Food review: La Parrilla restaurant, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Dubai
Five-star food, five-star view
TO WHAT EXTENT does a restaurant's setting influence your enjoyment of the meal? We always believed the ambience to be integral to the experience, but then again have enjoyed some of the most intricate culinary creations sat on the side of a highway (we're looking at you random truck stop just outside Tokyo). So, after much rumination, what we've concluded is the food on offer trumps all and the view - if it happens to be particularly fetching - is a bonus.
Thankfully when it comes to Jumeirah Beach Hotel's La Parrilla, there is no need to even contemplate the debate as some of the finest South American food complemented by one of Dubai's greatest vistas is every customer's privilege. Straight off the bat, we cannot overstate how breathtaking overlooking the Burj Al Arab and accompanying beach is from your 25th floor vantage point. Take a table by the window and you could perhaps dine solo, so captivating is the scenery lit up at night. La Parilla's dining room befits the Latin vibe the menu produces. Simple white linen tables, dark wood floors and alabaster walls with bare brick highlights evoke an Argentinean steak house, albeit one perched above a distinctly Dubai locale.
However, we must move onto the most important aspect of our visit: the meal. Being fortunate enough to have journeyed to a smattering of Sudamerica nations and sampled the spectacular, predominantly grilled meat-based cuisine, expectations were high. To cut a long story short, they were met with aplomb.
Baked empanadas from Argentina, charred churrasco gambas from Brazil and patatas bravas delivered with that perfect spicy, crispy fluffiness furnished our first course and set the tone for the expertly prepared feast which was to follow. Our standout item: the empanadas. Difficult but not impossible to come by in the UAE, if we see them we order them and this trio of beef, chicken and truffle & cheese beauties were up there with some of the best. Perfectly proportioned so as not to spoil your appetite, though teeming with piping hot filling, they were simply astonishing. The prawns made for a decent second although perhaps suffered from their abundant availability elsewhere. We desired novelty.
The uniqueness was served up next with a main fit for a king, if not two hungry ones. Los filetes para dos does exactly what it says on the label - it feeds a duo with a 600g tenderloin platter of Argentine, Wagyu and Angus beef. The 'asado-ised' side of meat is a triumph. Genius in its simplicity, stupendous for its flavour, any sauces were shunned in favour of appreciating the steak's natural aroma. The sides comprising a couple of vegetables were decent, but ultimately lost in what was a gorging of the highest order. One side note on another exclusive feature - if you're into Argentina's famous beverage selection, there is absolutely no chance of disappointment in that department either. Gracias La Parrilla, gracias.
Where: La Parilla, JBH
Best dish: Empanadas, Asado
Av. Cost: Dhs1000 (for two people)