When Team TMN were invited to experience the new Apero menu that promises authentic French delicacies at Couqley Bistro and Restaurant, we couldn’t wait to see if the dining experience lived up to its reputation.
What: The new Apero menu, Couqley Bistro and Restaurant
Where: Laguna Tower, Mövenpick, Jumeirah Lake Towers
When: Couqley Bistro and Restaurant is open from 12pm until 12am, with the Apero menu served from 4pm to 8pm daily.
The Promise: “Couqley is a French bistro that oozes charm and traditional Parisian flare! With recipes inspired by Chef Alex Couquelet’s grandfather, guests are guaranteed the most authentic and unique French dining experience that Dubai has to offer.”
Did it deliver: The entrance was narrow yet intriguing in a way that left us curious of what to expect when we stepped into the main dining area of the bistro and as we had hoped, we were not disappointed. Stepping inside, the interior was a reminiscent of the 1950’s artisan workshops of Paris with mosaic stone floors and a cozy indoor terrace seating as well as a bar and dining space. The walls had that old brick texture to it with bulky framed pictures, adding that French subtlety to the atmosphere, giving us the feeling of being in a completely different time and place.
As we decided to go for the terrace seating area, we were greeted by our lovely waiter for the evening who then introduced himself and handed us the much-awaited menu to get the evening started. First, we ordered a bottle of white wine to sip on while we browsed through the menu. We then proceeded with the starters, the Poelee De Champignons was first on the list. The delicacy was a beautiful medley of sautéed wild mushrooms and crumbly puff pastry served with light creamy sauce which took our breath away. The thought that mushrooms can have that bursting flavour with a French twist to it, was astonishing. Next up was the Tartare De Thon, which took an adventurous turn, the combination of marinated raw tuna tartare with sesame seeds, scallions, fresh herbs toppled with leek tempura crisps was another unexpected taste that we couldn’t get over. The taste of raw tuna was completely different with the flavours of the scallions and fresh herbs to add to it, leaving our taste buds in a mix of an exciting and unique aftertaste of that French dining experience.
Switching it up a notch, we decided to try out the signature selection of ‘Boeuf’ from the menu. The Mini Burger Trio was the perfect option for us. Tasting the mini classic American-style burgers filled with cheddar cheese and served with pommes frites simply sealed the evening for us. The simplicity of the meal might sound like any other restaurant, but this was completely different. From the juicy burgers to the tender potato fries, we could taste the unique flavours that gave the marinated beef a distinct taste from the regular burgers that we knew to one with a Parisian flare.
Verdict: Its reputation, we will say, precedes it. The selection from the Apero menu was as exciting and authentic as promised. The feeling of being lost in a different era that had a strong French touch to it is the only way we could explain it. The food was mind blowing to the fact that nothing was, as it seemed. The flavours were different and unique making every bite better than the previous. And the wine at 19AED per glass and 89AED per bottle was the perfect price to pay for that dining experience. However, although the menu had loads of options to choose from, we did find it very restricted for vegetarians and vegans with limited options to choose from. Although the menu might be a little restricted, we do recommend the place for a celebratory dinner, romantic night out or a night with friends, to get a taste of what it is like to dine Paris – Dubai style.