ATELIER M - Mediterranean Dining With An Asian Influence At Dubai Marina

Dining at Dubai Marina you can easily be spoilt by the variety of choices, on top of the art of flavours to inspire from its international cuisines, some restaurants offer the dramatic marina view encircled by Jumeriah Beach Residence (JBR) high rise in the neighbourhood. mylifestylenews writes.

Located on the top floor of the eponymous Pier 7 with fabulous views over the marina, Atelier M is a well-known gem in the heart of Dubai Marina in the JBR locale. Adjacent to Dubai Marina Mall, it offers easy access via the connecting bridge from the mall or the main entrance via the waterfront of its own building. With an atmosphere of bliss and love, the interior has a nod to art deco in some details and neutral in others. But, al-fresco dining with a curved outdoor terrace overlooking the quay is one of the highlights to dine in Pier 7, especially in Dubai’s mild winter. Weather permitting and Dubai always seems to have great weather for such a beautiful evening filled with light crisp air to embrace, the outdoor 180 degree dining terrace which affords the best seats in the house and the uninterrupted view to mesmerize is simply irresistible.

It is easy to be overawed by jaw dropping skyscrapers in Dubai and much of the restaurant dining scene takes place inside many of these monoliths. Being one of the most sought after dining precincts in Dubai, the vertical dining concept of Pier 7 offers multiple levels of international restaurants from exotic Arabic and Asian to European inspired dining to tantalize your taste buds. This dining establishment in Pier 7 goes for a more upmarket clientele and Atelier M requires a smart casual dress code. Fair enough, for an evening to remember or to some by celebrating special occasions, feels-good-looks-good accompanied by specially crafted atelier menu that inspires. Yet, it is not the formal fine dining atmosphere that defines your upright sitting position with elbows off that dining table setting ambience, it is rather a relaxed surrounding adorned by white linen clothed tables with an overweight brass style table lamp, that go along with comfortable white rattan outdoor cushion chairs.

While the interior setting is heightened by hanging chandeliers and small glass pillars, the spacious main dining has a well-equipped bar. There is barely any diner who would choose a seat in door despite the open kitchen possibly driving part of your attention. By walking up the wooden spiral staircase, it will lead you to the next level where the art deco inspired cigar lounge and pool tables are available for interaction. The round bar takes centre stage while trendy house music is played. To explore further, take the “private lift” to the rooftop level to discover the sassy secret open air roof top bar that is ideal for pre- or post-dinner drinks.

While location is really important to some and with its chic and stylish ambience, design and décor to impress, but the basics have to work – service and food. The letter M in the restaurant name came from the CEO & chef founder Mohammed Islam and L’inspiration du chef is aimed to deliver different styles of cooking to be creative and inspired. Atelier M’s menu is quite extensive yet straight forward and precise for what-you-see-is-what-you-get concept dining. Italian/French with an Asian twist, so a menu to suit a variety of tastes. Even so, that doesn’t lower our expectations for what lies ahead. While there were the usual suspects, we decided to mix things up a bit and target some items to see what was really special and started with four appetizers.

<A5 White Asparagus> 
This is definitely a WOW dish! The description sounds simple, but this dish is anything but simple, due largely in part to the quality of the ingredients and the perfect execution in the cooking and assemblage. Japanese grade 9 (the higher the grade, the more precious and rare) white asparagus is used, which is younger, softer, juicier and more crispy. Served with seasonal Japanese river snow white mushroom (a fungi sort) accompanied by a runny temperature controlled organic poached egg and truffle mousse, topped with Gold Osetra caviar and a touch of a trio puree - green bean, mango and beetroot. Beautifully presented and this dish could not be faulted with such fresh flavours that danced on the tongue. An utter delight!

<Wagyu Tartare> 
Once again, top Grade 5 Wagyu sirloin that has been perfectly marinated and seasoned and is accompanied with mandarin compote, topped with an egg and Gold Osetra caviar, garnished with a parmesan tuile. Once all the ingredients have been mixed together, you end up with a beautifully seasoned dish that has the perfect meld of flavours. The touch of mango puree really finished off the presentation with a tropical hint on the palate. Despite the parmesan tuile was a little too thick and hard (would have been better if thinner and more crumbly) yet, this dish still scored beautifully.

<Grilled Octopus> 
 Served with charred cherry tomato, fingerling potatoes and lemon confit, the dish was only lukewarm when it arrived at the table, but it had a nice smoky flavour, however, it lacked the finesse of the other appetizers, as the octopus was rubbery and a lack lustre presentation. It was a little led down after what we just had from the previous two most delish appetizers.

<Wagyu Gyoza> 
The quality of Wagyu striploin was excellent and well marinated with sautéed Kimchi and served with spicy ponzu on the side, but the execution was a bit touristy and soggy – the wrapping of the Gyoza could have been properly pan-fried on one side with a rather lightly burnt effect and the other size soft and moist but not soggy. Not entirely impressed!

<Black Onyx Ribeye>
We settled on three main courses to savour a range of cooking styles and looked forward to more surprises from the kitchen. The Black Onyx Ribeye is another triumph of a dish. Top quality Japanese marbled beef was served with glaze roasted Kabocha with a dash of truffle sauce and well-diced mouth full of roasty toasty potatoes. The meat was simply divine and the potatoes were the fluffiest and lightest you could possibly have. A dish like this did not need any additional sides, as you just want to savour every morsel of the beef and the potatoes. A must order!

<Roasted Lamb Shank>
Accompanied with yummy crispy saffron risotto and lamb juice, the salted bush lamb was perfectly cooked and falling apart easily. A heartwarming dish!
<Roasted Baby Chicken>
Quite a generous portion! This baby chicken is cooked with a miso glazed breast roulard and legs – a French bird – and was tender, flavoursome, juicy and a standout flavour (French chickens can have such a distinctive flavour), plus the tasty roasted capsicum and mushroom was a perfect accompaniment.

<Lotus Milk Cake>
We are always quite replete by the time the dessert menu comes out, but we couldn’t resist trying two creations by choosing the Lotus Milk Cake as a start which delivered quite a delicious airy tres leches sponge cake as a base, onto which is added lotus Chantilly cream and pailette feuillantines. A harmony and delightful finish!

<White Chocolate Opalys>
The White Chocolate Opalys has a solid and tasty coconut parfait base, with jasmine gelato and dolce powder. Perfectly executed in lightness and flavours and ended a memorable meal without the heaviness of some desserts.

Overall, the evening was a success in terms of the culinary journey, although there is some mixed messaging with the service, as they seem to be aiming for fine dining, but miss some of the touches. Our table service was generally very switched on, with only the occasional lapse. It was also strange that the bread-and-butter knives were not preset and then due to the design were difficult to set in just the right place on the plate when the bread was served. Ronald looked after us for most of the evening and was quite knowledgeable and attentive.

Our table on the terrace was one of the best in the house and gave us another perspective of the sights of Dubai (and Dubai Marina) and we stayed for much longer than we anticipated, due to all the elements coming together. While there were a few items on the menu which did not hit the same high mark as the others, there is some culinary magic to be had here, which is a testament to sourcing the right ingredients and handling them carefully, but simply, in the kitchen and letting the flavours speak for themselves of their intrinsic qualities. Cooking with the passion for the perfect taste with elements that inspire, chef Islam and his culinary team have added creativity and marked it with their own style. To some dining at Pier 7 may sound touristy but Atelier M is truly another destination dining that you must book a table at!

Tried & Tested:

Location: 5/5

Design & Decor: 4/5

Food & Beverage: 4.5/5

Service: 4/5

Value For Money: 4/5

Experience: 4/5 


Floor 7/7M, Pier 7

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971 04 450 7766

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.

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