Restaurant Review: A taste of classic Latin flavours at Deseo


Michael Gomes

Published: Fri 21 Jan 2022, 12:05 AM

Eating out is not just about good grub, it also has a lot to do with the ambience, the views and, of course, the service. Deseo at ME Dubai, located in the heart of the Business Bay area, offers all of the above and more.

With its tulum-inspired carpets, warm overhead lighting, lush green terrace dotted with palm trees (and other foliage that gives it an Amazon rainforest appeal), and matched by views of the Dubai Downtown skyline and the Burj Khalifa, the restaurant offers an ideal escape for diners to enjoy Dubai’s cool weather in an alfresco setting while nibbling on mouth-watering Latin American dishes.

The menu offers an array of delicious dishes influenced by Latin American cuisines, namely Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Mexico and more. Their food combines authentic dishes crafted by executive chef James Knight Pacheco. Born in Venezuela and growing up in Britain has given Chef Pacheco considerable exposure to two diverse cuisines, and this was represented well in his presentations. “For me, textures and taste matter more than the looks of a dish. I want the flavours to linger on long after guests have ended their meal,” says Pacheco.

And it surely did for us. For instance, chef’s signature starter Maiz Maiz was rich in flavour and texture, which we were told was a blend of varieties of corn, including the famed Choclo, Italian parmesan, and accompanied by top quality Italian winter truffle. Also unforgettable was their Wagyu Picanha, marinated in Peruvian chillies and coriander which gave it that extra bite. The searing was done in a manner where you could almost smell the hot iron grill.

We also loved the sharing platter concept, wherein the dishes are not plated but served as a platter for guests to share, similar to how you’d eat Arabic Ouzi.

Deseo’s signature desserts are a treat to watch. For instance, their Pina Colada is presented in a smoky, dry-ice platter and when placed in fresh pineapple, it unfolds itself from a cloud of mist and fog. Of course, churros is another item hard to ignore. Served with dipping sauces like vanilla and Dulce de Leche (sugar and milk concoction), we just couldn’t stop at one!

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