After a big disappointment at Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire and a mediocre experience at Table 9, I should have learned that fine dining in Dubai is nothing more than a joke. The ethnical, low budget restaurants is normally when you get the best experience in the city but still I chose to go and try S.T.A.Y. which is located in the spectacular One and Only resort on The Palm.
The restaurant is owned by the three Michelin starred chef Yannick Alléno and I was hoping for tasty, classic French food with a twist cooked with superb produce.
The dining room is luxurious and the big tables with the well-ironed tablecloths are placed far from each other in a true, fine dining spirit. Still, rather ugly furnitures.
The service was correct and friendly but a ringing cellphone in one of the staffs pockets is far from ok.
When we entered, the hostess showed us the pastry kitchen which is located inside the dining room, giving the guest something to look at. "This is our beautiful pastry library" she said before she showed us our table. Since we were seated next to the pastry area we could hear how the hostess repeated the same phrase "this is our beautiful pastry library" to every single guest entering the restaurant. Pretty robotic and tiring after a while, and what is a pastry library?
The restaurant manager recommended us to go for the tasting menu which I normally think is the best choice when trying a restaurant for the first time.
We started with a glass of Nv Brut Premier from the Champagne house Louis Roederer along with the selection of appetizers; petit choux filled with gruyère, tuna tartare with bell pepper jelly and finally something they called pizza? which was a artichoke puree, sandwiched between two leaf-thin sheets of crispy, baked dough. All the appetizers went through unnoticed.
First dish was a cylinder shaped potato filled with sturgeon brandade and topped with radish and a sake consommé. The potato was cold and tasteless and so was the brandade. The only thing on the plate with character was the sake consommé.
Next up was a dish so bland and bad I even forgot to take a picture of it. Raw pieces of scallop with artichoke as a crisp, foam and puree (same as the appetizer) injected in the scallop. Never, ever have I eaten anything as tasteless. I get a bigger taste sensation from the popcorn at the cinema (at least they are salty).
After that total catastrophe of a dish came lobster pudding with chestnut fettuccine, mushroom coulis and lobster foam. An decent dish but the lobster pudding looked like small, factory-made sausages from the grocery store.
So came the best dish of the evening; Turbot with clams, grilled asparagus and béarnaise sauce. A simple bistro dish, well cooked and the béarnaise was actually seasoned to perfection.
Fillet of lamb with tomato concassé, fennel and olive was a simple, rustic dish.
A few petit fours before the grand dessert.
And then it came, the meter long dessert selection from the pastry library. The quince tart was good but the rest of the desserts tasted like something from Starbucks, no finesse at all, just sweet.
The dessert finally made me feel like leaving, not S.T.A.Y.