Mission: Find the perfect steak restaurant.
Located in the newly opened Sofitel Downtown Dubai, The Red Grill is a must visit for meat lovers. As the name suggests, this restaurant is a steakhouse and a good one at that. The thing that strikes you first when entering the compact restaurant is the gigantic grape selection displayed in glass cabinets that easily take up half the space. The decor is striking; furry pink and purple cow-hide (think Barney the Dinosaur) covered chairs and lots of wood, it shouldn’t work but it does. It’s funky without sacrificing on being tasteful. The best part about this exciting new addition to Dubai’s dining scene is the al fresco terrace. Not huge by any means, but comfortable booths and large tables line the narrow decking all lit up by artistic lamps and basking in the shadow of the stunningly majestic Burj Khalifa, twinkling over your table. It’s finished off perfectly by the soothing acoustic background music, it’s atmospheric to say the least.
If you can tear yourself away from the furry menus and indulging in a spot of shisha outside, then you must focus on the food. Afterall, that is the real highlight of The Red Grill. The menu is sizable offering good choices for meat lovers but little else. There was a unique offering of lighter dishes as well, centered purely around low-fat content, an appreciated addition but perhaps slightly out-of-place in a restaurant that is ultimately designed for serving big, juicy steaks. As an entrée we highly recommend one of the delicious soups on the menu. The ‘XO’ lobster bisque with crème fraîche emulsion was amongst the best we’ve tasted (and we’ve tasted a few in our time), deliciously rich without being overbearing, the Gratine French onion soup is also delightful. There were plenty of steak and grill options on the main menu, all fairly pricey mind you with a sizeable slab of Australian Wagu beef setting you back close to DHS400, although this does take juicy succulence to a whole new level.The striploin Charolais beef offered in a variety of weights is a great choice for novice steak eaters with lots of meat and little fat. Accompany this with truffled mashed potato (worth the supplement) and sautéed seasoned vegetables. The fries are just that fries, so don’t be expecting thick- cut chips. The mains are accompanied by a mustard selection, a pleasing touch and very good indeed. Complement your meal with a sommelier selected fine wine, we tried the 2013 Eaglehawk merlot, a light red which topped off a very good steak.
If two decent sized courses haven’t filled you up, you absolutely must try one of the deserts.The strawberry yuzu vacherin with strawberry sorbet is an amazing palette cleanser. Light strawberry sorbet is encased in crunchy meringue and topped off wish lashings of whipped cream.
All in all it’s a great option for meat-eaters in a sea of steakhouses in the area, the food is of great quality and the charming, contemporary decor makes it a fun venue for all occasions. It isn’t overly fancy, it won’t break the bank and most importantly it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Whether it’s a business meeting or a date night, The Red Grill manages to cater for everyone and does it in very good taste.