It’s not often that you find a place in Dubai that oozes true unique style without bordering on tacky and outlandish and while the “dark side” of the city has long been known for dubious bars and nightclubs Espana is everything Dubai’s quirky style hounds have been searching for. From the abstract art that decorates every wall to the stunning upside down, Alice in Wonderland-esque dining room this restaurant and bar fuels a desire for fun and adventure.
The Jumeirah Creekside hotel is a hub for art in itself but since Espana opened it has upped it’s creative quota. From the moment you step through the archway entrance and into the winding space within you find yourself transported. Met with a beautiful snaking bar backed by stacks of shelves boasting a host of colourful bottles and manned by a team of five star bartenders from some of the top venues in Moscow.
The lounge itself has been plucked from the pages of the latest interior design magazine, from the wrought iron table legs that bend and twist like the craggy trees of fairy tale witches gardens, spidering beneath the glass table tops to the moody lighting that makes everyone look flawless. Located in the centre of the room is the ladies bar, complete with gorgeous bartenders this cocktail haven is bathed in pink and oozes femininity – can anyone say ladies night?
Moving away from the decor (or we will be here all day) and on to the food you can expect some of the most mouthwatering Spanish dishes in the city, from tapas and small bites to hearty mains that leave you wishing for another forkful.
There was not a single dish we tried that made me doubt our choice, I loved absolutely everything. The small menu may not offer a host of vegetarian choices but it does ooze with flavour and each and every plate is a carefully considered work of art.
Starting with the beef empanadas individually wrapped the perfectly cooked pastry holds a cheesy mix of flavoured mince and stringy mozzarella, each bite leaves your mouth begging for the next one. Our tuna salad was a perfectly balanced with morsels of crusted seared tuna and hard boiled quail eggs nested on a bed of oak lettuce and herbs, building a forkful was a carful construction of taste.
Then came my favourite dish of the evening: the goats cheese and beetroot croquets, this deep fried morsels are golden brown outside and a stunning pink once cut open, served on a bed of fresh lettuce and with a gazpacho sauce for dipping. Each bite is an explosion of salty, earthy sweetness that will leave you wanting more.
Cheese lovers will adore the potato skins, oozing with melted cheese and beef bacon bits – served with chargrilled spring onions, these boats of goodness are a welcome twist on plain jane dish.
If you still have space after picking and nibbling at a selection of the tapas then the mains are the next stop, the short menu offers everything from steak and short rib to risotto and pasta dishes to suit every palette.
We opted for a taste of the tenderloin, served in a delightful peppercorn crush and sauce, on a bed of spinach and topped with crispy onions and the beef short rib, a fork tender offering served with a fragrant lemon and thyme risotto. Every single bite was perfection – the meat melted in your mouth and was seasoned without fault, until my final forkful I was delighted and when the waiters came to clear our table I was sad to see my plate go.
After a time of digestion and a few more potent cocktails from the wonderful bartenders we decided the meal would not be complete without trying the dessert. The carrot cheesecake, an interesting dish that was reminiscent of carrot halwa, it was soft and moist and just sweet enough to be delightful.
The beautiful thing about Espana is how relaxed the space is, despite first impressions this is a spot where you can take your time, enjoy dinner with friends and sip on exquisite cocktails and at an impressively pocket friendly price!
This is a sponsored post. I was compensated, but all opinions are my own.