Last week, I was invited to sample what the newly opened Weslodge Saloon has to offer Dubai. A girls gotta eat, so how can I say no. 😀
Well, let me have you know you are in for a treat with this 4,500 square foot Canadian-bred resto at the gorgeous JW Marriot Marquis. You can’t eat any higher than this – literally and figuratively speaking!
Before I dive in and give you the low-down, some quick facts:
- Their beautiful kitchen has the largest grill in the Middle East — 4-meters long and worth 60K.
- Their Executive Chef – Ben Heaton – has an impressive history of working with renowned restos in England and Toronto.
- The theme is “contemporary American” and they import their own beef, bison, and maple syrup from Canada.
- They have Lobster Poutine on the menu!
I arrived on the dot for my 6 pm booking and up I went in rapid, scenic ascent to 68th floor where I was immediately welcomed with a warm smile and check-in as the elevator door pinged and opened. This restaurant was absolutely striking!
My eyes were treated to the pleasantly surprising vintage décor best described as an upscale North American saloon with a masculine feel, yet somewhat feminine with pastel booths and tables elegantly dressed with soft and dainty decorative pillows. Perched up in the air, you have an idyllic view of the downtown Dubai area where you can soak up views of the illuminated Burj Khalifa by night.
The ambiance was uber-cool with American soft rock chiming in the air. Music with a sense of familiarity that made me remember I’m American. There are big ole antlers on the walls along with framed art of pioneers, which gives it a nice whimsical vibe. An old-fashioned saloon look with a classy touch is the way to describe it.
The service. Excellent! Our waitress, Isabella, was fun to talk to. She was Canadian and it felt as though I was chatting with someone from the good ole’ U.S. of A. After all, they say Canadians are simply disarmed Americans with health care. 😉
The Manager was attentive and very responsive when we asked if the dessert we ordered had nuts, even though it did indicate it on the menu — we just had not noticed it. With a blink of an eye, the pastry chef was able to recreate it, minus the nuts. We were treated well and felt right at home as we were having a fancy dinner in someone’s beautiful abode.
OK – so let’s get down to the food.
Our starter was – why of course – the Lobster Poutine. How can anyone resist that? A different twist from the traditional poutine slathered with gravy and cheese curd. This one was dressed with a hollandaise, tarragon, and succulent chunks of lobster.
Our mains were the Southern Fried Chicken with tabasco honey and brussel sprouts slaw, and the 8 oz. tenderloin steak. The gorgeous chunk of meat was cooked to perfection with an even medium rare through and through. The meat was so tender that it literally melted in our mouths.
Ah, and the Southern Fried Chicken! Who doesn’t love those beloved browned birds cooked to a crispy perfection. This fried chicken propped up in a tease was a charmer that induced a sentimental sigh. Juicy on inside, as if it’s been brined, dipped in buttermilk, dredged in flour, then pan-fried in a cast-iron skillet. It was simply magical!
But what stole the show was their brined and roasted cauliflower. It will leave you begging for seconds! Just YUM!
As if we were not already floating on a cloud, then came dessert. We went with what’s listed on the menu as the CHOCOLATE, which consisted of cocoa nib, streusel, tonka bean, and cocoa bean ice cream. I cannot think of the right words to describe the wonderful experience this dessert left in our mouths and souls. Little morsels of warm chocolate cake paired with the creamy ice cream. A tantalizing and memorable chocolate ambrosia. This dessert will leave you swooning for sure!
Plating is simple and served in sharing-style platters. There are not a whole ton of things on the menu, but the just a few items done very well – as should be in a fine-dining experience.
Our libation of choice, based on our server’s recommendation, was a cucumber and vodka mélange. It was smooth and cool, and not too sweet. Just delicious! I’d go back just for that cocktail. 🙂
I fully enjoyed this gastronomic experience and highly recommend it to anyone seeking an original concept and just great food.
The Weslodge Saloon is located at JW Marriott Marquis in Business Bay, Dubai. Hours are from 6:30 pm to 2 am. Reservations can be made at 052 869 7868 or online here.