Restaurant Review: The Bay, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira
There's something about a hotel by the seashore. Perhaps, it's the clear, azure waters of the sea or the gentle breeze creating ripples in the water. The Bay at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, is among those restaurants set on the pristine beaches offering views of the magnificent Arabian Sea. In order to access it, you have to walk by the hotel's stunning lobby, designed by the renowned Jeffrey Wilkes, featuring a forest of 900 lights that make for the perfect Instagrammers' spot.
The Bay is a casual, multi-cuisine eatery with a modern interior that exudes a 'coffee shop' vibe. The dining area is large and features eight live cooking counters, where chefs whip up dishes from an extensive menu covering everything from pizzas, pastas and grills to Arabic, Chinese and Japanese delicacies.
While the menu offers variety, their seafood preparations impress, especially if you, like us, have a taken a fancy to South East Asian seafood dishes. Start with delectable starters like Sashimi, Maki or Grilled Octopus. We gorged on the shrimp dumpling and moved on to Sea Bass with Truffle and Fresh Asparagus. The fish was the highlight - fresh as the sea.
If you prefer dining al fresco, opt for The Bay's terraces - one of them is located on the beach. What better way to end your day than by watching the flaming sun go down?
Taste: We relished the seafood, especially the tiger prawns, done in an earthen oven (or tandoor). Perhaps it was our familiarity with Asian cuisine, the piquant spices that were used to coat the crustaceans, and the freshness of the seafood that made this dish such a delight.
Ambience: The Bay has an eco-friendly ambience with wooden furniture and an abundance of potted plants that imbue you with a sense of calm. However, more than the interior, it will be exterior factors like the beach that make dining at The Bay a unique experience.
Service: Very professional. Prompt attention was given by the staff who can be observed going about their work in an efficient manner. They also offered satisfactory explanations about the dishes and were eager to help us with suggestions, when asked.
Presentation: The dishes were not heavily disguised with unnecessary garnishes. You basically get what you ask for. No fancy toppings or perfect portioning and it was evident to us that no compromises were made on the freshness of the ingredients. Good stuff.
Value For Money: Mains like Wagyu Beef Tenderloin (Dh275) or Sushi Platter (Dh295) come at a price if you're on a budget. But the other dishes average Dh100-120. You're also paying for the great ambience and a whiff of sea breeze, if you dine al fresco.