Posted on Sunday, 20th October 2013
Update on 12 November 2013: Chef Lee Adams has now left Rhodes Twenty10 to work with Gary Rhodes on his Grosvenor House venture.
With the closing of Rhodes 24 on 27 September 2013, the last of Gary Rhodes’s restaurants in London, the Michelin starred chef has officially said goodbye to London. It’s weird to think that after decades of him cooking in London that he no longer has a restaurant in the capital. But the chef continues to maintain a presence in the UK with his restaurant Rhodes at The Dome in Plymouth.
Rhodes’s sights are now set on the UAE with several outlets including the recently opened Rhodes 44 at the St Regis Hotel Abu Dhabi, Rhodes Twenty10 at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa Hotel and Rhodes in Residence at the Grosvenor House Hotel, both of which are in Dubai. And his recently closed Rhodes Mezzanine, also at the Grosvenor House Hotel Dubai, is due to reopen again in December 2013 after a full refurbishment.
Rhodes Twenty10 scores a ten out of ten for glamour and chic. It’s intimate and seductively dark, but also soft from the hints of lilac that run throughout the décor. Gosh the restaurant was gorgeous, and it’s a perfect fit for the equally glamorous looking Le Royal Meridien Hotel.
A steak and grillroom, Rhodes Twenty10 offers an extensive range of prime-cuts of meat and seafood. There’s also a smaller range of mains that include some tried and true British classics such as steak and kidney pie and fish and chips. But the more inventive part of the menu revolves around the starters, which were designed as sharing plates for the table (typically with four portions per order).
All the sharing plates we tried proved to be excellent, but our favourite was the mouthwatering sesame seared tuna (AED55 – about £9.30) served with honey mustard green beans, red onions and radish. Beautifully seared, the tuna was delicious, and the acidity running through the dish was light and well judged.
Mini duck foie gras paninis (AED55 – about £9.30) with truffle butter was another winner. Served in a nicely toasted panini, the combination of the yummy foie gras with melted butter, truffle aroma and some perfectly crisped turkey bacon was absolutely heavenly.
Seared scallops (AED55 – about £9.30) served with mashed potato and devilled sauce was also very enjoyable. The scallop (sliced in half) was tasty, the mash decadently creamy, and the sauce was wonderfully vibrant in bringing each of the components of this dish together.
Alaskan crab (AED55 – about £9.30) and a cream of avocado and apple purée with pink grapefruit pearls proved interesting. Sandwiched between sesame filo wafers, the crab was fresh and sweet, although I would have preferred a higher ratio of crab to avocado and a little bit less tang in the avocado. The wafers were crispy, thin and expertly made.
White and brown breads are also worth a mention as they were both fabulous. The crust was crunchy and hard and revealed a soft, tasty centre.
To mains, and a grill of 400-day grain fed rangers wagyu sirloin MB 9+ (280g, AED600 – about £102) was absolutely sublime. Perfectly cooked to the requested medium rare, the wagyu was packed full of flavour with the wonderful marbling giving it an exquisite fatty richness.
However, a seafood mixed grill of tuna, Irish turbot, Scottish salmon and a king prawn (AED180 – about £30.50) was unfortunately a bit of a let down. Although the turbot and the prawn were nice, the salmon and tuna were both bland. Therefore this dish felt expensive given that it was lacklustre and came with no sides.
There was a good selection of sauces (AED30 – about £5) to accompany the grills. For the wagyu we chose a blue cheese sauce, and for the seafood a lemon butter sauce. Both were nicely flavoured if a little bit runny in their consistency.
Head Chef Lee Adams trained at Rhodes W1 in London. But he also spent four months in the pastry section at the three-Michelin starred Waterside Inn, which goes a long way in explaining why the desserts were so sublime. I have had many a warm chocolate fondant, but the version at Rhodes Twenty10 with salted caramel ice cream, chocolate crumble and caramel sauce (AED50 – £8.50) was exquisite with a rich, velvety flavour, a fantastic bake and a great crumb. The ice cream was also excellent, and its salty, sweetness complemented the chocolate perfectly.
A raspberry bakewell tart (AED50 – – £8.50), served warm with a toasted almond ice cream and candied lemon, was glorious. The raspberries, handpicked by Chef Adams in Kent two weeks prior and brought to Dubai in his own suitcase, were of course fabulous, the frangipane filling was light and moist, and the pastry was fine and flaky.
A chocolate and orange jaffa cake was resplendent. Consisting of layers of almond sponge, orange jelly, caramel chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache and topped with candied orange, it tasted like a highly elevated version of a jaffa cake with a fantastic balance of flavours.
A sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce (the picture below shows a tasting portion) was gloriously soft and moist and didn’t have any of the bi-carb after taste that you sometimes get with this pudding. The sticky toffee pudding was soaked in a date and toffee liquor for 72 hours prior to baking to give it both its taste and lightness.
Rhodes Twenty10 was worth visiting for the desserts alone. They were truly exceptional and showed off great finesse and a lightness of touch that made them a real joy to eat. The starters were also excellent and demonstrated flare in their execution. The wagyu showed just how good the grilled meats could be even if our seafood main let the side down. However this would appear to be a minor blip in an otherwise fantastic dinner and which wouldn’t deter me from visiting Rhodes Twenty10 again. The service was also polished and refined and was in keeping with what one would expect from a restaurant in a top-class five-star hotel.
Savoury courses rating: 4/5
Desserts rating: 5/5
Service rating: 4/5
Prices: AED195 to AED735 (about £33 to £125). Includes tax and service, but excludes drinks.