus