Saturday, February 9, 2008


Emirates Towers Hotel

tel: I am not going to give you the telephone number because I don't want any of you to go to this restaurant.

Last Thursday, on the spur of the moment another couple and Lovely Wife and I decided to go out for dinner. About twenty phone calls later and almost exhausting the list of restaurants that any of us fancied we finally got a table at Mosaico in Emirates Towers. I suppose with hindsight the fact that we were able to get in when it seemed that every other restaurant in town was full should have rung the alarm bells.

Mosaico is (was?) Emirates Towers Italian restaurant and having eaten in there a couple of times before remember it being an above average place, nothing special, over priced as usual, but decent enough.

It is quite a big light restaurant with windows running down one long wall over-looking the hotel’s rather sad little pool. It has an open kitchen area at one end and the atmosphere is one of a smart but quite informal dining room.

We arrived at the restaurant and having sat down was informed that only a buffet was available, no a la carte service and furthermore the restaurant was offering that awful deal of one price of food without booze and one price with booze. Feeling that we didn’t really have a choice we decided to stay and boy do I wish we hadn’t. I asked the waitress why I wasn’t told on the phone when I made my reservation that it was only a buffet and of course received the usual vacant smile and shrug in response.

As expected, and as is always the case, the wine that accompanied the ‘food with booze’ deal was revolting, and there was not a lot we could do about it except throw it down quickly and deaden the tastebuds.

I am not a fan of buffets; tired sad looking food that has been sitting around too long, but this one even managed to exceed my extremely low expectations. There was a very odd assortment of dishes that leant a lot more towards North Africa than Italy and between the four of us we really struggled to find something we wanted to eat.

There was a ‘live’ cooking station with a chef offering a range of pasta with a selection of sauces. We thought we would be safe. I asked him to prepare a carbonara with a pinch of dried chillis and off I went. A short while later the pasta arrived, it was so extremely salty as to be completely inedible.

Despite what impression I may give on the pages I am actually very British about these sorts of things and rarely complain but I was by this stage ‘beaujolais belligerent’ and so pissed off with the absolutely dreadful food on offer that I voiced my extreme displeasure to the manager. A shrug, a slightly embarrassed look was the best that could be returned.

The evening was a total let down, but of course they still managed to charge like wounded bulls for food that none of us actually could face eating. I got pretty drunk though so every cloud etc.

Jumeirah International, Dubai’s flagship hospitality provider, you should be utterly ashamed of yourselves. Mosaico is a travesty of a restaurant, it is pathetic that on a Thursday night you only offer a crap buffet because your chefs are too lazy and too useless to cook anything decent.

You know one of these days I might actually get the chance to write a favourable review of a restaurant in Dubai. Miracles can happen I have been assured.


nzm said...

Only went to Mosaico once, and it felt like we were in the US in an Olive Garden restaurant.

Jumeirah is losing (has lost?) its competent F&B managers who are moving to places like Jordan, where they are working for hotels who respect their talents and reward them for hard effort. They are being replaced by cheaper, less professional people who shouldn't be operating chicken shacks on a beach.

Pete said...

To be honest I think the reviews are a little harsh I have eaten in Mosaico on a number of occasions and the food has been great with a modern twist on the classic Mediterranean / Italian foods verities – even the lunch buffet is good

If you want a boozed fuelled buffet it’s defiantly not the palace to be – don’t know why they are making a buffet now?

In Dubai I think people get a little spoilt, compared to the UK things are still reasonably priced for what you get

halfmanhalfbeer said...

Pete, you know something I have eaten in Mosaico a number of times before as well and the food hasn't been bad, not great but not bad. Howver to turn up on a Thursday night and to be only offered a buffet (and not told on the phone) and a seriously crap buffet as well is unforgivable. I wasn't after a booze fuelled buffet and if you had read the post properly you would have realised that. The four of us wanted a decent Italian dinner with a decent bottle of wine. We got neither. We got awful food and even worse wine.

I disagree with your final comment. Eating out in Dubai isn't cheap (not if you go where we tend to go anyway) but the overall standards are significantly lower for a similarly priced meal in London.

Thanks for stopping by!


Anonymous said...

halfmanhalfbeer,i'm a regular guest of mosaico restaurant and i will not change the food they serve there with no one of the others italian restaurant in dubai
i know that the atmosfhere it's not so great but when i eat such a delicious food i really don't care about nothing else..
i agreed with you about wine selection and sometimes about the service but as i told you for me mosaico (in dubai)it's the only place where i'm never be scared to take my friends, collegues or my wife out for dinner and i think that you had only a bad night over there -jason-