Restaurant Review: Bleu Blanc Oysters & Grill
As soon as you step through the rustic blue doors of Bleu Blanc Oysters & Grill, located on the mezzanine floor of the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, you get the feeling of being in a farmhouse, in a province somewhere in the south of France on the Mediterranean. Vintage decor, wooden floors, cosy tables, a wood-fired grill in an open kitchen right at the centre of the place, like a hearth, and a terrace overlooking Dubai Canal, what more can you ask for with an inviting ambience like this?
Soft lights, like in a barn house, and the fresh aroma of French delicacies being cooked on a wood-fire grill completes the ambience. However, we found the modern high-decibel lounge beats, interspersed with some Parisian accordion tunes, blaring out of the speakers out of character for a rustic bistro.
The concise menu showcases farmhouse flair with choices like bouillabaisse, prime rib, veal chops, corn-fed baby chicken, charred king prawns, wood roasted salmon, sides like chargrilled broccolini, duck fat potato and roasted mushrooms and classical desserts, such as apple tarte tatin, crème glacee and chocolate baked ganache.
We allowed maître d' Alfonso to recommend some favourties at the place and his choice featured a nice mix of popular provencal dishes, like french onion soup, grilled maine lobster, braised short ribs and corn-fed baby chicken.
We started with an amuse-bouche. The chef's choice featured a delicious foie gras pate topped on soft bread and that set the mood for the meal, starting with a classical French onion soup. The soup was well executed and made with sweet, caramelised onions topped with a large-sized toasted bread and melted Gruyère cheese. Now, this dish is known as the ultimate comfort food, and it was!
On to the mains, the first one to reach our table was grilled lobsters. Once thought to be fancy and pricey, these crustaceans are now a regular feature in several eateries. The lobsters were meaty fresh and had the smell of the sea. The wood-charred flavour gave it that farmhouse cuisine touch. A squeeze of fresh lime and spoonfuls of lemon butter sauce on the dish was enough to send us on a seafood journey. Next up was corn-fed chicken, again it had a smoky flavour and more than the taste, it was the smell of charred wood that stimulated the taste buds. However, the highlight of the meal was the braised short rib. Succulent, mouth-melting Wagyu meat tasted so good. Irresistibly good. The meat was so tender and juicy and it melted the moment it entered the mouth. The aioli sauce further enhanced the taste. The mains came with sides of grilled broccoli and a generous serving of creamy mashed potato with truffle. We ended the meal with rich baked chocolate ganache and macadamia ice cream.
The service was perfect and professional with little waiting time between the courses. Alphonso kept us engaged with his friendly conversation and his customary 'Bon Appetit' with every dish he placed on our table. With well-executed food and service and a fantastic ambience, Bleu Blanc's farmhouse experience ticked just the right boxes for a satisfying dine out.?
Ambience: Rustic Mediterranean ambience with dimly-lit interior, cosy seating arrangements and modern/lounge music.
Taste: Some of the best French farmhouse grills you can taste in town. Their charred wood flavoured meat selection are a must try.
Service: Staff were professional and friendly, service was swift and time taken for the dishes to reach your table was just right - averaging about 10 min.
Value for money: Cost for two people at Dh570. The La Belle Vie Brunch, Fridays (1-4 pm), from Dh325, Dh425 and Dh650; Grill & Grape, Wednesdays(6-11 pm), for Dh185 and Dh245.