In Dubai, you can develop a tolerance for indulgence. Everything here is the biggest, the best, and the most beautiful. And when all of this indulgence is vying for top billing, it can be easy to miss the times when something truly special comes along, to assume that whatever is new and nice is simply part of the fabric of all of this excess.
In the case of the recently opened and quite spectacular Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, there is more to enjoy there than immediately meets the eye. A hidden gem – found just inside the lobby – is the small but stunning caviar-dedicated restaurant Beluga, patiently awaiting your discovery. For over a century, caviar has been considered a delicacy, but its new status as a “superfood” containing extremely high levels of every omega acid your body needs as well as essential fats, protein, magnesium, and zinc has caused a massive surge in demand.
Caviar, which is salt-cured sturgeon eggs, might be popular, but not all of it is created equally. At Beluga, the caviar comes from Gourmet House Caviar, which boasts the world’s most advanced sturgeon farms. It raises its sturgeon to “wild” standards by simulating a natural environment for the fish to grow in. The curing process is then overseen by one of the world’s foremost caviar masters, Mr. Toufani, ensuring the best quality caviar available anywhere.
This luxury superfood takes on the status of instant crowd-pleaser at Beluga, especially when transformed into mouth-watering dishes like the ‘Tsarine Potato with Russian Oscietra Caviar’. Even the uninitiated will delight in this perfect bite of food – its earthy, creamy, and salty flavors are all in perfect balance.
We also recommend the salmon rosette that is topped with caviar vinaigrette and served with buttery little blini pancakes, as well as the unbelievably rich and decadent ‘Eggs Benedict with Marinated Salmon and Malossol Caviar’. The yolk of the foam mousse-topped egg oozes down onto the marinated salmon and blini pancakes below, and is stunning enough on its own – but is practically an out-of-body dining experience when served with Malossol caviar. Talk about taking a traditional brunch item to the next level.
Rounding out the caviar feast is the ‘Golden Caviar Cigar’ with white truffle sauce. If you choose the 24-karat gold option filled with Almas caviar – the rarest version money can buy – you’ll find yourself biting into the single most expensive dish in the world, but note that you can choose a different caviar if you’re not looking to spend AED 1,550 on a single plate of food. We opted for a more affordable – but no less delicious – version, and had to find the chef afterwards to personally thank him for enlightening us with such a beautiful, thoughtfully crafted dish. The crunchiness of the “cigar”, the umami from the truffle sauce, and the tang from the yuzu and caviar is a flavor profile that will turn you from a caviar enthusiast into an addict.
While Beluga might boast the most expensive dish in the world, the rest of the menu is surprisingly reasonable, making it the kind of place you’d book for a romantic night out or to impress your out-of-town friends. But we recommend not waiting for a special occasion. Book a table now because this is one decadent Dubai restaurant you don’t want to sleep on.