Tried & tasted
BBC Good Food ME|March 2021
Our top dining experiences this month

APRONS & HAMMERS

This homegrown favourite has been a go-to spot for seafood lovers ever since they were perched on a boat near Barasti. Rumour has it, that massive boat will be back soon. In the meantime, you can get your crustacean fix at the recently opened beachside spot at West Beach, for that toes in the sand dining experience.

The open-walled restaurant exudes a chic Hamptons-style beach house theme with wicker, striped blue and white fabrics and a cosy ambience that sprawls out onto the wooden deck. It’s the kind of spot where you can rock up in your swimwear to hit the beach after, or tuck into a great meal and creative concoctions while soaking in the sun on a lounger. Nevertheless, we highly recommend making a day out of it.

The highlights:

A dozen plump Fine de Claire oysters was our first pick from the raw bar selection, served with a classic mignonette. Unfortunately, the Dibba Bay oysters were sold out - if you do get a chance to try it, opt for local produce. Salt and pepper squid followed, offering a crunchy bite complemented by tangy, creamy tartar sauce.

I was glad to find my all-time favourite saffron cream sauce, on the existing menu, best eaten with mussels. The staff were kind enough to guide us on portions, encouraging us to opt for a small bucket for four to share, since our accompanying order was a large snow crab bucket. Each mussel was beautifully coated with the cream, I was tempted to lick each and every shell. I highly recommend ordering another basket of bread to soak up the moreish sauce.

When the crab bucket arrived, we slipped on our gloves and aprons to get cracking. Each piece, from the core to the claws were overflowing with juicy, fleshy meat. You can order it with several sauces ranging from lemon butter to pepper cream, Provençal, spicy chilli and various others. The Old Bay butter was our seasoning of choice, which offered smoky and peppery notes with hints of paprika and subtle flakes of celery salt. We also ordered a small portion of paella, good enough for three-to-four, that was beautifully presented with a generous assortment of squid, fish, mussels and veggies. I must admit, it wasn’t as authentic as I expected it to be. Nevertheless, it was a great slow-cooked rich dish.

The brand’s signature dessert isn’t what you would opt for after a heavy meal, but it’s worth indulging in, especially if you love coconut-and chocolate-based desserts. Sandwiched between two walnut brownies is a slab of light coconut cream, topped off with a liquid ice cream chocolate bar. Thick chocolate is poured all over, instantly melting the bar for a divine spoonful that offers a symphony of texture and flavours.

The verdict: Head here for a beach day coupled with sumptuous seafood offerings.

The details: Contact +9714 589 5444.

GOLDFISH SUSHI & YAKITORI

This chic casual dining spot is the latest in the city to introduce us to the marvels of contemporary Japanese cuisine, with diners queuing up for a seat at this establishment every day.

The entrance to the elegant, yet laid-back, restaurant is through the Galleria Mall. As we made our way through the restaurant, we couldn’t help but pause and look around. The interiors inviting, with perfect lighting and captivating décor elements. The floor sports a rustic look with its polished cement, while the ambience exudes an intimate, cosy and relaxed vibe, depending on where you sit.

Renowned Chef Akmal Anuar, famously known for homegrown favourite 3FILS, is at the helm of the kitchen. So, we were curious to witness the magic at his new establishment.

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