Restaurant Review: Carmen

joydeep@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 3, 2021

Barceló Hotel Group partnered with world-famous football organisation LaLiga and Spanish Extravaganza Festival to host the second edition of this gastronomic festival in UAE, which took place in Dubai between September 15 and 17.

Occidental Al Jaddaf’s new Spanish restaurant Carmen was one of the venues for the festival along with a drunch at Dukes The Palm, A Royal Hideaway Hotel.

The festival celebrated the Spanish motto La vida tiene otro sabor, which loosely translates in English to Life with You has Another Flavour.

Michelin Star Chef, Ricardo Sotres, who hosted a series of unique live gastronomic experiences, was a top draw for the festival.

The tastefully-decorated Carmen gave a sneak peek of Spanish culture. The fine-dining restaurant came alive with the pulsating numbers belted out by Caroll Celedon and Flamenco dancer Raquel, whose foot-tapping steps were lapped by the patrons on a lazy weekend and many of whom longed for their homegrown culture in the heart of Dubai.

The cuisine was inspired by Spain’s popular football culture — from Valencian paella to FC Barcelona’s Catalan crème brûlée to Atlético de Madrid’s squid sandwich with preserved lemon mayo and Real Madrid’s meringue stuffed with red fruits.

Each dish was an authentic representation of Spain’s various regions from Catalonia to Madrid to Valencia to Basque country thrown in for good measure.

Taste (4): Melt-in-the-mouth experience of bites and small plates

Ambience (4): A tastefully done-up interior amid the live cooking in the backdrop is an ideal setting to enjoy live music

Service (4): Unobtrusive and attentive staff left the patrons to their own devices

Presentation (4): Great attention to detail as each dish was distinct in its look and feel

Value for Money (5): At Dh249 per person, it’s a good deal

Venue: Carmen

Address: Occidental Hotel, Al Jaddaf

For bookings, call 055 195 3143 or email aljaddaf.carmen@occidentalhotels.com.

Joydeep Sengupta