Dining Amongst Skyscrapers

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Dining Amongst Skyscrapers

Level 43 Sky Lounge offers gourmet twists to much-loved classics, but it's the view that really steals the show

By Janice Rodrigues

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Published: Thu 21 Jan 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 22 Jan 2016, 8:24 AM

"We're rather selfie-obsessed," the staff tells me, as I make myself comfortable on the wicker furniture in Level 43 Sky Lounge, before handing me a selfie stick that the staff actually keep on hold for their customers' many selfie-requirements. And if you've ever stepped into the lounge, you'll immediately understand why.

Located on (you guessed it) the 43rd floor of Four Points by Sheraton, in the Trade Centre area, you only need to step into the outdoor lounge to be awed by the views of Dubai's cityscape on all sides. There are skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, one of the best views of Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai has to offer, and if you get the angle right, you can see the Burj Khalifa twinkling innocently away in the distance. Rest assured, you simply must take time out to admire the view before you can turn your attention to anything else.

Once you manage to tear your eyes away from the glittering view, you're bound to be pleasantly surprised. Enter Level 43 and you'll run into their indoors seating area, complete with wooden flooring and cosy, upholstered seating. But you don't really come to a place like this to sit indoors; step outside and grab a seat on the surprisingly classy wicker furniture, bathed under the neon light emitted from the railing and bask in its chic surroundings. My dining companion and I opted for a table beside the glass railing and loved that we could actually see Sheikh Zayed Road through it, without having to move a muscle. Not to mention the fact that tucked under each chair's cushion is a blanket for those chilly nights we've been having of late. A nice touch, indeed!
Having comfortably snuggled into our blankets, we started on the important stuff - the food. Sharing is a huge part of the lounge's menu (which, by the way, comes in the form of an iPad - not too shabby), and their platters are also value for money. The service is perfectly friendly too, although we did notice a delay as the place got more packed. We decided to begin our night of indulgence with their seafood platter; the Lobster Crunch - decadent chunks of lobster coated with cornflakes and served with mango cubes - was absolutely extraordinary. The cornflakes lent the tender meat a touch of sweetness while keeping it crispy, and it would be a crime to leave without sampling this signature creation. The Seared Salmon with Capers Rosti Potato is their own take of the humble British classic, fish and chips, and a pretty good one at that. Accompanied by a side of fries, the salmon was perfectly spiced and seared - crispy on the outside and flakey on the inside, just as it should be. By comparison, the Crispy Calamari seemed almost ordinary, and a bit on the greasier side for me.
We also decided to order some vegetarian options (one of the many perks of those small sharing platter portions is getting to try so many different things). The Fried Blue Cheese and Risotto Balls were piping hot and a pretty good option. What I was really excited about was their Potato Chat Salad; an interesting take on the popular Indian streetfood, the pooris came stuffed with a generous helping of potato and tamarind yoghurt. It wasn't the best I've sampled (that honour is reserved for the streets of India alone) with the potato flavour overwhelming the rest of the ingredients, but it was such an innovative entrée, I didn't mind one bit.
We were beginning to feel the effects of all that gorging now, so we decided to split one of their poultry dishes. And when we saw our order of Roasted Light Spicy Chicken, we knew we had made the right choice. Not only was the chicken satisfyingly coated in a tangy, sticky sweet and sour sauce, the quantity was more than enough for two. Points for the presentation, as the chicken was served over a bed of sticky rice that had the intriguing shape and texture of bread. 
For desserts, I pitched for the Chocolate Hazelnut Torte. The soft, spongy chocolate cake was layered with custard and bittersweet chocolate and gelled well with the seasonal berries that topped it. My dining companion opted for the classic Cheesecake and it was undoubtedly one of the best I've sampled. Covered with strawberry sauce and bursting with the flavour of fresh raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, this was a definite win, and we found ourselves fighting over it a bit.
Even with our meal over, it was hard to tear ourselves away from the breathtaking view, so we decided to wait it out and soak it in. In case you were wondering, we did end up taking that selfie. Blame it on that dazzling Dubai skyline.

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