Review: Is the world’s highest restaurant all it’s cracked up to be?

We try the much-hyped Atmosphere at the Burj Khalifa
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There’s something special about dining in Atmosphere.

There’s something special about dining in Atmosphere.

There’s something special about dining in Atmosphere. Then again, it is the world’s highest restaurant.

Some of its visitors argue that ironically, it has “no atmosphere.” But we disagree. Does it even need an atmosphere? Its larger than life views, mouth-watering exotic food and romantic interiors are enough for a memorable experience.

Its service, which was quick and on point, makes it an even more enjoyable.

We started with the obsiblue tartare with sturia caviar - a must when you’re dining at the world’s most luxurious tower, the Burj Khalifa. The combination was striking; thanks to a discreet hint of bergamot that made for a distinct taste.

Obsiblue tartare with sturia caviar

It is worth noting that if you want to open your appetite, caviar is a good starter. Alongside it, we had what was our favourite dish of the night, recommended by Atmosphere’s staff: scallop. Though we are not fans of scallop (following several bad experiences of it being undercooked), we cherished the one served at this venue, enjoying every bite complimented by a side of cauliflower.

Next, we dove right into the main courses and opted for the dry aged beef tenderloin first. Cooked medium to well, it was rich in taste and mouth-watering indeed. A side of carrot puree, the most recent in food trends (inspired by the currently popular Peruvian cuisine), was a nice light touch as the steak was heavy itself.

Foie gras beetroot  apple vanilla

Another favourite was a seafood dish: halibut fish with two of our not-so-favourite ingredients truffle and fois gras. So much can go wrong with the duo (fois gras not cooked right and too much truffle, for example).

But as expected of Atmosphere, both were impressive and thankfully, quite subtle in small portions. More delicious however, was the fish itself – just tender enough though much like the steak, so rich in taste.

For dessert, we had the irresistible chocolate moelleux – dark chocolate cake with light vanilla ice cream. You can’t go wrong in this case. We also tried the blackberry hibiscus cremeux with berry sorbet and hints of white chocolate.

Easier on the stomach than the chocolate cake, we liked it better. But our favourite was the signature and complimentary Atmosphere “surprise” dessert. Served in a wooden box, it opens to reveal cold smoke hiding chocolates with a sorbet interior. Heaven – to say the least.

Blackberry hibiscus cremeux financier

Despite having distinctive service, food and décor, the best part about Atmosphere will remain its view. Overlooking Downtown Dubai and Sheikh Zayed Road, it is breath taking. But even that is an understatement. Like we said, there’s just something special about dining in the world’s highest restaurant. It is an experience we would definitely like to repeat, whether with a friend, partner or family.

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