As Dubai gears up for spring, it’s unquestionably the best time of year for the UAE’s outdoor-loving residents. So, there couldn’t be a better way for Team TMN to spend the season than with a recently opened restaurant – outdoor of course – in the heart of the city…
What: Zeta Restaurant/Lounge
Where: The Address Downtown, Dubai
When: Daily, 12pm – 12am
The promise: “With spectacular views over Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain, Zeta Restaurant/Lounge is an exquisite new outdoor dining experience in the heart of Downtown Dubai, specialising in Asian fusion cuisine. With an informal and relaxed look and feel, the new dine-in destination is envisaged to elevate the standards of hospitality through its family-style approach.”
Did it deliver? As we stepped out onto the terrace, the first thing that Team TMN were met with was the best of what Downtown Dubai has to offer. Directly overlooking the fountains and the iconic Burj Khalifa, the panoramic views were like experiencing dinner and a show and we couldn’t have asked for better seats if we’d paid for them. The minimalist décor was ideal, with nothing to distract from the restaurant’s main attraction – the view – though it still managed to capture the theme with subtle Asian styling. While it had a large capacity for diners and bar goers alike – people were still arriving as late as 11pm – an intimate atmosphere was created which was perfect for a sophisticated meal with either friends, guests or for business.
We started off the night with one of Zeta’s signature ‘ubertails’. Extending the ever-popular sharing concept to its drinks menu, we sampled their highly recommended lemongrass & coconut cocktail. Arriving in a large glass server – enough for four – it was a novel concept and deceptively tasty – you definitely don’t need four people to enjoy it!
With Japanese cuisine ranking high on TMN’s flavours of choice, we were delighted to find the menu abundant with unique recipes, though not so many that it became impossible to choose. We began with a signature sushi dish – the Burj Roll – which came with salmon, avocado, chopped lettuce, lightly spiced mayo and tobiko. While some of the Team admittedly weren’t the biggest fans of sushi, the dish successfully won over even our more skeptical members. Adhering to the sharing concept of the restaurant, everything was brought as made and we enjoyed the shrimp tempura, crispy and generously portioned, as well as the prawn avocado salad, which was delicious enough to make even a non-seafood eater think otherwise.
Moving onto the main courses, the stand out of the night was definitely the spicy wagyu beef tenderloin, which was accompanied with Japanese rice. Literally melting in the mouth, it had an intoxicating flavour which would bring us back again on that reason alone! Additionally, we tried the miso-marinated black cod with pickled ginger and yuzu emulsion – unique in flavour and an absolutely gorgeous recipe for seafood lovers.
Naturally, we had to try our hand at Zeta’s signature desserts. The perfect meringues – whipped and creamy at the centre – of the marinated mango pavlova with a refreshing coconut sorbet and almond crumble, really brought the evening home. For all the size of the portions, there wasn’t a crumb left! All that was left to do was sit back with a few more cocktails and soak up the scenery.
The verdict: It’s definitely more than just the view and the venue that’s the draw at Zeta. With a unique menu for both dinner and drinks, you can see why people continued to arrive throughout the night, as it’s a fantastic place to spend or end an evening. For the quality and portion sizes of the dishes, you definitely get what you pay for; you’d be forgiven for thinking it would be extravagant, but you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Do make sure you book ahead of time though – as the weather continues to get better, we can see this being the top spot of the season!