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THE RIVINGTON GRILL DUBAI: YOU HAD ME AT HELLO

By Glenn Harris

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The Rivington Grill in Souk Madinat Jumeirah is the Dubai outpost of the famed London eatery.  The focus is the best of British cooking which the Rivington Grill has more than achieved.  You’ll find an expansive seasonal menu with dishes from the diverse culinary heritage of the British Isles made with locally-sourced ingredients so everything is fresh and exceptionally tasty.





Once inside, the Rivington Grill is like a chic café with an open kitchen at the center where one can observe the chefs and staff hurrying about while the smells and sounds of their culinary creations permeate the space.  Outdoors you can dine al fresco in a contemporary setting with dome lights on tables setting a romantic tone.  The café terrace overlooks the Madinat Jumeirah canals and waterways creating a laid back scene for international well-to-do travelers and locals. Couples and families are there as well as business associates chatting about their next venture. 

Once we arrive, we are well attended by the friendly  hostess that escorts us to our table. Our server is extremely professional and well versed on each of the dishes and ingredients as he shares with us the specials of the day and recommendations.  Throughout the evening our service is flawless with staff ready to attend our needs as they hustle about without seeming hurried.

It was somewhat tricky to order because the menu has so many tempting choices. As if that wasn’t enough, they have daily specials on a chalk board like what you’d  find on a café or pub in the London’s Canary Wharf. The Rivington Grill philosophy or Rivi concept is what they call Back to Basics - fresh ingredients, innovative menu ideas, seasonal specials, regularly changing à la carte… and that’s exactly what you’ll find. 



The dining experience reminds me of  the line from Jerry McGuire:  “you had me at hello”.  In this case, The Rivington Grill had me at the first item served which was the warm bread served on cutting boards. Warm with a hard crust and soft center, it could have come from the finest boulangerie in France.



For the starter,  I ordered the seafood cocktail and did I ever choose correctly.  My friendly waiter told me about its ingredients of lettuce with dressing and minced prawn and crayfish.  I can’t say enough about this dish as it more than lived up to my watery mouth’s expectations.  Suffice it to say, a must try for any visit to Rivington Grill.

For the main course I again chose wisely as did my wife. I had the Ribeye 300g, Black Angus 250 day with hand-cut chips and Béarnaise.  I knew I was I trouble when it arrived. It was perfectly cooked for me, medium rare so reddish and juicy inside with nice dark brown searing on the outside. It was Black Angus beef so its taste does not need complication.  No A1 Sauce required here just a  hint of sea salt and some other flavorings.  While savoring my first bite, I became suspended in time..and consumed with wondering the last time I had a steak this good. It’s a few days after my experience there and I’m still at a loss.



My wife’s braised new season lamb shoulder and Isle of Arran mustard broth was equally tasty.  It was  soft to chew, bone in, on a  bed of colcannon which is smashed potatoes with cabbage on other flavoring…delish.

So at this point we take a break to savor the time together, setting, and amazing food when they remind us of the desert menu.

With both of our appetites satiated, we decided to share the apple and raspberry crumblet; again a great choice.  The fresh raspberry gave it a sharp tart flavor in contrast to the sweet apples all covered in a warm cinnamon crumble.

After an extremely pleasant evening, we went upstairs to check out the bar scene where couples and friends chatted over drinks. We sat outside in the chic lounge area chatting about life as well as the flawless dinner that will not be soon forgotten.   



Published on Apr 13, 2013

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