Could This New Kid On The Block Be The Best Indian Restaurant in Dubai?
Here were my thoughts when I heard about this new curry house called Spice & Ice...
1. It's in JLT (where I live)
Does JLT really need another Indian restaurant? At my last count there were about a million already and I've only been to about 18 of those. When am I going to find time to eat at this new one?
2. It's a modern twist on classic Indian dishes...with a spot of molecular gastronomy.
EYE ROLL. The best thing about Indian food is its simplicity and its traditional taste. It doesn't need messing with, it's already brilliant. I know, I know, not very progressive of me! But I was raised on the best traditional Indian food available in Blighty's West Midlands (my Mum's).
2. They serve booze
Ok...maybe we're getting somewhere now!
So, I forced myself to visit. What is a waste of time? Was the food too fancy pants? Was I being an ungrateful little sh**? Yes, I was. Because Spice & Ice is somewhere between awesome and mega awesome. Why? Here's six reasons why...
1. The molecular gastronomy table
Isn't it annoying when you poo poo something and then it turns out to be amazing? Well the molecular gastronomy element of Spice & Ice is one of those things. It actually turned out to be one of the highlights. Chefs line the molecular demonstration table and talk you through each dish/science experiment. The food is visually amazing and tastes just as good.
We loved the green mango mousse served in pretty little egg shells, which was refreshing and tangy at the same time, the apricot and blue cheese canapés with fig and cranberry relish had us going back for seconds and then thirds. But best of all was the Dragon puff...what it tasted like or what it had in it...we have no idea, we were laughing too much as puffs of smoke escaped out of our noses.
2. The music
The music at Spice & Ice will take you back to the 90s. You know, when Mariah was still as sweet as 'Honey' and Adina Howard was well... still a 'Freak'. But even if you don't like RnB (who doesn't?) they have struck the perfect balance: mellow soulful tunes whilst everyone's dining (so you can easily ignore the sing song or listen out for new Beyonce album tracks, like we did) and as the night gets going they turn it up a notch with a DJ. For those still enjoying their dinner, the DJ is nestled away from diners towards the bar, letting you unwind and get lively without annoying the customers who are still tucking into their delicious food.
With the DJ playing tune after tune of old classics, and later on modern day RnB, it won't be long before you are burning off the calories you have just consumed.
3. The decor
The décor is in keeping with the contemporary food on offer, modern and vibrant with a neon edge. The overall layout offers more intimate tables to one end or bigger set ups for the larger groups to the other side. Choose from the more formal table and chair set up or go casual on the comfy sofas.
Plus, when you’re done working your way through the various courses, you can have a night cap in the bar area and even have a dance if you’re not feeling too full.
4. The starters
So...the food! We ordered a range of starters to share, including the samosas (deliciously crispy on the outside with a soft paneer on the inside), the cocktail paneer (which was a high end twist on the classic cheese dish, served like a salad), the chicken tikka pieces which were succulent and perfectly roasted, the deep fried soft shell crab (a modern take on the traditional pakora) and the piece de resistant: the 'chilly' cheese on toast: simply cheese and chilli...on toast. Which was so good we even ordered a second helping.
5. The mains
What did we have? What didn't we have might be easier to explain...all though less interesting for anyone reading this!
We decided to order a mix of mains for the table to share including both the dal makhani (the creamy brown version) and the dal tadka (the red slightly spicer version) for a lentil overdose of pure pleasure. We added the Aloo Mattar (a gorgeous gravy with peas and potatoes) to the list of veggie dishes before adding the Chicken Korma (the sauce comes in a jug so you can pour over the grilled chunks of chicken yourself) and the dish of the evening: the prawn coconut chilly, all washed down with jeera rice, lacha parathas and butter naans...yum yum! Overall the main dishes are beautifully presented and surprisingly light which is rare for an Indian restaurant, leaving space for a dessert or two!
6. The desserts
Spice and Ice have a modern take on all their desserts, the Citric Apple Kheer – normally a plain hot rice dish has been infused with apple to add a little tangy twist!
But the standout fave for us was the Gulab Jamun, made of milk powder, yoghurt, sugar and water. They come in four small balls, perfectly crafted with a side of tarragon rabdi espuma, in other words, a tarragon sauce. You MUST try this dessert, it is worth every bite. The Gulab Jamuns melt in your mouth and finish so quickly you will want to order another round...yes we did! The Gulab Jamun is easily available in Dubai but quite often they are hard and not quite sweet enough...these ones were perfect.
What will it cost ya?
Dinner for two with a fair few drinks will cost you around AED 600, which is more expensive than your usual curry but cheaper (and tastier) than eating out at many restaurants in Dubai.
Still sound too pricey? Take advantage of the endless offers and deals they have going on. Here's just a few of them...
Half Price Full Spice Mondays: Every Monday, Spice & Ice is offering tasty appetisers, mains, desserts and select beverages from the a la carte menu for half the price. Timing: 6pm to 1am
Tuesday Ladies Night: Ladies enjoy unlimited house beverages including bubbly, and grape all night long. Timing: 6pm to 11pm
Curry & Hops Night: Curry from the restaurant’s main menu washed down with two pints of hops for AED 120. All curries are served with bread or rice. Available daily except Fridays from 8pm to 12am
Friday Brunch: The restaurant will dish out a lavish spread of progressive Indian appetisers, main courses, along with a decadent dessert platter, all served with piping hot bread or steamed rice. Timing: 12pm to 4pm and AED 199 per person including house beverages.
Weekend Offer: Every Thursday and Friday, Spice & Ice will serve unlimited house beverages and nibbles for only AED 199 per person, from 8pm to 12am. Diners can sup unlimited hops, grape, bubbly or cocktails while relishing tasty appetisers such as Chilly Cheese Toast, Chicken Tikka, Sheekh Kabab, Vegetarian or Lamb Samosas and Spiced Potatoes.
Spice & Ice is located in Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers; Cluster A, JLT, Dubai.
For more info click here or call 04 4211356
Now read: Top Ten Places To Get A Curry In JLT