Make way for the bearded and bespectacled gentry of Toronto as Weslodge Saloon opens its famed yellow door in Dubai.
This eclectic dining experience oozes sincere, understated luxury while boasting a taste of rock ‘n’ roll chic. From the mishmash of Colonial portraits, oil painted landscapes and decorative skulls that grace the powder blue walls to the country kitchen style tables, chairs and crockery, the only reminder that you are still in Dubai are the stunning 69th floor views.
From the bar to the kitchen nothing is normal here, everything is elevated beyond what you would expect, from the impressive custom built grill to the house made liquors and house made ingredients behind the bar such as their barrel-aged negroni, tonic and gin, not to mention the tobacco tincture for their manhattans – cocktails worthy of a true gentleman.
The menu (bar a handful of dishes) is built for sharing, even the steaks are sliced for easy nibbling, and the cuisine is an impressive take on classic American fare. With everything from burgers and onion rings to steaks and roast chicken it’s basically mom’s home cooking with a very large, very impressive twist.
We started with the scotch egg, simply served cut in half on a dainty plate. Made with a quails egg and nestled in merguez sausage then wrapped in a layer of panko bread crumbs it’s served with a delightful truffle red onion jam and made for the perfect taste of what was to come.
For mains we chose to indulge, I opted for the Weslodge Burger while the other half chose the 8 oz Tenderloin with a rosemary veal jus, but the stars of the show were the sides. We chose onion rings and creamed kale (yes, not spinach but kale) and we each had chips – mine came with, his were separate. The food didn’t take long to come from the kitchen, just long enough for us to start to get hungry again and soon our table was spread with a feast.
My burger was so succulent, made with chuck it was cooked to perfection and the meat melted in my mouth, the bun was light and fluffy and the topping of welsh cheddar and tomato & onion relish just pulled it all together. The house fries are also a must, light fluffy and just crispy enough plus dipped in the homemade ketchup – just yes.
The other half’s steak was just as delightful, perfectly caramelised on the outside and cooked to perfection on the inside, it comes ready sliced so the whole table can just dive in but I have to say I was lucky to get a piece – the other half doesn’t part with steak very easily.
Now for the sides, I have just one thing to say: DO NOT SKIP THE CREAMED KALE. Seriously. Even if you are not a fan of kale you need to try it; creamy, cheesy, absolutely moreish. That and the onion rings – crispy and topped with a delicious aioli, everything was just a great big thumbs up.
After dinner we retired to the bar for a few more whimsical cocktails – the Hemmingway Daiquiri is amazing, you must try it, plus the bartenders are wonderful human beings and you need to sit and have a chat with them.
We were then tempted into dessert by our waitress and we left it up to her what we would try and she only turned up with two generous plates. One was simply named Chocolate, a plate of cocoa nibs, streusel, tonka bean and cocoa bean ice cream, any chocolate lovers heaven. It was great because the dessert wasn’t overly sweet and the contrast between the types of chocolate was delightful.
The second plate was the Gianduju Tart. Plated so artfully it was almost a shame to eat this yuzu meringue tart gives the run of the mill lemon version a serious run for its money, served with yogurt sorbet it’s fresh, tangy and now my favourite dessert.
Weslodge is, without a doubt, a breath of fresh air for the city’s dining scene. Seamlessly blending together rustic charm, fine dining and brilliant hospitality this is one not to miss.
This is a sponsored post. I was compensated, but all opinions are my own.