SLAB – Proved me wrong…
Never judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, a restaurant by your first visit. Although Dubai restaurants do lack consistency my second visit to SLAB is one that I’ll remember most and will also make me want to return.
Don’t get me wrong, I know sometimes people have off days, or ingredients don’t arrive, or whatever the case may be so when the owner of the restaurant invited me back I willingly accepted, ready to give such a highly regarded restaurant amongst my local foodie friends, a second chance.
SLAB is located right near SALT at La Mer and has a cute patio with geometric patterned chairs, with an open kitchen inside. Albeit small, this place did start out as a sandwich shop.
The menu although it’s straightforward, changes seasonally and inspiration comes from the head chef Omar Rodriguez’s roots so you’ll see a hint of Peruvian and New York on the menu but SLAB doesn’t classify itself under just one cuisine. This contemporary restaurant likes to keep things fresh with weekend specials too.
Their mocktails are outta this world and even though we wish they contained alcohol, are so impressive without too. If you’re a fan of sour opt for the yuzu grapefruit sour and for something unusually surprising try the hibiscus chicha cooler.
The ceviche wong arrives and disappears as if some kind of magic. Which was impressive considering my friend doesn’t like raw fish. It’s thinly sliced seabass cured in a sour orange juice with aji limo koshu and topped with chopped pecans. It’s a dish that definitely gets the tastebuds dancing.
The burrata isn’t served with your standard tomato medley and instead comes surrounded by preserved lemon juice and chopped green olives with a generous basket of warm sourdough.
The KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) is the second time I’m trying this dish and it’s still not my favorite wings. The twice fried crunchy pieces are coated in a honey soy & garlic coating but too sweet for my liking.
The beef tataki comes served as medium rare with chichurri sauce dotted around with swirls of crema asada & crispy chili oil. The 3 sauces compliment each quiet well regardless of their different tastes.
However it’s the crackling short rib that comes up trump when it comes to the main course. Tender on the inside with that a thin crackle on the outside pairs nicely with a side of white stewed beans. It reminds me of a hearty Sunday roast and a dish I’d definitely order again.
The coconut panna cotta although it’s missing the coconut taste is made up for with a passion fruit purée, shards of meringue, basil leaves and a sprinkling of crunchy fried quinoa.
Their weekend strawberry dessert with Yuzu custard, fresh strawberry granita and biscuit crumble was also pretty special, although only available for a limited time. If they get a good response from the customers, they will consider adding it to the menu.
For those that live around the area they have delivery options although for obvious reasons not all dishes can be delivered.
However there’s no reason not to dine in, with free parking at La Mer and the seaside only a few steps away it makes for a great non-pretentious casual dining restaurant with quality food.
SLAB – La Mer North
04 298 8899