We all know that Dubai is the perfect place for breathtaking cityscapes, the twinkling lights and the mind blowing buildings all take your breath away when you step into one of the high-flying restaurants. The Observatory is one of those places, perched high on the 52nd floor of the Marriott Harbour Hotel it boasts views of the sea and Palm from the bar and the Marina and Emirates Hills from the restaurant so no matter where you are you just can’t stop staring out the windows. When we decided to go for dinner at The Observatory it had come highly recommended, the food was rumoured to be wonderful, so we decided to give it a go – what better way to end a visitor’s trip that a mile high meal! Our reserved table was right by the window with a breathtaking view over the Emirates Golf Club and while it was a little chilly under the AC it was worth it!
Our waiter was lovely, attentive and very knowledgeable of the entire menu, he was very helpful when we couldn’t decide what we wanted to eat and he even tempted us to squeeze in a dessert!
Now I always tend to judge a place based on the quality of its’ bread basket; the choice of breads, the flavour and the warmth – and of course the butter, because butter is the most important part of any bread roll!
The bread selection at Observatory was good, lovely white floured knot rolls and crisp flat breads covered in parmesan. Served along with it was butter and a strange, very sweet mayonnaise type thing, which had a very unappealing aftertaste, though the tiniest amount with the crispbreads was almost nice.
The first of the main courses arrived, the grilled salmon with a mushroom sauce and a side salad and the seared sea bass with baby potatoes, baby Bok choy and piquello puree. The food looked amazing, perfectly sized portions plated simply and stunningly.
A couple of minutes later our steaks arrived along with our sides of creamed spinach and sweet potato fries. My friend had ordered hers medium well with the port sauce while mine was medium with the classic béarnaise sauce, however our steaks had been switched – something only noticed after the medium steak had been covered in the port sauce! I didn’t mind, I will eat a steak medium well and my friend medium but I was more than a little irritated at the mix up. But either way the steak was delicious, it was tender and full of flavour and the sauce was to die for, creamy and buttery and just everything a béarnaise sauce should be. The sides were fantastic, the sweet potato fries were cooked to perfection, crispy on the outside and still soft and sweet in the middle – there wasn’t a single soggy one in the bunch! The creamed spinach was delicious, there was no overpowering iron taste you sometimes get with creamed spinach, this was just foursome and seasoned beautifully.
Once we were finished our mains we were promptedd with the dessert menu, and with all the mouth-watering choices there was no way of saying no! So we had a chocolate lava cake, a butterscotch cake and the trio of creme brulees. It didn’t take long for the butterscotch dessert to arrive at the table, but the other two were nowhere to be seen, we waited at least 10 minutes for the others to arrive from the kitchen, meanwhile watching other plates of sweetness leave the pass and head to complete tables. But once they did arrive it was almost worth the awkward wait.
The chocolate lava cake oozed as it should, full of creamy chocolate goodness. The butterscotch cake was filled with sweet butterscotch sauce that worked perfectly with the bitter chocolate cake though I have to say it was probably a good idea that my friend ordered the sauce on the side because with the sauce inside too I think her teeth may have fallen out afterwards!
The creme brulees were mind-blowing, I started off with the classic one, it was creamy and the sugar on the top cracked perfectly, it wasn’t too sweet and the vanilla was warm and comforting.
The strawberry one, I won’t lie, I was dreading, the thought of strawberry custard doesn’t appeal to me but after I had cracked though the sugar and into the creamy pink sweetness that lay below my mind was changed. Despite being served with a raspberry on top it was perfect, it tasted just like I had bitten into a perfect summer strawberry!
So while the vanilla one was classic, the strawberry one exceptional, the rosemary one was out of this world. I would never have considered using such a pungent flavourful herb in such a delicate dessert but it works, it is amazing. My only complaint was that there wasn’t more! The fragrant taste of rosemary hits you as soon as you put the spoon in your mouth, this medley of sweet and what your mind tells you should be savoury plays with all of you senses! It really is a wonderful dessert!
The Observatory has it all, really it does, great food, friendly staff and amazing views. If you feel like you need a really great dinner I would really recommend you get down to Marina and up to Observatory!