Last Thursday we were treated to a culinary and visual treat at newly opened Maison Rouge in Conrad Dubai. As the name suggests, the restaurant cum bar is luxuriously plush in vivid tones of red. Everything looks so theatrical even before the show begins!
We arrived a little before 9, and were ushered in with peppy, upbeat tunes by the live DJ. A well-stocked open bar adds to the ambiance, and you can also get a glimpse of the open-fire kitchen where a lineup of international delicacies are assembled together.
The menu is not overly extensive, but has an interesting mix of global cuisines. I am told it is also updated seasonally.
The first thing to come on our table was the complimentary (and much talked about) Raspberry Margarita Bubbles. These ruby-like fruity bubbles are served on a fresh rosebud that you have to delicately pluck off a platter of billowing dry ice.
The bubble pops in the mouth, and tastes like raspberry compote to me. You can hardly detect the alcohol content. What a beautiful start to our meal! The red bubbles on roses are so apt for Maison Rouge.
For starters, I tried the Watermelon with Feta Cheese and Onion Jam. I’ve had watermelon with feta many a time, and its one of those combinations that never go wrong. But the one here was topped with caramelized onion, drenched in balsamic and served with dollops of fresh pesto. Absolutely divine!
My husband went for the Popcorn Shrimps served with a side of chili mayo. The mayo wasn’t spicy at all, but had a nice salty hit that went well with the deep-fried, battered shrimps. This is the perfect appetizer to munch on with drinks.
Talking about drinks, Maison Rouge has quite an interesting lineup of cocktails. If you like it fruity-sweet, I would highly recommend the Maison Rouge Cocktail. This unusual combination of strawberries with balsamic works beautifully well in this cocktail.
I also tried a mocktail called the Kaffir Colada. As the name suggests, this is your regular Pina Colada accentuated with the exotic touch of kaffir lime leaves. This thick yet delicately citric drink is perfect for summer.
Halfway through our starters, the show started. It usually starts around 9.30 pm. A stunning young blonde, bedecked in a glittery number, walked across with plumes of feathers as a violinist strummed out a soulful number.
This was followed by a number of very colorful cabaret dances, a hoola-loop performance, a live saxophonist and a very talented, beautiful young lady who took to her violin like I’ve never seen before.
All this got me very click-happy and my camera is filled with clicks and videos from the night.
For my main-course, I tried the famous Georgian Khachapuri topped iwth truffle shavings and arugula leaves. This is essentially a pizza stuffed with melted, stretchy cheese. This serving is easily sufficient for 3, and I had to doggy-bag it.
My husband went for his usual… the Ribeye Steak. He asked for medium-rare, but sadly it was quite over-done. The compensation was the creamy-hot pepper sauce that covered up the over-cooked meat.
Just then, a magician turns up at our table with a pack of cards and performs a number of tricks that leave us spellbound. I swear I only had one fluffy ball in my hand, yet with a wave of his wand I now have a dozen! The paper cards mysteriously turn into hard plastic in my husband’s pocket, and the illusionist knows what card I’m thinking of without even manipulating the deck.
It’s not every day we get so much more than a culinary treat when going fine-dining!
We ended our night with a sweet treat named after the place itself. The Maison Rouge Cheesecake is coated in a deep red, velvet-like jelly and topped with berries. It is moreishly rich and creamy, and one serving can easily be shared between two.
Overall, Maison Rouge proved to be a visual treat, both for the palate and the senses. The drinks here outshine the dishes, and real cherry on the top is the absolutely spectacular performances by a troop of very talented dancers and musicians.
Book a table here after 9.30 pm, and you can sit back and enjoy the show well past midnight. Bon apetit!