A taste of Polynesian paradise

For Team TMN, a great night out starts with a good meal and with the abundance of dining options in Dubai, we’re normally completely spoiled for choice. Luckily, when one of our favourite haunts announced the launch of an exciting new menu, our decision was easy…

What: Island Grill Menu 

Where: Mahiki Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai

When: Monday – Friday, 7pm – 10pm

The promise: “There’s never a boring night at Mahiki restaurant. You’ll discover a fun and vibrant Polynesian theme running through every aspect of the Polynesian bar in Dubai – from the easygoing yet chic surroundings, to the tropical grill food menu.”

Did it deliver? Team TMN rocked up to Jumeirah Beach Hotel, dressed to impress and ready to start our evening at Mahiki Dubai. As ever, the venue boasts a Polynesian vibe, creating a fantastic illusion of somewhere far more exotic as you descend the staircase. With our table booked for 8.30pm, it was fairly quiet – not a surprise if like us, you rarely come here before 11pm – though we quickly realised that, without the intense dance music in the background, it was the perfect opportunity for a good catch up while sampling Mahiki’s famed cocktails and new light-bite menu without the crowd.

While the previous menu offered a traditional dining experience, the new Island Grill Menu promotes a sharing concept, with Mahiki championing what is fast becoming the hot new way to dine in the region. Variety is the spice of life – or so they say – and we were only too happy to sample from the mouthwatering array of dishes.

Typical with a sharing concept, each dish was served when ready and we started with edamame beans with sea salt, a grilled wagyu flank salad with pineapple, snow peas and baby gem leaves and a plate of fish finger sandwiches – so good they disappeared in a bite. Stand out dishes included the Wagyu sliders with aged cheddar and truffle mayo, macaroni and cheese bites – which we couldn’t get enough of – buttermilk popcorn chicken pieces that were perfectly crispy and served with truffle mayo and the triple-cooked chips, accompanied by ‘posh ketchup’ which was homemade with a spicy kick.

While perhaps not the most sophisticated of menus, it was the type of food you crave to indulge on, and each portion was cooked to perfection. A particular favourite was the seared wagyu sirloin with béarnaise sauce and asparagus, which along with the seared salmon, was the closest we tried to a main course in terms of portion size. With little room left we tried the Canadian lobster rolls, enjoying each delicious nibble.

Naturally, we managed to save extra room for dessert, diving into the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla bean ice cream, pavlova with fresh mango, churros with a warmed, tangy chocolate orange sauce and the restaurant’s signature dish – the Mahiki coconut – a fantastic looking ‘coconut’ with a hard chocolate exterior filled with an ice cream centre and topped with a variety of tropical fruits.

With the restaurant closing at 11pm to make way for the club vibe, it was just the right amount of time to comfortably let our meal digest before we danced the night away – a perfect transition! 

The verdict: Should you ever need to get in the mood for a night out, dinner at Mahiki is ideal. With the obviously convenient location and a menu that boasts light yet substantial bites at a reasonable price, you effectively have your night fixed up with minimal effort. The Island Grill Menu is definitely one to be shared with friends, and if you’re planning to continue your evening at Mahiki, ensure you go down on either their ladies night or the weekend to guarantee the best turn out – we’ll see you there!

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