Restaurant review: Carine, a taste of the French Riviera

Carine, in Emirates Hill Golf Course, is a perfect urban escape, located amid the verdant green of Dubai's premier golf course
Restaurant review: Carine, a taste of the French Riviera
Carine is the latest venture from chef Izu Ani
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Sat 08 Sep 2018 01:17 AM

Looking through the window of Carine restaurant – nestled within the green expanses of Emirates Hill Golf Course – it is sometimes hard to remember where one is. Despite the glittering skyline of Dubai Marina close-by, the restaurant exudes the quiet charm of the French Mediterranean – making it the perfect place for an intimate meal or evening spent unwinding after a hard day of business.

Opened earlier this year, Carine is the latest Dubai hotspot from local foodie favourite Izu Ani. Born in Nigeria and raised in the UK, he is a long-time fixture and veteran of Le Petit Maison in DIFC and La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie in Downtown, among others.

Carine, which is named after Chef Izu’s wife, is cozy and personal. With its bright interiors and unpretentious, village market-inspired décor, the restaurant quickly makes one feel at home and a world away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Sheikh Zayed Road. Much of this comes from the smallest of details – such as a seemingly oversized lemon on the table, picked from Izu’s own farm in Greece to accompany bread and a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

The personal touch extends to the food, much of which is inspired by his wife’s experience working in a bakery in France.

It conveys an authentic and delicious taste of the French Riviera in the heart of Dubai. Among Arabian Business’ favourites are the apple, green beans and foie gras salad with walnuts, as well as the carpaccio de thon – a tuna carpaccio served with a refreshing citrus dressing and grape relish.

When it comes to main courses, one need look no further than the lobster linguini or the spicy marinated lamb saddle with parsnip purée and tomato compote.

Other excellent options from the menu include the grilled veal strip loin marinated with yoghurt and herbs, or the grilled tiger prawns with apple-harissa relish.

Be aware, however, that the portions are not small, and some lean a bit towards the heavy side – many of these dishes are perhaps best mixed and matched with sharing in mind. If you still have room for dessert (which we barely did), ponder the passion fruit cheesecake – it’s well worth it.

Overall, the main strength of Carine is its ability, through both its food and location, to take one to another part of the world without ever leaving Dubai. It’s highly recommended, particularly if you want to spend a relaxing afternoon or early evening having a taste of the Mediterranean.

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