I was invited to an exclusive dinner at the Pure Sky Lounge (Hilton, The Walk JBR) last Wednesday, and got to sample a delicious range of Eastern-Western fusions through their 8-course ‘Dining Experience’ set menu.
The highlight of the evening was meeting Chef Sven Schmidt himself, and trying our hand at recreating his epic ‘Sharing Dessert’! Read on for details on all the fun we had 🙂
Pure Sky Lounge is located on the 35th floor of Hilton, The Walk JBR and boasts of breathtaking views of the sea. The restaurant interiors are chic, modern and informal and continue with the subtle color hues of blue and white from the logo.
We started off our gastronomic 8-course meal with a Tuna Ceviche & Passionfruit.
I am a huge fan of raw seafood, and devoured this dish. The tuna was cut up into rustic chunks, a refreshing change from the paper-thin slices I have become accustomed to in ceviches. And the use of passionfruit with the fish was pure genius. The tart fruitiness accompanied by pops of the passionfruit seeds adds a contrast of flavors to the palette, and for further crunch, the dish has been sprinkled with lightly salted rice puffs.
Next came the Braised Beetroot, Cottage Cheese & Watermelon.
I love beetroot and watermelon, but I’ve never had the two together, side by side on a plate. The flavors actually work very well together, and little spoonfuls of cottage cheese add a creamy richness to the dish. What I liked most on this plate was the little blobs of apple puree. The sweetness of the puree brings all the flavors together, and I scooped it all up on the crisp, thin wedges of toast that accompanied the dish.
The third dish for the evening was the Lemon Seared Bay Scallop & Miso Butter Risotto.
The risotto is brimming with the rich decadence of butter, laced with the Eastern Miso influences. What a clever play of East and West! The scallop was cooked to perfection, and just melts in the mouth. The tantalizing freshness of lemon cannot be missed.
The Curry Roasted Cauliflower, Mascarponi & Sundried Black Olives is yet another fusion of international flavors.
Turmeric-infused cauliflower is a favorite in the Indian subcontinent, yet I’ve never had it with mascarpone cheese before! And the addition of black olives gives it an overall Mediterranean twist.
Next came the Corn Fed Chicken Breast, Perigord Truffle Butter & Green Asparagus.
Perigord Truffle is one of the most highly esteemed truffles of France, and when this dish hit the table, I could see (or rather, smell!) why. The characteristic deep, magical aroma of truffle predominates this dish and blends in beautifully with the freshness of the pureed pumpkin. The chicken has been suveed and therefore retains its moistness and flavor. A decadent piece of deep-fried, crispy chicken skin sits as garnish, and its saltiness is the perfect start at digging into this plate.
Here is the Norwegian Salmon & Green Peas Mash.
Like the chicken, the salmon has been suveed, and has a beautifully moist texture that flakes under the fork. The crisp bits of salmon skin on the plate were the highlight for me. They are crunchy, salty and loaded with fishy goodness!
Our final mains for the night was the Pepper Marinated Veal Loin & Tapioca.
How gorgeous is this dish?! The meat is very soft and tender, and the fiery notes of pepper have marinated well into the center of the veal. I love the look of the mushrooms on the side, so very rustic! And the roasted tapioca cubes have a crunch, and lend a flavor of their own.
The portion sizes might seem small, but after 7 rounds of purely decadent, flavor-loaded dishes, our table unanimously agreed it was a very satiating meal!
With a sweet-tooth like mine, there’s always room for dessert. And at Pure Sky Lounge, I was curious to try out their much-talked about Sharing Dessert. Is it a cake? Is it chocolate? ‘Oh its a Sharing Dessert!’ Bring it on!
The Sharing Dessert requires a table on its own. Chef Sven Schmidt came in with his trolley loaded with goodies, and started creating a masterpiece right before our eyes.
And then it was our turn! We were given a table at the other corner, and had to recreate the magic without peeping… and we had 5 minutes to do it!
Hurray for team effort! Ours looks pretty good too, don’t you think? Chef Sven makes the swirls of chocolate look so easy-peasy. Ours are more blobby, but hey! You have more chocolate on our serving!
Pure Sky Lounge’s epic Sharing Dessert has something for everyone. It has swirls of chocolate and berry, a bowl made of chocolate filled with fruit and macaroons. There are little cubes of cheesecake, and a very delicious stuffed apple I can’t recall the name of. A few very decadent blobs of Dulce de Leche disappear from the table in record speed, and shards of burnt sugar make it all look so pretty! Is there anything else I’ve left out? Most probably! This is one big table heaving with a huge variety of decadence!
The Sharing Dessert takes communal eating to another level, making this giant sweet treat a very memorable experience indeed.
Our Sharing Dessert was good enough for 2 very greedy adults (or 4 polite people who don’t mind sharing!). Pure Sky Lounge made an XXL version of this recently, watch the magic on the video below!
Overall, my dining experience at Pure Sky Lounge was nothing short of delicious! Each and every dish on the menu was a clever, flavorful play on international cuisines and topped with exceptionally good service, this is one restaurant I will happily return to in the near future.
If you are planning a meal here, I would suggest making a booking for lunch. This would allow you to take better advantage of the spectacular views which tend to get a little shadowed at night.
Pure Sky Lounge is located on the 35th floor of Hilton, The Walk JBR (Dubai). For further information and table reservations, call 04 374 7888.