Dubai nightlife is known for a few things, but none more so than ladies night; free drinks, food, shisha, what ever the offering may be it draws the ladies in.
On Wednesday nights, La Residence offers the fairer sex four free drinks and 50% off their food bill, with beverage choices of wine, four cocktails, a selection of spirits and a choice of soft drinks, tea and coffee for the designated driver. While Fréderic Vardon, a Michelin starred chef, has designed a menu of fresh takes on French classics, creating elegant and awe inspiring dishes unlike anything else.
Having being invited to their newly launched ladies night I thought what better excuse to catch up with the girls than great food and free drinks. Set in the Raffles Hotel this French style bistro is laid back, comfortable and absolutely beautifully, from the candelabra on the long high table to the plush velour seating of the lounge and the crystal chandeliers hanging over the white tables in the dining room; there is a distinctly 1930s feel about the place, transporting you to the classic French scenes you see on the silver screen.
The first thing we did when we arrived was order a cocktail, and over the course of the night tried one of each of the cocktails on offer. From the lemon meringue to the French martini everything was delicious, perfectly, if not dangerously, mixed so there was no overwhelming taste of alcohol (and yes the lemon meringue did taste like the dessert).
Once everyone had arrived it was time to order food, we opted for starters and mains forgoing dessert in place of more cocktails and giggles. It took everyone a while to decide what they wanted to eat with so man mouthwatering options. The rest of the tables order consited of the organic smoked salmon served with greens and potatoes , the poached egg and mushrooms served royale style with a mushroom foam and the foie gras served with fresh bread and a fig preserve; I opted for the warm asparagus and leeks.
The asparagus was delightful, fresh large spears served with a sauce gribiche – traditionally made by emulsifying hard boiled egg yolks with oil and mustard then finished with chopped pickled cucumbers, capers,parsley, chervil and tarragon. It also includes hard-boiled egg whites cut in a julienne. It also had tiny crutons which gave the dish a lovely crunch.
In between courses they was a nice wait, time for the food to settle and us to start to get properly peckish again, then, just in time, the mains arrived, beautiful plates wafting the most amazing aromas around the table. Once again around the table we had the chicken and crayfish served with fondant potatoes, the veal served with macaroni cheese and vegetables, the lamb and the shrimp ravioli. But with all the choice on offer I just had to try the macaroni and cheese served with shaved truffles.
I have to say though, while the Mac and cheese was good, it could have been better it was quite dry from where it had been in the oven, but the sauce that decorated the plate was delightful and the truffles, well I could have eaten those all day. From what the rest of my party said about their meals and the swift manner in which they disappeared from the plates I would have to say the rest of the meals were delicious, everything was cooked to perfection and it would seem that the ravioli is one not to be missed!
Overall the whole experience was everything I could have imagined. This is the perfect ladies night away from the nightclubs and the noise. Backed by a fabulous pianist doing covers of popular songs this is the perfect place for great catch ups and laughs with all your best girlfriends.