If there was ever an excuse to dress up, it’s Cavalli Club. What else would you expect from a restaurant and nightclub launched in collaboration with the renowned fashion designer Roberto Cavalli who is best known for his outlandish and extravagant designs.
You won’t have set foot on Dubai soil without having heard of Cavalli Club, it has a reputation as one of the best and most exclusive nightspots in the Emirate, quite a feat when there seems to be a new one popping up with every new hotel that rises. What you might not know however is that Cavalli Club is also home to a rather fantastic Italian restaurant and was doing this long before the influx of supperclubs descended onto the desert. Now, Cavalli Club is not a supper club.The restaurant, although situated inside the club itself, is completely separate and a table in the restaurant is not the same as a table in the club.
The best thing about Cavalli which is located in the Fairmont Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road is not that it has its own separate entrance from the hotel, no one wants to be sauntering past the concierge and hoardes of wide-eyed hotel guests in a mini dress and stilettos, it’s not even the ridiculously over-the-top decor (we will get to this), it’s the sheer size of the venue which makes it unique. Dubai is home to all manner of dingy basement clubs that are so small and narrow they are a little claustrophobic as the crowds enlarge, Cavalli boasts 20ft tall walls that reflect over 350,000 Swarovski crystals from ornate chandeliers that hang from the ceiling like glitzy jellyfish. It’s dark of course, it is a nightclub after all and you will be tucking into your dinner under neon ultraviolet lights but you don’t feel as if you are out-of-place, the restaurant blends seamlessly into the surroundings. The restaurant opens at 9:30pm and doesn’t really start to get busy until an hour or so later than that, it’s a venue that is meant to cater for your whole night from dining to drinking to dancing the night away until the early hours.
As you’d expect from a club boasting the Cavalli name, the decor is true to its heritage. The floor is glossy black as are the tables, fleckled with only tiny bits of gold glitter, the furniture is upholstered in the most brash of animal print, the lights as we mentioned, are huge crystal chandeliers and the infamous Cavalli logo is everywhere in sight, from projector screens right down to your wine glasses, there is not any point in the night where you will forget where you are. It’s so extravagant and so tongue-in-cheek it works. Cavalli is all about the fun, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s a venue where people come to let their hair down, to enjoy the best that Dubai has to offer and to buy into a little piece of the dream.
The restaurant here serves contemporary Italian cuisine with hints of international dishes. The menu is surprisingly good where everything from fish to pasta is offered.
To start we picked the Capesante con broccoletti e pomodori secchi which translates as three enormous pan-seared scallops served with broccoletti and secchi which was excellent, in fact it was so good I probably could have eaten two servings. We also opted for the Tartar di Wagyu Miyazaki e tartufo which is a delightful beef dish served with teeny tiny boiled eggs and adorned with truffle. Other stand out options to start include the Ganache di Foie Gras con melone, brioche ligure e gelatina di Tokaji which is Foie gras ganache with melon which we were told is also fantastic.
For Secondi it would be wrong to come to Cavalli without trying one of the fantastic pasta dishes, the lobster linguine is both beautiful to look at and beautiful to taste, word of warning however loose clothing is required! The Anello cotto a bassa temperatura alle erbe e salsa agridolce is a slow-cooked herb-crusted rose lamb chop with agridulce sauce that was both tender and succulent and was accompanied by truffle-mashed potato and grilled herbed italian vegetables. The lamb, although on the small side was perfectly cooked and stunningly presented. The costoleta di vitello alla Milanese con insalatina di rucola e pomodorini is however, a large plate sized veal escalope served with wild rocket and heirloom cherry tomatoes. It was a nice light dish, perfect to eat before a night on the dancefloor. The poached black cod with muscat grapes was also a stand out dish on the perfectly proportioned menu.
Cavalli also offer tableside signature dishes which are recommended for a minimum of two, great for group dining which seemed to be the order of the day at this upmarket restaurant. Offerings included Costata con l’osso di Wagyu Australiano con salsa Barbaresco e peppe verde which as you might have guessed is a whopping grilled Australian Wagyu tomahawk with Barbaresco and green peppercorn sauce. If red meat isn’t for you the Branzino i crosta di sale con salsa Beure Blanc, salt-crusted line-caught seabass in butter is also a fantastic healthier option.
If you still have room after all that fantastic fare then there is a small desert menu that serves up authentic Italian dishes such as Tiramisu, all true to form and absolutely delicious.
The great thing about dining here is that you don’t even feel a little bit guilty indulging yourself in the rich Italian cuisine and fruity wines as you only have to step off your table and onto the dancefloor, ready to burn all those thousands of calories away. After midnight the music cranks up a notch and the glamorous descend onto the venue, the tables are cleared and you’re encouraged to venture to the bar.
Cavalli should be pretentious but it isn’t, it’s light-hearted and fun and the crowd are clearly happy to be there, greeting hostesses like old friends. Yes, the security staff are dressed in pristine all-white suits and yes, you’ll have to don your Louboutins just to get past the door but isn’t that what we have come to love about Dubai? The glitz and the glamour and the lavish lifestyle, Cavalli is your chance to be part of all that, if only for a night.
Ladies listen up! Every Sunday is Cavalli Club’s new ladies night and for every dinner reservation made girls will receive a complimentary magnum of champagne! Yes you heard us right, a magnum of champagne. No-one does it quite like Cavalli.