Food review: The Beach House, Anantara
A Thai ambience, an Arabic platter, and watching the setting sun, you can’t ask for a better dining experience at this venue on The Palm
If you’ve visited Thailand and enjoyed the evenings out at the beachside eateries in Pattaya or Phuket, then a trip to The Beach House, at Anantara Dubai Resort, will surely kick up sweet memories. While the pandemic may have pushed back all your travel plans for now, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying a South East Asian beachside experience, right here, right now!
Situated on one of the crescents of Palm Jumeirah, the property’s look is clearly inspired by traditional Thai-Siam architecture. The red-tiled temple-like bungalows resting on stilts on the waters of the Arabian Sea that flows into the hotel’s lagoon, the banana boats moored on shores, the smell of the sea and the view from the wooden decks of The Beach House transport you into a place that’s less local and more oriental.
The relaxed beach house ambience will ease your nerves and make you feel like you are out on a seaside holiday. With the weather gods favouring us at this time of the year, there’s nothing better than lazing on the decks of The Beach House, perhaps having a swim and enjoying some of delicious cuisine on the menu while watching the red hues of the sun setting on the distant horizon.
We were there to try out the Arabic BBQ, which is available from 1pm to 6pm. Chef Mohammed, who manages the live grill on the beach, offered us a mix of Mid-Eastern specialities: a mezze, including falafel and kibbe, chicken shawarma, an Arabic platter that included lamb and kebabs, shish, fatayer and tabbouleh. The platter was interesting for its variety and the smoky flavoured meats that have a touch of Arabic spices. Having lived here for over three decades, a shawarma is staple for us, but we were impressed with the chef’s interpretation.
We were also introduced to some Mediterranean-European specialities by The Beach House’s Sous Chef Lawrence Raju Gomes. Trusting his recommendations, we tried their signature calamari rings. Served in a huge cocktail glass, the batter-fried starter was well seasoned and went well with the tangy lemon chilli dip and made for a good start. The burrata salad was yet another one the chef insisted on, and we were not disappointed. The cheese was fresh and creamy, helping to even out the more stronger flavoured squid rings.
For our mains, it was grilled salmon, which was grilled well and juicy. We also tried a portion of tenderloin – medium done. We’ve always liked our steaks done medium as it helps trap in all the juices while the meat remains succulent, flavourful and retains its cherry red colour. The steak was accompanied by hand-cut fat fries and peppercorn jus. We liked how easily the knife passed through the steak giving an indication that the meat wouldn’t be chewy or stringy.
We ended the experience with a tiramisu and some blueberry cheesecake and washed the desserts down with double strength shots of espresso. The tiramisu helped mask the bitterness of the espresso. The cheesecake has always been our favourite and we’d say The Beach House’s dessert left a satisfying taste.
If the pandemic has disrupted your holiday plans to a Far East destination, then The Beach House could give you that an ‘almost there’ experience. It’s a place where the Far East meets the Middle East.
Taste: We would highly recommend the Arabic BBQ which went well with the beach ambience. Also, try out their blueberry cheesecake; The Beach House does a good job with the dessert.
Ambience: Typical beach side joint with wooden decks, furniture and desert fans to keep you cool. Tables were kept at a safe distance. The open beach adjoining the restaurant was busy with grown-ups as well as kids enjoying a swim in the lagoon, or indulging in other water sports activities. Our only grouse was a bunch of flies that kept buzzing around our meal; a fly swatter would surely have come handy here.
Service: Friendly, warm and cheerful, just like you’d expect if you landed in Bangkok, but the traditional Sawasdee (pronounced sah-wah-dee) greeting was missing and it would have made guests feel more welcome. Nevertheless, staff were attentive and responded well to requests.
Presentation: The dishes were plated and garnished well, and the portioning was just right. The accompaniments and sauces were tailored well to match the dish.
Value for money: More than the price of the dishes, it’s the ambience that’s worth shelling out on. An Arabic mezze will set you back Dh70, while an Arabic mix grill platter comes for Dh140, and a chicken shawarma is priced at Dh55. An a la carte experience comes for around Dh350, but prices vary as per choice of dishes.